We hear more and more about earthquakes, famines, droughts, wild fires, disease and sickness, wars and rumors of wars, floods, hailstorms and tornadoes. We hear of an undetected asteroid that almost collided with our planet.
We watch as new political alliances develop on the world scene, and ancient empires rise with renewed influence to form new alliances and power blocs. Unexpected economic developments cause uncertainty among investors and erosion of confidence among consumers. Terrorist attacks become more commonplace—and closer to home. We look for peace, but there is no peace.
Why such unrest in a world that supposedly is making giant strides to help us live longer and make our lives easier? It is because mankind, as a whole, has chosen to turn his back on his Creator. Thousands of years ago a book was written that predicted these very events would occur in our time—right now—in our day and age. God clearly warns us through this ancient book—the Bible—that even more devastating events will come upon this earth very soon, unless we repent and turn to Him.
In this booklet, we'll take a close-up view of the frightening prophecies that describe the terrible events that will take place during the time period of the "Great Tribulation" and the "day of the LORD." We are compelled by God Himself to speak His words as written in His book, and to openly warn people that there is a way of escape, whether people choose to listen or not. We pray that God will give YOU ears to hear and a heart to heed His warning, and to act accordingly.
The Middle East, especially the city of Jerusalem, has been in the news for quite some time, and we expect that this will continue. Our focus must be directed to the City of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas because that is where history-making events will unfold—events that will soon engulf the region with indescribable human suffering, pain, and misery, to be followed by unimaginable prosperity and peace!
Yes, the Bible predicts that within a few short years explosive events will take place in Jerusalem, events that will lead directly to the return of Jesus Christ. You need to understand what these things mean as they happen!
In His famous Olivet Prophecy Jesus explained very clearly what would happen to Jerusalem at the very end of this age of man. Reading in Luke 21:20, 22_24, "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near… For these are the days of vengeance [the Great Tribulation], that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
Matthew 24:21 adds this warning: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Daniel 12:1 also prophesies that this will be the worst time ever in the history of mankind: "And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time." When, exactly, will all of this happen and what will it lead to? Luke 21:27, 31 points out: "Then they will see the Son of Man coming [the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] in a cloud with power and great glory… So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near."
Jesus had just explained that, before He returns to this earth, the modern city of Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies. When this happens, its desolation will be near and there will be great distress because of the wrath to come upon the people of Jerusalem. Many of its inhabitants will be taken captive or killed in war. Gentiles will occupy the city—trample the city under foot—until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. How long will that be? Revelation 11:2 reveals: "…[Jerusalem, the holy city] has been granted to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months [three-and-a-half years]."
Does the Bible reveal who the Gentiles are that will attack and occupy Jerusalem? Indeed, it does, and we will discuss their identity in much more detail later in this booklet. At this point, we'll focus just on the sequence of events.
Jerusalem will be occupied by Gentiles, led by a political and military personage_a powerful leader of a United Europe. This human military leader is identified in Scripture as the "Beast," (compare Revelation 16:10); the "king of the North" (compare Daniel 11:40_41); or "King Jareb" of Assyria (compare Hosea 5:13; 10:6). "Jareb" means "fighter" or one who is quarrelsome. History does not reveal the existence of any Assyrian leader with the name or title of "Jareb." This biblical reference is not to a historical leader of the past, but rather to a future leader of a modern Assyria. It could be the translation of an actual name, or more likely, the description of his character. You can read more about "King Jareb" of Assyria in the free booklet, Europe in Prophecy: The Unfolding of End-Time Events.
Historical records reveal that modern Assyrians can be found in the countries of Germany and Austria. And, as we will see in more detail, it will be this modern "King Jareb" of Assyria who will lead the Gentile armies to occupy the city of Jerusalem, trampling it underfoot for three-and-a-half years.
Initially, a somewhat peaceful relationship will exist between King Jareb and the Jewish people. But this peaceful relationship will change in time. We read in Hosea 5:13 that Judah will see his wound. This wound could be a reference to a serious military defeat in battle. King Jareb will, at that time, become an ally with Arab nations in a plan to destroy the Jews. He will enter into a confederacy—an alliance—with certain nations against the modern state of Israel.
Notice what is prophesied to happen in Psalm 83:2_8 and notice the identity of these modern peoples—revealed by modern archeology, by history and by biblical research: "For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate you lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: the tents of Edom [Turkey] and the Ishmaelites [Saudi-Arabia]; Moab [part of Jordan and the western part of Iraq] and the Hagrites [mainly Syria]; Gebal [Lebanon], Ammon [Jordan and the PLO], and Amalek [the PLO]; Philistia [Palestinians from the Gaza Strip] with the inhabitants of Tyre [the city of Tyre is more fully discussed later in this booklet]; Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot [Jordan]."
However, this confederacy will not last long. A powerful United Europe, under King Jareb of Assyria, will soon find itself involved in a war with many of the Arab nations. The Arabs will unite under and be led by a religious military leader, called in Scripture the "king of the South." Europe will invade the Middle East, the Holy Land, and the city of Jerusalem.
We read in Daniel 11:40_41: "At the time of the end the king of the South [an Arabic religious and military leader] shall attack him ["push at him;" i.e., the "king of the North," also identified as the "Beast" and "King Jareb," a military leader of a United Europe]; 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 also enter the Glorious Land and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab and the prominent people of Ammon."
Notice that Edom [Turkey], Moab [part of Jordan and the western part of Iraq], and the prominent people or leaders of Ammon [Jordan and the PLO], will not be conquered by the king of the North. Notice, on the other hand in Daniel 11:42_43, which countries will be conquered by the king or leader of modern Assyria, or which countries will form an alliance with Europe: "He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt [where the Arabs dwell today] 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 Ethiopians shall follow at his heels."
That the Libyans and Ethiopians will "follow" the king of the North does not necessarily mean that they will be at war with him or that they will be beaten by him in war. Depending on what translation we use, we find the meaning conveyed as, they "will follow in subjection to him," or they "shall be his servants," or " the Libyans and Nubians [will be] in submission" to the king of the North. Also, note, that the king of the North will have power over the gold and silver in the region, as well as all the precious things of Egypt.
Continuing in Daniel 11:44, we are introduced to a third power bloc which will play a devastating role in end-time events. "But news from the east and the north shall trouble him [the king of the North]; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many."
The king of the North will react to rumors from the east and the north. This is the location of a strong military Asiatic power bloc with an army of two hundred million people, referred to in the book of Revelation as the "kings from the east" (Revelation 16:12), or the "army of the horsemen" (Revelation 9:16). It will, in all likelihood, be a confrontation between a United Europe under modern Assyria and a confederacy of Asian nations, such as Russia, China, Japan, and India. The modern Medes are identified in Scripture as one of the mortal enemies of modern Babylon, or Europe (compare Isaiah 13:1, 17). The identity of the modern Medes will be explained later in this booklet.
Daniel 11:45 continues: "And he [the king of the North] shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain [Jerusalem]; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him."
The king of the North will occupy Jerusalem and rule from there, during which time the Holy City will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles. Then Christ will return. He will throw the king of the North into the lake of fire, which, at that time will be a place outside Jerusalem where criminals and sinners will be burned up (compare Revelation 19:20).
Let's note in more detail what is revealed about the fate of the king of the North_King Jareb of Assyria. We read in Isaiah 10:12: "Therefore it shall come to pass, when the LORD has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks."
Isaiah 14:25 adds this thought: "… I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke [of slavery, or captivity] shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulder."
Isaiah 30:30_33 continues: "The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show His descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod. And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, Which the LORD lays on him, It will be with tambourines and harps; And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it. For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it."
This passage describes the fate of the king of Assyria—he will be burned up in a place likened to a stream of brimstone, also referred to as "Tophet," which literally means a "burning place," or "a lake of fire." We know from Revelation 19:20 that the military leader of the United States of Europe, called the "Beast," will be thrown into a lake of fire and brimstone as well. Therefore, the "king of the North," "king Jareb of Assyria," and the "Beast" are one and the same.
Notice Isaiah 31:8_9: "Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of a man [Jesus Christ will personally destroy him and his army], and a sword not of mankind shall devour him… He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, And his princes shall be afraid of the banner, Says the LORD, Whose fire is in Zion And whose furnace is in Jerusalem."
God will deal in this way with the king of Assyria because of his evil intent (cp. Zechariah 1:15). When he attacks and overthrows Jerusalem, a terrible time will begin for its inhabitants.
Isaiah 3:1, 24_26 tells us: "For behold, the LORD, the LORD of hosts, Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah The stock and the store, The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water… And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a robe; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; And branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword, And your mighty in the war. Her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit on the ground."
God Himself will remove the protection of Judah, as Isaiah 22:8 tells us. Without God's protection, Jerusalem will fall into the hands of her enemy. We read in Isaiah 29:1_7: "Woe to Ariel [an expression for Jerusalem, lit. Lion of God], to Ariel, the city where David dwelt... I will distress Ariel; there shall be heaviness and sorrow… You shall be brought down… Moreover the multitude of your foes Shall be like fine dust, And the multitude of the terrible ones Like chaff that passes away; Yes, it shall be in an instant, suddenly. You will be punished by the LORD of hosts With thunder and earthquake and great noise, With storm and tempest And the flame of devouring fire. The multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel, Even all who fight against her and her fortress, And distress her, Shall be as a dream of a night vision."
The prophet Jeremiah also describes in poetic terms the coming assault by the Assyrians on the city of Jerusalem. He tells us in Jeremiah 6:1, 22_23: "O you children of Benjamin, Gather yourselves to flee from the midst of Jerusalem… Thus says the LORD: Behold, a people comes from the north country, [remember that the military leader of the conquering nations is called, "the king of the North."] And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth. They will lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; and they ride on horses, As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion."
Jeremiah describes the terrible future of the city of Jerusalem following the attack by the Gentiles with very vivid terms in the prophetic book of Lamentations. As will be discussed more fully later in this booklet, phrases like "in that day", "in the latter days," "in the day of the LORD," or "in the day of the LORD'S anger" identify the time setting of the particular prophecy as relating to the period just prior to Christ's return. Especially the phrase, "the day of the LORD'S anger" describes the time when God is very angry with the peoples at the end of this age (compare Revelation 11:18):
"Young and old lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men Have fallen by the sword; You have slain them in the day of Your anger, You have slaughtered and not pitied. You have invited as to a feast day The terrors that surround me. In the day of the LORD'S anger There was no refugee or survivor. Those whom I have borne and brought up My enemies have destroyed… The kings of the earth, And all inhabitants of the world, Would not have believed That the adversary and the enemy Could enter the gates of Jerusalem" (Lamentations 2:21_22; 4:12).
We are told in Zechariah 14:1_2 that "all nations" will fight against Jerusalem, and that "half of the city" will go into captivity:
"Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
This describes a literal captivity of the Jewish people just prior to Christ's return. This is not a reference to a "spiritual captivity of sin," nor to a figurative "exile," nor is this a description of something that has already happened to ancient Judah.
WHERE will half of the residents of the city of Jerusalem go? Generally, they will be transported as captives into many nations, some of which are specifically identified in Scripture. For instance, Micah 4:10 tells us, "Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, Like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, You shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go, There you shall be delivered; there the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies."
The reference here to the "daughter of Zion" is the modern generation of Jews, not ancient Judah. They—modern Judah—will be brought as captives to modern Babylon. As we will see in the remainder of this booklet, modern Babylon is identified as the power bloc of continental Europe, led by modern Assyria. This modern Babylonian system will, in turn, transport its captives into other countries as well.
Joel 3:1_3, 6 confirms this: "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink… Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their borders." The Bible clearly indicates that many of the Jews will be sold as slaves to modern Greece, who themselves will be aligned with a future United States of Europe.
Zechariah 10:6, 10 identifies other countries or regions where Jews will be held captive at the time of the return of Jesus Christ: "I will strengthen the house of Judah… I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the LORD their God, And I will hear them… I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt [where the Arabs live today], And gather them from Assyria [modern Germany and German-speaking nations]. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no more room is found for them."
Yes, terrible times are in store for the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. But why is God going to allow this to happen? Isaiah 3:8_9 explains: "For Jerusalem stumbled, And Judah is fallen, Because their tongue and their doings Are against the LORD, To provoke the eyes of His glory. The look on their countenance witnesses against them, And they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves." Notice in verse 7 that the time setting is "in that day." This is a reference to the "day of the LORD" just prior to Christ's return.
Amos 2:4_5 elaborates: "Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have despised the law of the LORD, And have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed. But I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem."
Let us state here, that although it does not give us any pleasure to say that these things are going to happen, we must be true to God's Word and cite those scriptures that clearly show the reality of these events. We cannot shrink from our responsibility to proclaim what God Himself says is going to happen. It is our hope that at least some of you reading this booklet will heed the warning, repent of your ways, and turn to God so that you can be spared.
God does not pull any punches! He voices very forcefully and directly that Jerusalem and the Jewish people will face disaster and calamity because they have sinned against Him and have refused to repent. Jesus Christ would later weep over Jerusalem, thinking of the evil that would come upon it because of their refusal to repent and to accept Him as their personal Savior. In fact, the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D., a forerunner of even worse tragedies that will strike Jerusalem in just a few years from now (compare Luke 13:34_35).
Do these prophecies conflict with Hosea 11:12 where we read, "… Judah still walks with God, Even with the Holy One who is faithful"? If modern Judah still walks with God, then why would God punish it? And why do other passages read that modern Judah has sinned against God and refuses to repent? Does the Bible contradict itself?
Actually, in this verse, there is a variance among translations. We quoted Hosea 11:12 from the New King James Bible, a translation that is reliable in the vast majority of cases. However, this particular scripture is not accurately translated in saying that Judah still walks with God because, according to many commentaries, the translators added a letter in the Hebrew that is NOT in the original. To clarify this, let's read how other translations render this passage:
The New International Version: "…and Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One."
The New American Bible: "Judah is still rebellious against God, against the Holy One who is faithful."
The Revised English Bible: "Judah is still restive under God, still loyal to the idols he counts holy."
So we see that Judah will be punished because of rebellion against God, and that His punishment on them is intended to bring about repentance and a return to Him. Even though terrible times await the Jewish people, Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God and what it entails, including a marvelous future for Judah and for all mankind. Jesus Christ WILL return, and when He does, HE will rescue Jerusalem from the Gentiles and call Judah to repentance.
Notice the prophecy in Isaiah 31:4_5: "For thus the LORD has spoken to me: As a lion roars, And a young lion over his prey… so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, So will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; Passing over He will preserve it."
The prophet Zechariah foresaw Christ's fight against the Gentiles in a vision given to us in Zechariah 14:3_4: "Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives."
When Jesus Christ was taken up to heaven from the Mount of Olives, two angels assured the disciples that Christ would come back "in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). He will, indeed, return to the Mount of Olives and He will then strike out against the Gentiles who fought against the city of Jerusalem and occupied it. Zechariah 14:12_13, 15 gives a very graphic description of their fate: "And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day That a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor's hand… such also shall be the plague On the horse and the mule; On the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be."
Additionally, Zechariah 14:11, 21 tells us in no uncertain terms: "The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited… Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts… In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts."
The Jewish people will come to repentance—they will mourn when they see the returning Christ and when they come to realize the truth about Him and about themselves, as foretold in Zechariah 12:10_11: "And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem…"
Returning to the book of Isaiah, let's note additional prophecies describing a glorious future for the nation of Judah, once they have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and King. We read in Isaiah 4:3_6: "And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the LORD has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain."
God's Word reveals that the Jewish people will be taken captive by a United Europe under the leadership of modern Assyria, and while in captivity, they will come to their senses and turn to their Savior. Notice what happens next: "Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion… For thus says the Lord GOD: My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, says the LORD, That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail, says the LORD, And My name is blasphemed continually every day. Therefore My people shall know my name; therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: Behold, it is I." (Isaiah 52:1_2, 4_6).
The Jewish people, as well as most professing Christians, do not realize that it is Jesus Christ Himself who is speaking these words. They do not understand that the God of the Old Testament was not God the Father, but was actually the One who later became a human being—Jesus Christ—born in the flesh of the virgin Mary. Christ came to reveal the Father (Matthew 11:27). The Jews of His time did not know the Father. Christ said that the Jews had never seen the Father's form, nor did they hear His voice (John 5:37; 6:46). But some DID hear God's voice and saw His form (Numbers 12:8); however, it was the voice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God—predominantly referred to in the Old Testament as "the Lord," meaning, "the Eternal." The time will come when Jews and Christians, as well as those who follow other religions, will come to understand who and what God really is.
Along with acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior comes blessings, prosperity, and peace. Note HOW blessed Jerusalem will be, once she accepts her God and begins to live in accordance with His words: "Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain" (Zechariah 8:3).
When reading this passage, we are reminded of the famous prophecy in Isaiah 2:2_4: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days, That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains [other major nations], And shall be exalted above the hills [smaller nations]; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law; And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore."
Imagine that! No more wars! The ENTIRE WORLD will live in REAL PEACE! Jesus Christ will return to this earth and will rule from Jerusalem, and ALL nations will want to learn from Christ how to live righteously. What a different world that will be! Wouldn't YOU like to be there?
Continuing with Zechariah 8:4: "Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age. The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets. Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, Will it also be marvelous in My eyes? Says the LORD of hosts. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east And from the land of the west [a reference to areas to which modern Babylon transported their captives]; I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness" (Zechariah 8:4_8).
Once they are in captivity, they will turn to God and begin to accept Christ as their personal Savior. They will become God's people in the true sense of the word, and God will become their God. We will see in a moment why they will turn to God, and how they will even know to whom they should turn.
Zechariah 8:13_15, 23 continues: "And it shall come to pass That just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah... So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong. For thus says the LORD of hosts: Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath, Says the LORD of hosts, And I would not relent, So again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear… Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."
Again, what will bring about this change in the people of Judah? What will convince them that Jesus Christ is, in fact, their promised Savior, just as He is for all mankind?
The Bible prophesies that the message of captivity and conversion of the Jewish people will be preached powerfully to them just prior to the return of Christ. Today most of the Jews—actually, most of the people in the world—do not want to hear this very critical, life-saving message. But when the events that were announced to them actually do take place, they will finally come to their senses and realize that the prophetic word of God had been in their midst.
What this means then, for the true Church of God, is that it needs to obey God by proclaiming what will truly and certainly come to pass. This message is to be boldly proclaimed by God's Church, and indeed, IS being proclaimed in this very booklet. We pray that those of you reading this will heed the warning and act accordingly.
Read and meditate on the following selected passages from God's Word that reveal this part of His commission for His end-time Church:
"Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: Blow the trumpet in the land; Cry, Gather together, And say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities… Take refuge! Do not delay! For I will bring disaster from the north [brought about by the king of the North], And great destruction. The lion has come up from his thicket, And the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place To make your land desolate. Your cities will be laid waste, without inhabitant…And it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD, That the heart of the king shall perish, And the heart of the princes; The priests shall be astonished, And the prophets shall wonder… O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?… Make mention to the nations, Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah… Because she has been rebellious against Me, says the LORD. Your ways and your doings have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness, Because it is bitter, Because it reaches to your heart" (Jeremiah 4:5_18)
In addition to this warning, the Church is also to proclaim Judah's peaceful and glorious future following her repentance and conversion: "Comfort, yes, comfort My people! Says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD'S hand Double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:1_2).
"How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news [the gospel], Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, Your God reigns! Your watchman shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; for they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion" (Isaiah 52:7_8).
"O Zion [Zion can refer to the actual city of Jerusalem but it can also refer to the Church of God], You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem [a reference here to spiritual Jerusalem—the Church of God; it can also be a reference to the fact that the word of God will go out from Jerusalem once Jesus Christ lives and rules from there (Isaiah 2:2_4)], You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God" (Isaiah 40:9).
"I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62:6_7).
YOU could be among those watchmen with us. YOU could have a part with those who are called by God to proclaim His message—the GOOD NEWS—to the Jewish people and to the world, warning them of their grim future and showing them that peace and prosperity await them after they repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ. The Bible predicts that this message WILL go out. It is your choice as to whether or not you want to have a part in proclaiming it with us.
Many falsely believe that the house of Israel and the Jewish people are one and the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Judah, from whom the Jewish people descended, was just one tribe of the descendants of Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel long ago (Genesis 35:2). In due time they separated from their Israelite brothers and, along with the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, formed the "house of Judah." The other tribes then became known as the "house of Israel." The "house of Israel" went into captivity first, never to return to the "Promised Land." Today, they are known as the "lost ten tribes." The "house of Judah" also went into captivity but did eventually return to Palestine. Many descendants of the house of Judah are living today in the state of Israel. In due time, as history and archeology reveal, the lost ten tribes of the house of Israel migrated to and settled in Europe and the British Isles. One tribe in particular, the descendants of Manasseh—the younger son of Joseph—migrated from there to the United States of America, where they still are today. The descendants of Ephraim—the older son of Joseph—can still be found in Great Britain and the Commonwealth Nations, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Bible contains many predictions about the future of the modern house of Israel (not to be confused with the Jews or the house of Judah). Israel refers to the modern house of Israel—especially the leading tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh—in many different ways, including "the remnant of Jacob." As we will see, the coming great and mighty economic power bloc in Europe, under the leadership of modern Assyria, will have a devastating influence, not only on the modern house of Judah, but also on the modern house of Israel.
We know that when this power bloc establishes itself on the world scene, the time will be short. Do we realize that this gigantic power bloc is already forming in front of our very eyes? During a recent ceremony in Aachen, celebrating the arrival of the new European currency, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi stated that the Euro is the beginning point for further European developments. He stressed that the need for Europe to react in a unified fashion toward crisis situations outside the European Union becomes more obvious day by day. It was also stated during the celebration that the Euro has become the symbol for the European vision, having done more to give stability to and confidence in the political unification of Europe than all of the previous European treaties combined.
At the beginning, the modern house of Israel will have a friendly relationship with this European power bloc. And, as we will see more closely in Part 3 of this booklet, they will even trade with them, including agricultural products and technological developments. Hosea 12:1 talks about an economic covenant that those two power blocs will enter into.
But will this friendly relationship last? No! Incredible as it may seem, the United States and Great Britain, as well as other Commonwealth nations, will be overthrown and enslaved by their former ally and friend—the United States of Europe, led by the modern Assyrians. Not only will Assyria be instrumental in fighting against and enslaving the modern house of Judah, they will—apparently at the same time—fight victoriously against and enslave the modern house of Israel. We will cover this in detail later in this booklet.
But first, let's take note of a remarkable prophecy in Micah 5:5_6 (Micah 5:7 shows that the people referred to here are identified as "the remnant of Jacob," and are, in fact, the modern house of Israel, particularly the United States and Great Britain.): "…When the Assyrian comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders."
Let's see how this compares to history. In 1940, modern Assyria, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, did attack Great Britain in World War II, but God gave victory to the British. Hitler was very reluctant to fight against Great Britain, as he considered the British people to be part of the master race. Nevertheless, he did assault England by air—known as the Blitz—from September 7 to November 13, 1940. Germany, however, was devastated, and most of its cities were destroyed by the end of the war.
God also protected the United States from the Assyrians at least twice more in modern history.
First, let's look at a remarkable revelation that has recently come to light. German Kaiser Wilhelm II had a plan to attack the United States about 100 years ago. He was going to attack New York and Boston with 100 ships and 100,000 soldiers. At that time, the United States only had 54 military ships. His ultimate goal was to establish and possess colonies in South America and in the Pacific, and to gain control over the Panama Canal. The plan, though 10 years in the making, was not carried out. Instead, Kaiser Wilhelm II led Germany into World War I in 1914.
In addition to Adolph Hitler's attack on Great Britain, he also declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. This was just two days after President Roosevelt announced that Germany was as guilty for attacking Pearl Harbor as was Japan. Hitler then ordered the destruction of all American ships, wherever they could be found.
Hitler lost this war, as he fought too many battles at the same time—Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and the United States. But we can realize how the plan of the Europeans—especially the modern Assyrians—to attack the United States had entered their minds. This same plan will be pursued again, and next time, it will be successful.
At the end of his life, Hitler made this remarkable prophetic observation: "With the defeat of the Reich and pending the emergence of the Asiatic, the African, and perhaps the South American nationalisms, there will remain in the world only two Great Powers capable of confronting each other—the United States and Soviet Russia. The laws of both history and geography will compel these two powers to a trial of strength, either military or in the fields of economics and ideology. These same laws make it inevitable that both powers should become enemies of Europe." (Klaus P. Fischer, Nazi Germany_A New History, 1995, pp. 563_564).
Micah 5:7_9 continues to describe the modern nations of the house of Israel, referred to as the "remnant of Jacob." They are pictured as being powerful, like a lion among other nations. They are wealthy and prosperous; and they are victorious in battle.
But as we read in verses 10_15 of Micah 5, things will start to change. Note how and why they will change: "And it shall be in that day [recall that this phrase is always a reference to the very last days, or the day of the LORD when God begins to actively intervene in human and political affairs], says the LORD, That I will cut off your horses from your midst And destroy your chariots. I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds. I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you shall have no soothsayers. Your carved images I will also cut off, And your sacred pillars from your midst; you shall no more worship the work of your hands; I will pluck your wooden images from your midst; Thus I will destroy your cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury On the nations that have not heard [or, "obeyed"]."
The term, "in anger and fury" is a reference to the wrath of God, described in vivid terms in the book of Revelation as a time when God's wrath is poured out on the last generation of man. God will begin His punishment with the modern house of Israel, "the nations that have not obeyed," such as the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And this time, these nations will be destroyed. God has prophesied it, and it WILL happen.
Jeremiah 30:3 sheds additional light on what is soon to happen. "For behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah, says the LORD. And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it."
We already know from Part 1 of this booklet that the modern house of Judah will go into captivity. Now we learn that the modern house of Israel will also be taken captive by a foreign power. We will see in a moment that it is, in fact, the same power that will enslave both the Jews and the modern house of Israel. But the prophet Jeremiah is inspired to tell us that it is God who will eventually free Israel and Judah out of captivity and they will return to the land that God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Historically, the house of Israel never returned to the Promised Land—only some of the Jews did. This, then, is still a prophecy for the future.
Jeremiah 30:6_7 goes on to make very clear exactly when those events—the modern warfare and captivity, and ultimate deliverance from slavery—will take place: "Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it."
As we already know, the phrase "that day is great" is a reference to the GREAT DAY OF THE LORD, a time that is still in the future. This "day" will be unique—no time will be like it. We are reminded that the same has been said about the great tribulation at the very end of this age. We see, then, that the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord both refer to the same general time period. Technically, the Great Tribulation lasts two-and-a-half years, followed by the day of the Lord that lasts for one year. The total time then is three-and-a-half years that the modern house of Israel will be punished and the Gentiles will tread Jerusalem underfoot.
This time is especially identified as the time of Jacob's trouble—referring to the modern house of Israel. We are told that God will save them OUT OF that terrible time—showing that they will have to first go through it!
Jeremiah 30:8 continues: "For it shall come to pass in that day [the time of God's intervention], Says the LORD of hosts, That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them."
At the time of God's intervention, "his yoke" will be broken from their neck, indicating that they were under a yoke of slavery at that time. We already know that the Jews will be under a yoke of slavery, enforced by modern Assyria, and that they will be freed by God at Christ's return. The terminology, "his yoke," strongly suggests that Assyria will have placed his yoke of slavery, not only on the house of Judah, but on the house of Israel as well.
God will free them from that yoke of slavery. Notice the next sentence: "FOREIGNERS shall NO MORE ENSLAVE them." So then, foreigners, or a foreign power, did enslave them, and they are still enslaved when God intervenes. Jeremiah 30:9 reveals when all of this will take place: "But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them." These events will take place at the time of the resurrection of the just, which will occur at the time of the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
Jeremiah 30:10 concludes: "Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob, says the LORD, Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity."
At the time of Christ's return and the resurrection of the just, Christ will save the SEED of Jacob, the end-time descendants of Jacob—the modern American and British peoples—from the land of their captivity. What land is that?
The answer is in Jeremiah 23:7_8: "Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that they shall no longer say, As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, but, As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them…"
God will bring back the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country [where the king of the North came from], and from all the countries where He drove them—where God permitted the foreign power to take them. They will be enslaved in a country north of Jerusalem—a particular country somewhere in Europe. They will also be driven, or taken, into other countries who will hold them captive. Note that the Assyrians especially, both in ancient and modern times, transported their captives from their own country to other countries.
Those who claim that such terrible things as captivity and slavery of entire nations could not possibly happen in our sophisticated 21st century, forget that these kinds of actions did happen less than a generation ago.
Listen to these remarkable quotes from Fisher's book on Nazi Germany, pp. 498, 486, 487, 488: "(p.498) Most of these grandiose plans [to conquer and enslave occupied peoples] reflect the Assyrian nature of German policy toward conquered peoples… (p. 486) Heinrich Himmler … declared that `whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only insofar as we need them for slaves for our Kultur…' (p.487) By the end of 1941 almost four million foreigners worked in Germany, most of them Poles… [F]oreigners [were rounded up] in town squares, churches, cinemas, or other places where people congregated in great numbers and ship[ped]… back to Germany in freight cars…. As to workers from eastern Europe, the German conquerors treated them essentially like slaves… (p. 488) The rest were either incarcerated in concentration camps, sent to the Reich as slave laborers, or simply allowed to starve to death. Of at least five and half million Soviet prisoners of war, half died."
Jeremiah 23:8 concludes their ultimate return: "…And they shall dwell in their own land." After the house of Israel was taken captive by the ancient Assyrians, they never returned to the Promised Land. So again, this is still to take place in the future.
Some argue that the Bible does not really mean to convey that modern Israel and Judah will literally be enslaved. Is that true? We saw that a "yoke" will be placed on the modern house of Israel, as well as on the modern Jews (cp. Isaiah 14:25 and 52:2).
What exactly is meant by the word, "yoke," and who enforces it on the modern house of Israel? Let's look at the biblical definition of the word "yoke."
We'll begin by noting a prophecy in Isaiah 47:1: "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate."
The prophecy is directed at the "virgin daughter of Babylon," not ancient Babylon, but a daughter—a descendant. "Babylon" here refers to a modern European system—an economic, political, military, and religious power soon to arise on the world scene.
Note Isaiah 47:6: "I was angry with My people: I have profaned My inheritance, And given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily."
The "yoke" here describes literal slavery. Modern Babylon will put her yoke of slavery VERY HEAVILY on the houses of Israel and Judah—much more so than had been intended by God.
And so, we read in Isaiah 47:9, 11: "But these two things shall come to you [modern Babylon] In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments… Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know. "
This passage tells us that modern Babylon's destruction will happen very suddenly—"in a moment, in one day." The book of Revelation describes the downfall of modern Babylon in great detail, which we will discuss in Part 3 of this booklet. Suffice it to say here that Revelation 18:8 & 10 also explains that "her plagues will come in one day" and that "in one hour your judgment has come." Since Babylon did not show mercy when placing the yoke of slavery on the neck of the peoples of Israel and Judah, neither will she receive mercy from God, and she will be destroyed very quickly.
We find another reference to the house of Israel's yoke of end-time slavery in Deuteronomy 28:47_51: "Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you [Again, we see that the term "yoke" refers to literal slavery.]. The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you."
"The Assyrian nature of the German peoples," as Klaus Fischer put it, revealed itself during World War II as well, when considering how conquered nations were treated by their conquerors. Note this quote from Hermann Göring (quoted by Klaus Fischer, Nazi Germany, p. 486): "`In the old days, the rule was plunder. Now, outward forms have become more humane. Nevertheless I intend to plunder, and plunder copiously.'"
Hitler himself declared: "`Our guiding principle must be that these people have but one justification for existence—to be of use to us economically. We must concentrate on extracting from these territories everything that is possible to extract.'" (Fischer, ibid.)
Deuteronomy 28:68 predicts: "And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you."
The modern nations of the houses of Israel and Judah will go back by ships to "Egypt"—a symbol for slavery. It does not say here that all will go back to the land of Egypt. We will see the reason for the omission of the word "land" very soon.
We note, as a forerunner of what will happen on a much greater scale, the following example of what already occurred in World War II in Hungary (Klaus Fischer, Nazi Germany, p. 511): "The Nazis also halfheartedly experimented with a new technique—selling Jews to the Western world, a plan, unfortunately, that, as a result of Nazi duplicity and the indifference and bureaucratic obstructionism of Western governments, never really worked."
As predicted in Deuteronomy 28:68, captives from the houses of Israel and Judah will be offered for sale, but "no one will buy" them.
The prophet Ezekiel clearly predicts, as well, that the modern house of Israel—the United States and Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth nations—will be defeated in a coming war with a modern enemycontinental Europe. This will be a unique time in the history of man—a time of calamities and terrible atrocities that have never happened before, and which will never happen again (cp. Ezekiel 5:9). It will be a time of GREAT TRIBULATION!
In Ezekiel 6:1_2 God tells Ezekiel to speak to "the mountains of Israel." Then in verse 6 God says: "In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate..." This has not happened yet! Never, in the history of ancient Israel, were their cities laid waste in all their dwelling places. In fact, when the Assyrians conquered Samaria, they saw to it that the cities were not laid waste, but inhabited.
Continuing with Ezekiel 6:7: "The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD." Modern America, Britain, Canada and Australia don't really know God, nor do they know that God is against them. But they will come to realize that God forsakes us when we forsake Him. They will ONLY learn this lesson, however, when God leads them into the Great Tribulation and the day of the LORD, ultimately saving them out of it when Jesus Christ returns to this earth. If Jesus were not to return as He said He would, not even one person would survive (Matthew 24:21_22).
God has not left the modern house of Israel without warning. He told them in His own words thousands of years ago that He would first bring natural disasters on their lands—disasters such as extended periods of drought and resulting famines. We are already experiencing unprecedented droughts and insect plagues in Canada and large parts of the United States. These droughts are warnings to wake the nations up, and to announce to them at the same time, that worse things will happen if they don't repent of their sins.
God tells the modern house of Israel in Amos 4:7_9: "I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered. So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me, Says the LORD. I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me, Says the LORD." Read the next two verses and you will see that God next pronounces WAR and TOTAL DEVASTATION.
A similar warning can be found in Deuteronomy 28:23_24, 38_39 & 42: "And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed… You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them… Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land."
Droughts are not to be taken lightly. God has used droughts before to try to awaken sinning people and to teach them lessons (compare Haggai 1:11), and He will do so again (compare Zechariah 14:17; Revelation 11:6). He is doing it right now. Can we see it?
Ezekiel 6:8_10 makes it very clear what will happen next to the modern house of Israel if they don't wake up: "Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them." These are warnings from God Himself! Are we listening?
Ezekiel 39:21_29 confirms that God will ultimately free Israel from their captivity—once they repent—and that He will bring them back into the land that was promised to their fathers: "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 know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword…. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: `Now I will bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name—after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, 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, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 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."
God drove them into slavery, and God will bring them back out of slavery at the time He pours out His Spirit over them. This has not happened yet—this is still in the future.
Like Ezekiel, the prophet Jeremiah also has much to say regarding the destiny of the modern house of Israel. Let's turn to a few passages, proving without a doubt, that disaster is decreed for the modern nations of the house of Israel, as well as a glorious future, unparalleled in the history of any nation.
Jeremiah 30:18_24 states: "Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents, And have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound [or, ruins], And the palace shall remain according to its own plan. Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving And the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as before, And their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them… You shall be My people, And I will be your God… In the latter days you will consider it."
This is a prophecy for the future—for the latter days—when the modern house of Israel repents of their sins and are freed from slavery by God Almighty Himself.
Now notice the continuation in Jeremiah 31:1_9: "At the same time [that is, in the latter days], says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel [including the Jews, as they are also descendants of Jacob], and they shall be My people. Thus says the LORD: The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness—Israel, when I went to give him rest…For thus says the LORD: Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel [this is not talking about ancient Israel, but a remnant in modern times after their defeat in war]! Behold, I will bring them from the north country [where they had been held captive], And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. They shall come with weeping… For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim [Great Britain, Canada, and the other Commonwealth nations] is My firstborn."
Jeremiah 32:37_40 continues: "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath [speaking about the wrath of God at the very end of this age]; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant [the New Covenant] with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me."
What this passage clearly tells us is that God will free the enslaved modern Israelites out of captivity and that He will, at the same time, give them His Holy Spirit—a prerequisite for entering into the New Covenant. Again, we see that literal captivity and slavery are prophesied for the modern house of Israel. And not only for the house of Israel, but the house of Judah (the Jews, the Benjaminites and the Levites) will also go into captivity—apparently at the same time—and both houses will be freed by God when Christ returns.
Notice this again in Jeremiah 33:7_9: "And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return [note that the house of Israel, when they were enslaved in ancient times by the Assyrians, never returned to the Promised Land], and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then… they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it."
The captives of Israel and the captives of Judah will return together and God will forgive their sins. This has NEVER happened before in the history of these two houses.
Again, Jeremiah 46:27_28 confirms that God will free the modern house of Israel from captivity: "But do not fear, O My servant Jacob, And do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, And your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; No one shall make him afraid. Do not fear, O Jacob My servant, says the LORD, For I am with you; For I will make a complete end of all the nations To which I have driven you, But I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, For I will not leave you wholly unpunished."
God promises to save Jacob's offspring, that is, the modern descendants of Jacob—the house of Israel—from the land of their captivity. Is all this talk about captivity and enslavement for real?
Some argue that God does not predict a literal captivity of the house of Israel, but that He is only pointing out that the house of Israel will live "in exile" prior to the return of Christ—in other words, that they will not have possessed the Promised Land. However, the Bible very clearly predicts a literal captivity. For example, in the above-quoted passage in Jeremiah 46:27, the word for "captivity" is "shebi" and can only mean, "captivity" or "captive." [The words that can also mean "exile," depending on the circumstances, are "golah," or "galuth."]
Some have raised the objection that the Bible only predicts a "spiritual" captivity for the house of Israel, since all of mankind is held spiritually captive by sin and by Satan the devil, the "god" of this world and the prince of the power of the air. Although it is true that we are presently "captives" of Satan and sin, unless God frees us through His Holy Spirit, the Scriptures speaking about captivity of the modern houses of Israel and Judah do not refer to such a "spiritual captivity." Let's look at the biblical perspective of this issue.
First of all, we have already established from many scriptures that modern Judah will clearly go into a literal captivity. Note that in many cases, God names the houses of Israel and Judah together when describing their captivity, not making any distinction between a literal captivity of the house of Judah and a spiritual captivity of the house of Israel. In addition, the Scriptures differentiate between the "captivity" of the houses of Israel and Judah and the "freedom" of other unconverted Gentile nations—an odd distinction, indeed, if the captivity of Israel and Judah were to describe only a spiritual captivity of Satan and sin. Clearly, such captivity would apply to every modern nation.
Jeremiah 50:4_5 repeats and confirms what we just read: "In those days and in that time, says the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; With continual weeping [showing their heart-rending repentance] they shall come and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [i.e., the New Covenant] That will not be forgotten."
Both the modern house of Israel and the modern house of Judah will come together in a repentant attitude, to enter into the New Covenant with God. Obviously, this is a future prophecy, as this has not happened yet.
From what region will they come? Jeremiah 50:8 explains: "Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be like the rams before the flocks." This is not talking about ancient Babylon and the ancient Chaldeans, but a modern political and military system that is arising in Europe right now, as will be explained in much more detail in Part 3 of this booklet. The captives of Israel and Judah will be freed from the slavery of modern Babylon at the return of Christ. Jeremiah 3:18 also clearly shows that the prophecy is still awaiting future fulfillment: "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers." Both houses will return together out of their land of captivity "in the north."
Jeremiah 50:33_34 summarizes these future events this way: "Thus says the LORD of hosts: The children of Israel were oppressed, Along with the children of Judah; All who took them captive have held them fast; They have refused to let them go. [This cannot possibly be talking about a spiritual captivity of sin.] Their Redeemer is strong; The LORD of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case, that He may give rest to the land, And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon."
The captors—the modern Babylonian system—will have enslaved both Israel and Judah and will not want to let them go. In ancient times, the Babylonians took only the house of Judah captive; the house of Israel had already been taken captive some time earlier by the Assyrians. It is God Himself who will free both the house of Israel and the house of Judah from their literal captivity when He returns to this earth.
As if this were not proof enough that God predicts a literal captivity of the modern house of Israel in a future war prior to the return of Jesus Christ, we'll look at what God spoke through another Old Testament prophet, Amos.
Amos addresses the actual time of the "day of the LORD" in Amos 5:18_20. In verse 25 it shows that he is talking to the "house of Israel." And in verse 27 he makes it very clear what will happen to the modern Israelites during the soon-coming time of the "day of the LORD": "Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus, Says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts."
God repeats His warning to the modern house of Israel—especially the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh—in Amos 6:3_7: "Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, Who cause the seat of violence to come near; Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your couches, Eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall; Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David [As an aside, is it mere coincidence that our "modern music" played with electric guitars was invented in, and then popularized from Ephraim and Manasseh—Great Britain and the United States?]; Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed."
In the ninth chapter of Amos God again confirms that HE will send the modern house of Israel into captivity, and that HE will ultimately free them when Christ returns and they repent of their sins. Listen to these encouraging words: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them, Says the LORD your God" (Amos 9:13_15).
This is another clear prophecy for the future. Up until now the house of Israel has NOT returned to the land that was promised to their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But they will return out of a literal slavery when Christ comes back to this earth.
There is yet another witness in the pages of the Old Testament who predicts the end-time fate of modern Ephraim and Manasseh—the prophet Hosea. He proclaims in Hosea 9:3, "They [the tribes of Israel, cp. verse 1] shall not dwell in the LORD's land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, And shall eat unclean things in Assyria."
As we know from what we've read so far, both of the modern nations of Israel and Judah will go into captivity. The land of slavery for the house of Israel, especially Ephraim, is mainly modern Assyria. There, they will eat unclean things. The house of Israel will also go back to "Egypt," as we read here, but not to the land of Egypt. Notice Hosea 11:3, 5: "I taught Ephraim to walk… He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent."
Egypt, then, is a symbol for slavery. The captives will return to Egypt, that is, into slavery, but notice that it doesn't say they will return to the "land" of Egypt. Rather, they will be enslaved by Assyria, under "King Jareb."
When Christ returns to free them, notice where they will come from. "They [the reference is still to the people of Ephraim] shall walk after the LORD. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west [In the Hebrew, there is no term for "northwest." Therefore, some passages talk about the land of captivity as being west of Jerusalem, while most other passages designate it as being north of Jerusalem. Taking all of these passages together, the reference is to a country "northwest" of Jerusalem. Germany is situated northwest of Jerusalem.]; They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt [again note, it does not say the land of Egypt], Like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses, Says the LORD" (Hosea 11:10_11).
Now let's return to the book of Isaiah and read a few more prophecies about the future of the houses of Israel and Judah. Isaiah predicts a time of trial, followed by a time of great prosperity and peace.
Isaiah 11:11_12 points out, "It shall come to pass in that day [the time of Christ's intervention] That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar [Babylon], From Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth."
We are all familiar with how God freed the Jews from Babylon and allowed them to return to the Promised Land. The house of Israel, though, never returned. When Christ comes back to this earth, He will set His hand not only to free Judah the second time, but also modern Israel, as well, from captivity. This has not yet happened.
Notice how Isaiah 11:16 emphasizes where most of the captives will be held: "There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria, As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt."
Isaiah 27:13 says that, at the time of Christ's return, the house of Israel will be enslaved in the land of Assyria, while the Jews will be enslaved in the land of Egypt: "So it shall be in that day [the day of Christ's return and His intervention]: The great trumpet will be blown; They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria [the house of Israel], And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt [the house of Judah], And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."
Could it REALLY happen?
Looking at the present day, some may say that Europe could NEVER attack and successfully conquer Great Britain and the United States. They forget, however, that there have already been plans to do so, and the ONLY reason that it did not happen at the time was because God did not let it happen. Many times, God intervened by sending bad weather to prevent German attacks on British or American troops. Once God withdraws His protection, these things WILL occur as prophesied.
In the last Great War, Hitler did not succeed in his attacks against Britain and the United States because he was entangled in warfare in Europe and Africa, and also against Russia. The next time, Europe will be united and will not have to worry about fighting against Russia, China, and the other powerful nations in the Far East. THAT war will come later, AFTER modern Europe—with their Arab allies—successfully overtakes the United States and Britain. It is most important to understand, though, that in this overthrow God will cease from protecting the house of Israel and He will allow Satan to carry out his plan of destruction.
Additionally, the Bible predicts that the peoples will be astonished when they see the ancient Roman Empire forming again as a very influential European power bloc. When Hitler's Third Reich disappeared from the world scene, most thought that Germany would never rise again. Klaus Fischer writes in Nazi Germany on page 560: "Yet, having entrusted their future to a criminal leadership, they had no choice, certainly not after July 20, 1944, except to follow their leaders into the abyss."
Europe will not stay in the "abyss." It will awaken one more time. The European system, referred to as the "Beast" in the book of Revelation, will come out of the abyss for a tenth and final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire to create havoc on this earth. All nations will be astonished when it shows its ugly head one more time.
God says that He will use Asiatic hordes, or armies, to punish and destroy the United States of Europe—modern Babylon. We find a reference to the eastern powers in Daniel 11:44; in Revelation 9:13 (at the time of the sixth trumpet); and in Revelation 16:12. We will describe these battles in more detail in Part 3 of this booklet, but for now, notice carefully that these battles will take place between the kings of the East and the Beast of Europe. These battles do not involve the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, because by that time, those nations will have been enslaved by Europe.
When Christ returns He will free both Israel and Judah from captivity and bring them back—for the first time since the fall of ancient Samaria and Jerusalem—to the Promised Land. Once they have returned to the Promised Land and live in safety, powers from the east will lunge a surprise attack on them. This attack is described in detail in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and, as we will see, this attack takes place AFTER Christ's return. Rightly understood, these prophecies also prove that the modern houses of Israel and Judah will go into a literal captivity prior to Christ's return, and that Christ will free them at the time of His return.
Notice Ezekiel 38:8: "After many days you [a Eurasian prince, called "Gog of the land of Magog," who is commanding a vast army of eastern peoples] will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely."
This Eurasian army will come against Israel in the latter years. Verse 16 says in the latter days. The phrase "latter days" CAN refer to the time after Christ's return, as it does here, but it is always a prophetic term for the future—beginning with the time just prior to Christ's return—it does not refer to events in the ancient past.
At this time, then, the Israelites will have been gathered from many peoples—they will have been brought out of slavery. They will be dwelling safely, implying that they did not dwell safely before. At no time prior to Christ's returnat least not since the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2002—could this be true for the United States of America.
Verse 11 of Ezekial 38 continues: "You [the prince of Gog] will say, I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates…"
The nations of Israel will be living peacefully at that time without walls, having neither bars nor gates. This cannot possibly be a description of the U.S.A. today, where crimes and murders run rampant—at least in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. Our cities may be without walls, but we certainly do not live safely, nor in peace.
Then verse 12 says: "…to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land." The places where Israel will dwell had formerly become as wasteland and uninhabited due to the destruction of the Beast power.
Verse 21 continues: "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains, says the LORD God. Every man's sword will be against his brother." Note that modern Israel will not fight. Rather, the armies of Gog and Magog will fight each other.
Verse 22 tells us: "And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."
It is God who will supernaturally intervene and destroy this army. Another picture of fire and brimstone is painted, reminding us of the lake of fire and brimstone into which the beast—the military leader of Europe—will be thrown at the beginning of the Millennium. A similar fate awaits Gog and his cohorts because they operate with the same evil mindset.
Ezekiel 39:3 continues: "Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand [the hand of prince Gog], and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand."
Notice the kinds of weapons described here: These are bows and arrows—weapons of wood. These can be easily made after God destroys the sophisticated weapons of war at the time of Christ's return. It is true that sometimes terms like "bows" or "arrows" can be a figurative reference to sophisticated modern weapons such as guns or nuclear missiles, but this is not the case here.
Verses 9_10 tell us: "Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them, says the LORD God."
These weapons are not missiles or atomic bombs. Rather, they can be easily burned and used for firewood. One would certainly not try to burn nuclear missiles to use them for firewood. But these weapons of wood will be burned for firewood, it says, for seven years.
A similar event will happen again at the end of the Millennium, as described in Revelation 20:7_10, when Satan is released from prison and deceives "Gog" and "Magog." God will destroy these attacking armies by throwing down fire from heaven and devouring them. Notice, though, that in the episode in Ezekiel 38, it was not Satan who influenced Gog and his army. Satan will be in prison at that time. Rather, we read in Ezekiel 38:10 that thoughts will arise in Gog's mind and that he will make an evil plan. Man can do wrong things without Satan's influence.
We saw that the Church of God has been given a commission from God to proclaim in advance to the modern house of Judah, what the Bible predicts is going to happen to them. Likewise, the Church of God has also received a commission to tell the modern nations of the house of Israel what awaits them—in the hope that at least some will listen and repent before it is too late.
Notice God's word to His end-time Church in Amos 3:13_14: "Hear and testify against the house of Jacob, Says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts, that in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel… [modern Israel's false religious worship ceremonies]."
The Bible tells us that the Church will, indeed, accomplish its commission. Notice in Hosea 5:9: "Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure."
Hosea 7:11_12 adds: "Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria. Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them [to capture them, to make them captives]; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them According to what their congregation has heard."
In Hosea 8:1_4, God again gives His Church a very specific commission as to what to include in its preaching to the house of Israel: "Set the trumpet to your mouth! [What follows is the warning message, to be proclaimed like a trumpet to the house of Israel (compare Ezekiel 33:1_20)]. He shall come like an eagle [remember that the symbol of Assyria—ancient and modern—is the eagle] against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law. Israel will cry to Me, My God, we know You! Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him. They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them."
God's commission to His Church to warn modern Israel and Judah, along with the rest of the world, while, at the same time, proclaiming the wonderful news of the coming Kingdom of God and how we can enter into it, is an on-going commission. We don't read anywhere that the assigned task of the Church ends prior to the return of Christ.
Quite to the contrary! Note Christ's words to His disciples in Matthew 28:19_20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Most people who hear the message will not accept it. Their reaction will be one of hate and rejection, and even persecution. Christ told us very clearly: "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake [all will hate you when the gospel is preached in all the world, to all nations]. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes" (Matthew 10:22_23).
Even when we are being persecuted, we must not stop preaching God's word and warning the people. Luke 21:12_13 prophecies: "But before all these things [the increase of great earthquakes in various places, famines and pestilences, and frightful sights and great signs from heaven, verse 11], they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony."
Remember that Paul was brought before kings after preaching the gospel. Why? Simply BECAUSE OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL! He was accused of having turned the whole world upside down because of his preaching. He was HATED by many because of his preaching. So also will be God's Church and those who follow the commission, as the apostle Paul did, to proclaim God's word in all the world as a witness, or testimony.
Again, we have a choice. God wants us to BOLDLY PROCLAIM His warning message to the modern house of Israel, as well as to the rest of the world, in the hope that some will listen and change their ways. How about you?
The Bible contains a series of remarkable prophecies regarding the end-time religious, economic, and military system we have been discussing throughout this booklet, and which is forming right now in continental Europe. This system, as we already know, is referred to in the book of Revelation as "Babylon" and is also sometimes called "the Beast." [Note that the term "Beast" can refer to the entire system, as well as to the end-time political leader ruling over this system.] The Bible also symbolically refers to this system as "Tyre." Some of the prophecies that include the entire system, as well as the end-time leadership of that system—both on a human and a spiritual level—can be found in chapters 27 and 28 of the book of Ezekiel. We'll take a look at Chapter 26 of Ezekiel first to set the stage in regard to the ancient city of Tyre—the historical forerunner of the end-time system.
God says in Ezekiel 26:2_3, "Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, `Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.' Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up."
The ancient city of Tyre was a famous port city of the Phoenicians. It is called "Sor" in Hebrew, and "Sur" in the Arabic language; it means "rock" in both languages. It was already an important Phoenician city in the 15th century B.C; Joshua 19:29 refers to it as "the fortified city of Tyre." It is mentioned again during the time of David as "the stronghold [or fortress] of Tyre" (2 Samuel 24:7).
Tyre was a dual city—part of the city lay on the coast and part was situated offshore on islands of rock. We read in verse 3 that many nations would come up against Tyre, just as the sea causes its waves to come up—one after the other. In verses 4 and 5, notice that many nations, not just one, would destroy the walls of Tyre. Verse 4 emphasizes specifically that "they" shall destroy the walls.
Verses 7_11 explain in detail how the first conqueror of Tyre to bring about its desolation would be Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. Verse 12, however, uses the plural, stating that "they [more than one nation or emperor] will plunder your riches… and lay your… soil in the midst of the water." Historically, Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy the part of Tyre that was offshore. He only destroyed "Old Tyre," the part on the coast, about 609B.C. The Persians allowed that destroyed part of Tyre to be rebuilt exactly 70 years after its partial destruction.
Later, Alexander destroyed both Old Tyre and New Tyre (on the island). At that time, many people from Tyre fled over the sea to Carthage in North Africa. That city had been established by the Phoenicians as a trading post in the 9th century B.C. Later, many people from ancient Tyre fled to Tarshish in Spain. Others settled in Italy—especially the Chaldeans and the Phoenicians—where they founded Venice.
But parts of Tyre were subsequently resettled. Tyre had again become a thriving port by the time Jesus was here on the earth (Mark 7:24_31). It was here where Christ healed the young woman whose mother said that even the dogs eat crumbs from the table of their masters (Matthew 15:21_28). Also, Tyre is mentioned in Acts 12:20_21, where king Herod died, being eaten up by worms because he did not give God glory.
In time, other nations came to attack and plunder Tyre, including the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, and the Mamelukes. (The Mamelukes were originally purchased slaves who converted to Islam. They advanced to high military posts in Egypt. From them came the Turks, the Mongols and the Circassians. Today, they can be found in Nubia, in North East Africa). Some of the inhabitants of Tyre migrated to Italy, where they settled in Rome. The name "Tyrrhenian Sea"—one of the seas or oceans surrounding Italy—has derived its name from the inhabitants of Tyre who settled in Italy.
Today, Tyre is still a minor port and inhabited by Islamic Arabs who fled Palestine when the state of Israel was formed, and who settled in southern Lebanon.
In Ezekiel 26:13_14 God states, "I will put an end to the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps shall be heard no more. I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, says the Lord GOD."
This prophecy is still to be fulfilled, even for the ancient city of Tyre. Notice what God Himself says, "I will put an end to the sound of your songs…I will make you like the top of a rock…" Verses 19_21 give further details as to what exactly God did to the ancient city of Tyre and what He will do to the modern city of Tyre.
The focus then changes in the 27th chapter of the book of Ezekiel. Notice that it no longer describes the ancient city of Tyre. Rather, it speaks about a powerful, modern economic system that is comparable to the wealth and prosperity of ancient Tyre. Just as the Bible uses "Babylon" to refer to an ancient city, as well as to a modern city, the Bible also uses "Tyre" in similar ways. Modern "Tyre" in Ezekiel 27:1_9 is described as a great merchant ship—a symbol of its importance as an economic power. This refers to the modern European system—still in the future—and is, in fact, the last resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire.
This system is also described as a military power in Ezekiel 27:10_11. Beginning with verse 12, Ezekiel returns to his description of the system of modern Tyre as a wealthy economic power. This switch from an economic to a military power, and then back to an economic power, MIGHT suggest that the real economic wealth and prosperity that originally existed to an extent, is going to be heavily increased by military actions and not by peaceful means.
Notice how this European economic system is described in Ezekiel 27:12_13, and note also, the areas and countries—as identified by archeology and history—with whom this system will trade. "Tarshish [city in Spain—symbolic of the economic power of Spain] was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods. Javan [Greece, perhaps Japan], Tubal and Meshesh [nations or peoples originally between the Black and the Caspian Sea, which could be a reference to the Russian cities of Tobolsk and Moskow] were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise." Yes, even human lives—slaves—will be traded within this system.
Continuing with verses 14_16: "Those from the house of Togarmah [Siberia, some have felt, this might be a reference to Armenia] traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules. The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment [or "forced tribute," suggesting occupation and enslavement]. Syria was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made. They gave you for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies."
Now notice in verse 17 who else will have—to an extent—an economic relationship and trade arrangements with this European system, at least at the beginning: "Judah and the land of Israel [wherever the house of Israel is today—including the British Isles, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia] were your traders. They traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm." The modern houses of Israel and Judah will export wheat, millet and other grains and goods, as well as medical supplies—symbolized by the word "balm"—to the European economic system.
Ezekiel 27:18_23 reveals the other nations that will be trading with this European system. The tribe of Dan [modern Ireland] is specifically mentioned in verse 19, with its main trade of cane or sugar. The Arabs are identified in verses 20 and 21. Verse 23 mentions "Assur and Chilmad." Some translations have here "Assur and all the Medes."
Notice that verses 25 and 26 refer to the fact that the modern European system is somehow situated "in the midst of the seas."
But something is going to happen to this system. It will be destroyed in one day, through the "east wind," as we read in verses 26 and 27: "…But the east wind broke you in the midst of the seas… Your mariners and pilots… All your men of war who are in you, And the entire company which is in your midst, Will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin."
Read the entire prophecy of modern Tyre's downfall and destruction in Ezekiel 27:28_36, and see the correlation to an almost identical description of the fall of this military/economic system—referred to as modern "Babylon"—in Revelation 18:9_21. In Scripture this system is sometimes called the "daughter of Babylon," which identifies both its origins and the future time of its ultimate destruction (Jeremiah 50:42; 51:33).
In order to bring about the destruction of this modern military and economic system, God will use powers of the East and the North (Daniel 11:44), mainly the "Medes," to attack modern Babylon or Tyre—the European power bloc.
Notice the following passages by the prophet Jeremiah that identify modern Europe's foe with great clarity: "Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The LORD has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against [modern] Babylon to destroy it, Because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for His temple… Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes, Its governors and all its rulers, All the land of his dominion. And the land will tremble and sorrow; For every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant" (Jeremiah 51:11; 51:28_29).
Notice, too, the following prophecies in the book of Isaiah: "The burden against Babylon… Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it… A distressing vision is declared to me; The treacherous dealer deals treacherously, And the plunderer plunders. Go up, O Elam! Besiege, O Media! All its sighing I have made to cease… And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen. Then he… said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" [showing that it would fall twice_in ancient times, and, as the book of Revelation predicts, at the time of Christ's return] (Isaiah 13:1, 17; 21:2, 9).
Who were the ancient Medes and who are they today? In ancient times, the Medes lived in present-day Iran. Originally, under Assyrian rule, they revolted against and expelled the Assyrians and imposed their rule over the Persians. They then attacked Niniveh and overthrew the Assyrian Empire. Under Cyrus the Great, the Medes and the Persians were considered as one people. The Encyclopedia Britannica (ed.1959) points out that at least some of the Medes were not Iranians or Indo-Europeans, but perhaps connected with the numerous tribes of the Caucasus. The modern Medes, then, are to be found in modern Russia and surrounding areas.
Ultimately, God Himself will destroy modern Babel, or Tyre, at the time of Christ's return. And at that time, He will also directly destroy the modest remains of the ancient city of Tyre.
In the 28th chapter of Ezekiel, we find a description of a leader of Tyre, primarily a modern leader of the modern European system—not the ancient leader of the ancient city of Tyre. This modern leader is referred to as the "PRINCE of Tyre."
Ezekiel 28:2 identifies this modern leader—someone who will become known on the world scene very soon—as follows: "Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: Because your heart is lifted up, And you say, I am a god [or, I am God], I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas, Yet you are a man, and not a god [or, not God], Though you set your heart as the heart of a god [or, Though you make your heart as the heart of God]…"
This man speaks like the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3_4. This personage, also referred to as the "false prophet" in other passages, claims that he is sitting "as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Ezekiel 28:2 describes, then, the religious leadership over the European system of modern "Tyre." [Compare with Revelation 17:3, picturing the religious system as a "woman" sitting on the "beast."] The religious leader originally sits "in the midst of the seas." Italy, with its capital of Rome, is located between, and surrounded by numerous seas or oceans—the Ligurian Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Ionian Sea, and the Adriatic Sea.
But, as other Scriptures reveal, this religious leader—together with the military leader or the "Beast"—will move its capital to the city of Jerusalem. By that time, it seems, the Jews will have built a third temple—maybe on the Temple Mount—where they will bring sacrifices, but the European system will take away those daily sacrifices (Daniel 8:11_14; 11:31; Matthew 24:15_22), perhaps in order to pacify the Arab nations.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 also strongly suggests that the false prophet will sit in that very temple, claiming to be God Himself. The Greek word for "temple" is "naos" and means "inner sanctuary." Although this word can apply to a spiritual temple (Christ spoke of the temple, "naos," of His body in John 2:21), this word can also apply to a literal temple. Revelation 11:1_2 shows that the "temple of God" is to be measured. Yet the court outside the "temple" was not be be measured because it had been given to the Gentiles, who will tread the holy city underfoot for 3½ years (compare Luke 21:24). So it appears that the false prophet will be sitting in a literal temple in Jerusalem at that time.
Ezekiel 28:4 describes this religious power as being very rich, prosperous and wealthy. Verse 7 predicts that strangers will come against it and against the religious leader himself: "And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, And defile your splendor." Those foes are identified as "the most terrible of the nations" or "the most violent nations." Verse 7 describes the fate of the religious leader, as well as the religious system he represents and rules over. But who are those strangers—the "most terrible of the nations"?
Notice this interesting passage in Ezekiel 7:24: "Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles [against the land of Israel, verse 2], And they will possess their houses."
Who are the "worst of the Gentiles" to attack Israel? We know that the European army will attack and enslave the modern nations of Israel and Judah. We must, therefore, conclude that the "worst of the Gentiles" will, indeed, be the European army that destroys the European religious system.
Confirmation that the term "worst of the Gentiles" or "most terrible of the nations" does, in fact, refer to the armies of Europe under the leadership of modern Assyria, can be found in Ezekiel 30:10_11. There, the term "the most terrible of the nations" applies to the ancient Babylonians in their fight against Egypt. Both Ezekiel 31:12 and 32:12 use the same term, also applying them to the ancient Babylonians. In the same way, the Bible applies this term to the modern Babylonians—the modern European system.
Is there additional biblical support for the conclusion that the modern Babylonians—the European army—will attack the European religious system? Indeed, there is. Revelation 17:16_17 reveals: "And the ten horns [ten final political leaders in continental Europe] which you saw on the beast [the resurrected ancient Roman system], these will hate the harlot [a religious power called "Babylon the Great" (verse 5), but also a city (verse 18) sitting on seven mountains or hills (verse 9)], make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast [both a system, as well as a political leader over the system], until the words of God are fulfilled."
We are told in this passage that the military power will ultimately destroy the religious power and confiscate her riches and burn her up, that is, extinguish her existence.
How and why could it happen that the political and military system of Europe will turn on and actually destroy the religious system of Europe? Does this not contradict the thought that Jesus Christ Himself will throw both the religious leader of that system and the military leader alive into the lake of fire that will burn outside of Jerusalem?
Remember from Revelation 17:16 that the ten horns, or military leaders of the political system under the "Beast," will hate the woman—the religious system, as well as the city of Rome—and make her naked and desolate and eat her flesh. One possibility for their conduct is that they might feel betrayed by the woman, as she had been promising them peace on earth and invulnerability. When they see, instead, that they themselves are going to be overrun by Asiatic hordes, they might change their minds about the woman. In any event, we are told that it is God who will move their hearts to fulfill His purpose (Revelation 17:17).
One reason why the ten horns will not destroy or kill the false prophet is that the false prophet—together with the beast—will be living in Jerusalem. So, it may be that the ten European military leaders may find enough courage to go after the city of Rome, while lacking courage—or even opportunity—to go directly after the false prophet (although they will most certainly attack him with words). We may recall that Adolph Hitler was going after the Catholic Church in Germany, as well as in occupied countries, but he did not fight directly against the Pope himself.
We find another prophecy in the 23rd chapter of the book of Isaiah that also describes the religious aspect of the modern European system referred to as "Tyre." Isaiah 23, verses 1 and 4 tell us: "The burden against Tyre… [T]he sea has spoken, The strength of the sea, saying, I do not labor, nor bring forth children; Neither do I rear young men, Nor bring up virgins."
Here, Isaiah describes in prophetic and poetic words the time—still ahead of us—when "the strength of the sea," the great and influential religious power situated in continental Europe, is no longer considered to be the mother church capable of bringing forth children.
Isaiah 23:7 continues: "Is this your joyous city, Whose antiquity is from ancient days, Whose feet carried her afar off to dwell?" This is a reference to the historical fact that many of the inhabitants of the ancient city of Tyre migrated to another city and settled there—the famous city of Rome.
Isaiah 23:13 elaborates on this historical development: "Behold, the land of the Chaldeans, This people which was not; Assyria founded it for wild beasts of the desert. They set up its towers, They raised up its palaces, And brought it to ruin."
Isaiah has in mind here that the people from the land of the Chaldeans would settle in Italy after they were no longer a people in their ancient land. Recall that the people who fled from ancient Tyre settled in numerous places, including Carthage, Tarshish, Venice and Rome. They gave the name "Tyrrhenian Sea" to one of the seas surrounding Italy. Many of those who lived in Tyre were Phoenicians. The Phoenicians founded Carthage and they later founded Venice when they settled in Italy. They are still living in Italy today, along with the Chaldeans. They will play an instrumental part in the modern United States of Europe. Modern Europe was founded in Rome. The modern Europeans have been accurately described many times in the press as "modern Romans." Historians understand that the heritage of modern Europe is the ancient Roman Empire. Assyria had originally founded Chaldea, but God says, looking at the end of the matter, that Assyria had really founded it for wild beasts to dwell there. The same fate awaits modern Tyre or Babel (Revelation 18:2).
Isaiah contains another interesting prophecy—dual in nature—applying to both ancient Tyre and its modern religious counterpart. We read in Isaiah 23:15_18: "Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of a harlot: Take a harp, go about the city, You forgotten harlot; Make sweet melody, sing many songs, That you may be remembered. And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world in the face of the earth. Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing."
Historically, the ancient city of Tyre was forgotten and lost all influence over other nations for 70 years, from the attack by Nebuchadnezzar in 609 B.C. until the fall of ancient Babylon in 539 B.C. Then Tyre began to become known and influential once again. But this prophecy in Isaiah is also an end-time prophecy for the modern religious system of Tyre, as understood by the phrase, "in that day," referring to the "day of the LORD"—the time of Christ's intervention in human affairs—still ahead of us.
Note how this prophecy applies to our time. In 1859, Garibaldi united the Italian states and, by all standards, destroyed the power of the Catholic Church (referred to in Isaiah 23 as "Tyre."). But in 1929, exactly 70 years later, Mussolini signed a concordat with the almost bankrupt Catholic Church, enabling it to again become very prosperous and powerful. Verse 18 of Isaiah 23 also tells us that the wealth of that religious power will be used in the Millennium for good purposes.
Note how the end-time activities of this prosperous religious power—called "Tyre" in the Old Testament—are described in Revelation 17:4, 5, 9, 18, and 18:3, 7, and 8. In these New Testament passages the religious power is referred to in several ways—"a woman," "Babylon the Great," and "the great city," among others.
Returning to Ezekiel 28, recall that the focus of verses 1_10 is on the end-time religious leader of that religious system. He is called in other passages "the false prophet" or "the man of sin." He will be slain by Christ Himself. Christ will throw him alive, together with the military leader—the "Beast"—into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
God asks this religious leader in Ezekiel 28:9, "Will you still say before him [better, "Him," Jesus Christ] who slays you, I am a god? [better, "I am God?"]. But you shall be a man, and not a god [or, "God"], In the hand of him [better, "Him"] who slays you."
Back up to verse 8 and let's notice what God prophesied through Ezekiel about the end-time religious leader: "They shall throw you down into the Pit, And you shall die the death of the slain In the midst of the seas." Verse 8 explains that the "false prophet" will be thrown into the pit—the abyss—and his influence on the nations will cease and he will die the deaths of those that are slain in the midst of the sea. In other words, as they die, so will he.
Verse 10 continues, reading from the Authorized Version: "Thou shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hands of strangers." In other words, this religious leader will die in disgrace. Christ will throw him into the lake of fire.
We find an interesting distinction of personages in Ezekiel 28:11. Until this verse, the prophet Ezekiel spoke about "the prince of Tyre" (verse 2). Now, we are introduced to the "king of Tyre" (verse 12). In studying this passage, we can see that God is not describing a human being. Rather, this king of Tyre is none other than Satan the devil. He is the power BEHIND the prince of Tyre—the end-time religious leader—as well as the religious system itself. In fact, he is behind all aspects of the system, including its economic and military forces. Satan wanted to BE God—the Most High (Isaiah 14:12_14). When he failed, he began to use human instruments, influencing them with the same evil desires, to take prerogatives from God, which only God can give us.
It becomes clear that God is describing Satan the devil in Ezekiel 28:11_17. Before his fall, Satan was "the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" (verse 12). He was "in Eden, the garden of God" (verse 13). He was "created" on a particular special day (the end of verse 13). He was "the anointed cherub who covers" (verse 14). He was "on the holy mountain of God" (verse 14). He was "perfect" in his ways "from the day" he was "created, till iniquity was found" in him (verse 15). When he "sinned," God removed him, "the covering cherub," from the midst of the fiery stones" and cast him out "of the mountain of God" (verse 16). Clearly, all of these passages do not describe a human being—the prince of Tyre—but an angelic being—a cherub—who sinned and fell from heaven—Satan the devil.
The second half of verse 17 reverts back to the prince of Tyre—the religious end-time leader, the human instrument in Satan's hands—describing his fate again in verses 17_19. Verse 18 tells us that this man will be "turned… to ashes upon the earth," and, indeed, he will be—in the lake of fire.
We read in verse 19 that this man—"the prince of Tyre"—"shall
be no more forever." This does not necessarily mean "for all eternity." The word
"forever" can refer to the time of an age; for instance, the age of the
Millennium. The false prophet, being thrown into the lake of fire at the
beginning of the Millennium, might very well be brought back to life at a future
time, at the time of the second or third resurrection, depending on what
fate awaits him (Revelation 20:4_6, 11_15).
God warns His people not to get entangled with this military and religious system soon to arise again with great power. Both in the Old and New Testaments, He admonishes us to "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4; Isaiah 48:20; Zechariah 2:7).
If you want to understand more about modern "Tyre" or "Babylon," and how you can obey God's command to "come out of her," please request a free copy of the booklet, Europe in Prophecy: The Unfolding of End-Time Events.
Throughout this booklet we have been reading prophecies that refer to the "day of the LORD." We have seen that this term describes the time of Christ's intervention in human affairs. This is not necessarily referring to just one particular 24-hour day, although this is one meaning of the phrase—the actual day of Christ's return (Zechariah 14:1,6_7). It also refers to a particular time span longer than one day.
One prophetic book in particular focuses a great deal on the "day of the LORD." This little known and almost totally misunderstood Old Testament book is Zephaniah, one of the so-called "minor prophets." Zephaniah's name means, "Whom the LORD has hidden." He received the Word of God at the time of King Josiah of Judah (Zephaniah 1:1), whose reign is described in II Kings 22 and 23, and in II Chronicles 34 and 35.
Zephaniah prophesied at the time of King Josiah, and although he announced calamity to ancient Judah, which did occur, the book of Zephaniah mainly describes a future calamity to befall this entire world. The destruction of ancient Jerusalem was a forerunner of the terrible times prophesied to happen on a worldwide scale just prior to Christ's return.
The prophet Zephaniah is dead and gone. His prophetic word has survived. It is to be announced today, prior to the disaster that will strike this earth soon. We would do well to prayerfully review these stern warnings of Almighty God as recorded in the book of Zephaniah, where God reveals to humankind what will shortly come to pass, and why.
Zephaniah 1:2_3, 7 describes, in no uncertain terms, the future of this end-time generation of man: "I will utterly consume everything From the face of the land, Says the LORD; I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, The fish of the sea, And the stumbling blocks [idols] along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land [or, ground], Says the LORD… Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests."
As we can see from this passage, the book of Zephaniah describes events that will take place at the time of the DAY OF THE LORD, referring to the future. Notice how some commentaries understand the meaning of this phrase.
"The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia," Vol. 2, p. 799, summarizes the term, "the day of the LORD" as a very common Old Testament concept that describes the establishment of the kingdom of God. In the New Testament it is referred to as the Day of Wrath or simply as "the day" or "that day," without any further qualifications, as if this day is the only day that really counts in the entirety of the history of the world. The commentary goes on to explain that this day focuses on Jesus Christ and the establishment of the everlasting kingdom of heavens.
"Unger's Bible Lexicon," p. 249, describes the "Day of the Lord" as the prophesied period that begins with the second coming of Christ and ends with the purification of heavens and earth by fire, and the creation of new heavens and a new earth that will last forever. The commentary points out that the day of the LORD includes the time period from the end of the Great Tribulation until the end of the Millennium.
Notice the frightening description of the events during the "day of the LORD," as found in Zephaniah 1:14_18: "The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse. Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to deliver them In the day of the LORD'S wrath; But the whole land [or, earth] shall be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy riddance Of all those who dwell in the land [on the earth]."
Notice in this passage that the day of the LORD is called a "day of wrath," a "day of trouble and distress," and a "day of darkness." This certainly does not describe a pleasant time. We had better take God's warnings seriously, because what God has purposed to do, He will do.
Zephaniah is addressing, in particular, the punishment of modern Judah. We read in Zephaniah 1:12: "And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil."
The book of Lamentations also describes the time of God's punishment of Jerusalem with frightening details in chapter 2, verses 21_22. All of this will happen during the time of the "day of the LORD," or, as Lamentations puts it, "the day of the LORD'S anger."
But, the day of the LORD is not confined to the punishment of the modern house of Judah. It also includes punishment of other nations, such as the nations of the modern house of Israel, whose name was originally Jacob. Recall from Jeremiah 30:5_7 that the day of the LORD "is the time of Jacob's trouble."
The second chapter of the book of Isaiah sheds additional light on God's punishment of the modern house of Israel during the time of the "day of the LORD." Verse 3 specifically addresses "the house of Jacob" and verse 12 specifies the time as being "the day of the LORD." The warning is to the modern descendants of the house of Israel, in no uncertain terms: "(Verse 6) For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways… (verse 7) Their land is also full of silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, And there is no end of their chariots. Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands."
In reading the entire second chapter of Isaiah, however, we notice that it is not only directed at the modern house of Israel. It also describes a terrible punishment that will come over ALL nations. Notice the following statements: "(Verse 12) For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up… (verse 14) Upon all the high mountains, And upon all the hills that are lifted up; Upon every high tower, And upon every fortified wall… (verse 17) The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day… (verse 20) In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each of himself to worship, to the moles and bats, To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD, And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily."
So, we see that at the time of God's intervention, mighty earthquakes will shake the earth. Recall that in Jesus' famous Olivet prophecy, He warned of the increase of earthquake activities prior to His return (Matthew 24:7). Notice the following interesting comments taken from a book authored by Stephen Skinner entitled, Millennium Prophecies, published in 1997. Quoting from pages 142_143: "Earthquakes, famines and troubles have always been with us, but there has certainly been an increase in earthquake activity over the last decade… Earthquake belts are so extensive that a concerted upheaval could destroy most of the Pacific rim, southern Europe, the Near East and southeast Asia. Even Britain is not immune, having had an earthquake registering 5.2 on the Richter scale as recently as 1990. In recent years earthquakes have been occurring in previously stable areas… Some observers are convinced that the number of earthquakes has roughly doubled in each of the decades since 1950. The side effects of future earthquakes might include nuclear spillage, as some Eastern European reactors have been built along fault lines."
Let's also note a frightening and sobering prophecy in the seventh chapter of the book of Ezekiel, primarily addressing the modern houses of Israel and Judah (verse 2), and describing events that will take place during the time of the day of the LORD: "(Verse 10) Behold, the day! Behold, it has come! Doom has gone out… (verse 11) Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness… (verse 12) The time has come, The day draws near… (verse 15) The sword is outside, And the pestilence and famine within. Whoever is in the field Will die by the sword; And whoever is in the city, Famine and pestilence will devour him… (verse 19) They will throw their silver into the streets, And their gold will be like refuse; Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them In the day of the wrath of the LORD."
In verse 15, God indicates that pestilence will make an ugly comeback, while new disease epidemics will emerge (Deuteronomy 28:27_28, 35, 58_61), and their terrible clutches will not only embrace the modern Israelites and Jews. Christ warns in His Olivet prophecy that "pestilences" will occur "in various places" (Matthew 24:7).
Let's take note of the following quotes from Millennium Prophecies, pp. 148_149, discussing the sudden rise of ancient plagues, as well as new ones: "It is slowly dawning that the triumph of medical science over disease is no longer as inevitable as it seemed back in the 1950s… Tuberculosis, which kills 3 million people a year worldwide, is beginning to acquire antibiotic resistance. In the USA a dangerous alliance has been formed between AIDS and tuberculosis. Another former scourge, malaria, is now making a comeback, claiming 2 million deaths per year worldwide… But drugs are not winning the race, and even in industrialized countries thousands of people are dying every year from antibiotic-resistant infections which they pick up in hospital while receiving treatment for less serious conditions… The food industry's practice of using every last piece of slaughtered animal has meant that unwholesome remains now re-enter the food chain as food for another animal. Recent outbreaks of `mad cow disease' have been caused by this practice, the brains of infected animals being recycled and fed to cattle. This would never normally occur in nature; left to their own devices, cows would not eat meat."
The quoted article also relates, in a separate box, a frightening case of the comeback of "the black death" in the 1920s in England: "Workmen engaged upon building a railway cutting near Lewes, in Sussex, unwittingly dug into an old plague pit, undisturbed for centuries. Before long the men began to succumb to an illness which was initially diagnosed as pneumonia. Several of the workmen died before the authorities realized that they were dealing with something a great deal more sinister and hastily quarantined everyone in danger. Eventually the crisis was brought under control, but it is sobering to realize that the seeds of death in the form of plague bacteria can survive in the soil for centuries."
As already mentioned, God's punishment on the day of the LORD will be directed against all nations (compare Obadiah 15; Joel 3:12_14). Additional scriptures reveal specifically that God will punish Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations during the time of the "day of the LORD."
Ezekiel 30:3_5 explains: "For the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. The sword shall come upon Egypt, And great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, When the slain fall in Egypt, And they take away her wealth, And her foundations are broken down. Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword."
Also, modern Babylon is expressly identified as one of the nations, or power blocs, that will be dealt with by God during the "day of the LORD." We read in Isaiah 13:1, 6_9: "The burden against Babylon…Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty…Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it."
But, again, God's punishment will not be limited to the Babylonian system of modern Europe. God's anger will be poured out over all flesh during the time of the "day of the LORD." Notice verses 11_13: "I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity… I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold… I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger."
Let's also note God's coming punishment of Edom, or modern Turkey, as prophesied in Isaiah 34:5_ 8: "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom… For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom… For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion."
We might mention here that this passage is one of the scriptures indicating that "the day of the LORD" will commence immediately following the Great Tribulation, one year prior to, and culminating with Christ's return (cp. also Isaiah 63:3_4 and 61:1_2, equating the "day of vengeance" with "the year of the LORD."). In addition, as Zechariah 14:6_7 and many New Testament scriptures point out (discussed below), the day of the LORD can refer to a literal day of 24 hours in describing Christ's return. And finally, 2 Peter 3:7_13 applies the term "day of the LORD" to the 1000-year reign of Christ on this earth, as well as the time after that, showing that it refers to the time when God begins to actively intervene in human affairs on a worldwide scale. Once He does so, His rule over man will never end.
As stated repeatedly, God's anger is against all nations. And God wants all nations to hear and heed His end-time warning (which you are reading right now in this booklet). As Isaiah 34:1_4 states: "Come near, you nations, to hear; And heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, The world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies [showing that true Christians should not be serving in the armies of this world]; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter… All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree."
Let's also notice the following interesting comments in the book, Millennium Prophecies, on pp. 50 and 150, discussing how those heavenly disasters described in the book of Isaiah and in other places could possibly come about: "The Apocalypse [Book of Revelation] describes earthquakes, the removal of the ozone layer (`the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up'), meteorites (`the stars of heaven fell upon the earth') and many other natural disasters… One event of particular interest is the fall of a meteorite called `Wormwood' [Revelation 8:10_11], which will poison all the rivers and many people; it is also possible that `Wormwood' will turn out to be a man-made bomb... Possibly a fall of great comets or meteors is indicated in `the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind" ([Revelation] 6:13). The shaking might refer to a wobbling of the Earth's axis, which is likely to accompany the arrival of these destructive heavenly bodies. With the destruction of the ozone layer which `departed as a scroll when it is rolled together' humankind will be forced to seek shelter wherever it can find it. The next verse [Revelation] (6:15) tells how at that awful time everyone, from kings and rich men down to ordinary free men, will hide `themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains'. In the recent past this verse was interpreted as the population escaping nuclear fallout in underground shelters. [It could also refer to] some ecological disaster."
In the book of Joel, we read more about the events immediately preceding, and continuing during the day of the LORD. Joel 2:11, 30_31 points out: "For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?… And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD."
The heavenly signs on the sun, moon and stars could very well be the result of volcanic eruption. Notice these interesting thoughts, again from Millennium Prophecies, pp. 154_155: "The Apocalypse…does not use the word volcano [and neither does the above-quoted passage in the book of Joel], but nevertheless has some pretty accurate descriptions of phenomena that we would recognize as volcanoes… It may take months [after extensive volcanic activity] for the dust and rock particles to finally settle out of the atmosphere, but the sulphuric acid droplets can ride the winds for years. The resultant `dust-veils' cause beautiful sunsets and strange optical effects [like the turning of the moon into blood]."
For more information on the meaning of Biblical passages, dealing with the "heavenly signs," please request our free booklet, The Theory of Evolution—A Fairy Tale for Adults?
We should also take note of another important prophecy that must be fulfilled before the day of the LORD—culminating in Christ's return—can come. And amazingly, you and I have an important role in regard to that prophecy.
Malachi 4:5_6 tells us: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse [or, with utter destruction]."
We also read in Matthew 24:22 that if it weren't for God's elect, this world would be totally destroyed. NO HUMAN BEING—NO FLESH AT ALL—would survive the coming dreadful day of the LORD.
We read in Luke 1:14_17 about the first fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy, where John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the people of his time for the first coming of Jesus Christ. However, Malachi speaks primarily about the time just prior to the day of the LORD, which is still in the future. Therefore, another "Elijah" must come to prepare this world for the second coming of Christ.
God has given this role of an end-time Elijah to His end-time Church. There should be no doubt that Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, who is considered by many as an apostle and who served as Pastor General of the Church of God until his death in 1986, began to fulfill this role. But God's commission to His Church is ongoing. God expects His Church to continue to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers," so that the day of the LORD's return can come, and so that this earth will not have to face total and complete destruction.
(If you want to learn more about this part of the Church's commission and how these aspects of Malachi's prophecy are being fulfilled today, request our free booklet, The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families.)
In most of the Old Testament prophecies the events taking place during the day of the LORD are described as dealing with all of the nations of this world. In the New Testament though, additional emphasis is placed on the spiritual nation of God—the body of believers—and what the day of the LORD should mean to them. In John 6: 39 Jesus Christ applies the term "the last day" to the 24-hour day of His return.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:1_4_9 the apostle Paul states that for usthe true follows of Christthe day of the LORD should not be one of wrath as it is for the nations of this earth, but rather a day of joy, as we are going to attain salvation—eternal life—at that time. The same thought is conveyed in 2 Thessalonians 1:3_10 and in 2 Timothy 4:8, referring to the day of the LORD as "that Day."
Paul was convinced that he would meet Christ at His return (Philippians 2:14_16), referring to the day of the LORD as the "day of Christ." It was his earnest hope and expectation that those whom he had taught would be there with him and meet Christ as well (Philippians 1:6, 10). He expresses the same desire in 1 Corinthians 1:4_8, where he refers to the day of the LORD as "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Nothing was more important to Paul than to know that the brethren would be counted worthy to stand before the returning Son of Man, even if it meant drastic correction for the present in order to bring a sinner to repentance (1 Corinthians 5:1, 4_5).
We see, then, that we each have a responsibility to live up to the standards given to us by God, and shown to us by Jesus Christ. We will discuss a little later in this booklet that God promises us shelter and safety in the future if we are, in fact, counted worthy to escape all these things that will surely come to pass.
There is another frightening prophecy given in the pages of the New Testament that reveals events to occur just prior to the coming of the day of the LORD.
2 Thessalonians 2:1_3, 8_9 tells us: "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ [NU: the Lord] had come. Let no one deceive you by any means: for that Day will not come unless the falling away [apostasy—a falling away from the truth of God] comes first, and the man of sin [NU: lawlessness] is revealed, the son of perdition [the false prophet discussed earlier in this booklet] … And then the lawless one will be revealed [or become manifest] whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming [by throwing him, together with the Beast, into the lake of fire]. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders."
This religious leader—the false prophet—will receive power to do miracles from Satan himself (compare Revelation 19:20). He, and the system that he represents, is described in Revelation 13:11 as a beast with "two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon." He "performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs" (verses 13_14). This system is also described as engaging in "sorcery" (Revelation 18:23). We are warned in Matthew 24:24 that some of those "signs" will be so convincing that, if it were possible, even the elect of God would be deceived.
Historical records establish the fact that Simon Magus, who had been baptized but had never truly repented (Acts 8:13_24), became a leader in the early Babylonian system. He had been a sorcerer, regarded as "the great power of God" (Acts 8:9_10).
Quoting from Millennium Prophecies, p. 59, let's learn more about Simon Magus and the Satanic powers which he allegedly possessed. This should make us a bit more prepared for what is going to happen in the future and why the false prophet will be able to deceive so many people with his sorcery: "The Samarian-born Simon Magus (15 BC_AD 53), son of a Jewish sorcerer, was educated in the cradle of Gnosticism, Alexandria. He was a disciple of Dositheus, who had been a follower of John the Baptist and contended with Jesus Christ for the title of Messiah. Simon traveled widely in Persia, Arabia [and] Egypt to learn all he could about magical lore. He was accompanied by a sorceress called Helena, whom Simon claimed was a reincarnation of Helen of Troy. In Samaria, even Christians spoke of Simon as `the great power of God'… Simon Magus performed many miracles, including healing the sick, raising the dead, walking through fire, flying through the air, turning stones into bread, creating phantom banquets, making himself invisible, animating stone statues, changing his own shape and, of course, reputedly commanding elemental spirits or possibly demons to do his bidding."
Simon Magus was not the only leader within the Babylonian system who practiced sorcery. Millennium Prophecies tells of another famous sorcerer, Pope Silvester II, who lived at the end of the first century. Quoting from pp. 68 and 69: "Tradition has it that he was an advanced student of the black arts… It was said that he regularly conversed with the Devil… he was credited with possessing a `brazen head' that spoke to him and could prophecy future events… [He] learned… to summon ghostly figures from the lower world… [The] demons obeyed him in all that he required of them day and night, because of the great sacrifices which he offered, and his prayers and fastings and magic books and great diversity of rings and candles."
The false prophet—the last leader of the religious system called "Babylon the Great" in the Bible—will appear soon on the world scene. He will be able to perform mighty miracles because Satan will give him the power to do so. Many will be deceived by those signs and will follow the wrong teachings of this man. May God protect YOU from doing so.
A series of remarkable prophecies that deal with the time of the day of the LORD can be found in the book of Revelation. In fact, the whole prophecy covers events pertaining to or leading up to the day of the Lord (Revelation 1:10).
Revelation 6:12_17 describes cosmic disturbances—culminating in the day of the LORD—referred to in that passage as "the great day of His [the Lamb's, that is, Jesus Christ's] wrath" (verses 16_17).
The book of Revelation emphasizes time and time again that God the Father and Jesus Christ will be very angry, or filled with wrath, at the time just prior to Christ's return (Revelation 11:17_18; 14:9_10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 19:15).
The reason WHY God will be so angry becomes clear when we consider the attitude of people at that time and the kind of society they are involved in. They will have "shed the blood of saints and prophets" (Revelation 16:6). They will "blaspheme the name of God" and refuse to "repent" (Revelation 16:9, 11, 21). Due to the influence of this modern Babylonian system, the sins of all of the nations will have "reached to heaven" (Revelation 18:3_5). This very Babylonian system that people will follow is responsible for "the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth" (Revelation 18:24), and God Himself will "avenge…the blood of His servants shed by her [the great false system of Babylon]" (Revelation 19:2).
When God begins to intervene in human affairs, mankind will not want him to do so. In fact, people will be so deceived that they will actually try to fight against the returning Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:19). So then, God must speak in a language that man will understand.
Considering these terrible times ahead of us, we might wonder, "Is there a way of escape, or will everyone experience the wrath of God? Do we all have to go through the times of the Great Tribulation and the day of the LORD? What can we do?"
The answer is, God has promised us protection from the terrible times to come, if we are faithful to Him. Christ tells us in Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept My command to persevere (to have patience), I also will keep you from the hour of trial [tribulation] which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
Notice Christ's additional admonition and promise in Luke 21:34_36: "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Recall that the name of Zephaniah means, "Whom the LORD has hidden." We are told in Zephaniah's message, as well, that WE can be hidden, or protected, in the day of the LORD'S anger. Yes, there is a way! Notice this remarkable promise in Zephaniah 2:3: "Seek the LORD, all you meek [humble] of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger."
King David, himself a prophet, also understood that God would hide and protect those who faithfully trust in Him. Listen to these encouraging words: "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of your wings…" (Psalm 17:8).
"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock" (Psalm 27:5).
"Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which you have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues" (Psalm 31:19_20).
King Solomon confirms, in Proverbs 14:26, that God's people will be protected in the coming times of trial: "In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge."
This place of refuge is more clearly described in Revelation 12:14, promising the end-time Church of God her place in the wilderness—on this earth—prepared by God, a place where she will be nourished for 3 ½ years and protected from Satan the devil. Compare this with Isaiah 33:16, describing the righteous person (verse 15) as dwelling "on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure."
God gives us the same promise in Isaiah 26:20_21: "Come, My people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain."
Through all this, we can take great comfort from God's promise for His people, as recorded by the prophet, Joel. We can be protected, if God looks at us as His people and counts us worthy to escape the terrible times ahead of us. Joel 3:14_16 reads: "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 the strength of the children of Israel."
Yes, God has promised shelter and protection to those whom He counts as worthy to escape the horrible times to come. But in order to be worthy of God and His kingdom (2 Thessalonians 1:5), we must continue to be God's witnesses by actively supporting His work of proclaiming His message (Luke 24:46_48; Acts 1:8), and we must be willing to suffer for it in the process (Acts 5:40_42). If we shrink back from this God-appointed duty and responsibility, God will have no pleasure in us. In effect, we will be showing Him that we do not really care for others and that we are only concerned about how WE can escape tribulation. God promises protection only to those who "sigh and cry" over all the abominations which are being done (Ezekiel 9:3_6), showing a genuine concern for others and praying that they also would repent of their ways and turn to God.
God wants us to become like Him, a God of LOVE. He has outgoing concern for the welfare of others. He wants us to have that same kind of love. He, in fact, GAVE His only begotten Son for this world, so that those who believe in Him could have everlasting life. Christ was willing to DIE for us—to give up His life for us—while we were still sinners and His enemies! Do we LOVE the world in the same way? Do we PROVE our love by SHARING the knowledge we received from God (compare Colossians 1:9_12)? Do we labor in the Work of God (Luke 10:7), preaching the gospel as we are instructed to do (Acts 13:2; 14:26; 15:38; 1 Corinthians 16:10; Philippians 2:29_30)? Are we effective coworkers with God (2 Corinthians 6:1) for the kingdom of God (Colossians 4:11)?
If we are, in fact, fully declaring the Work of God (Jeremiah 51:10), as we should be doing, we are Christ's disciples, indeed, and we WILL BE counted worthy to escape the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord and to ENTER into the Kingdom of God. For more information about the great master plan God reveals in His Word, the Bible, and how you can understand the potential of mankind's ultimate destiny, please request our free booklets, And Lawlessness Will Abound… along with The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The following booklets are available, upon request:
Europe in Prophecy: The Unfolding of End-Time Events
The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
Don't Keep Christmas
Is God a Trinity?
Do We Have an Immortal Soul?
The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families
And Lawlessness Will Abound...
Church of the Eternal God
PO Box 270519
San Diego, CA 92198
Church of God, ACF
Summerland B.C. V0H 1Z0
Global Church of God
PO Box 2111
Derby DE1 1ZR
Le Siecle A Venir
Allee du Grand Cheniat, 30