Three great periods of separation are, we think, clearly revealed in God’s Word: 1) “The separation of the chaff from the wheat,” Matt. 3:10,12; 2) “the tares from the wheat,” Matt. 13:37,43; 3) and “the sheep from the goats,” Matt. 25:31. The third great separation like the previous two cover a period of time yet future.
Posts Tagged ‘ Armegeddon ’
Verse 7 is speaking about those of the Holy Remnant who survive Jacob’s Trouble in lands other than Israel. They will be like “dew from the LORD” and “showers upon the grass” in the midst of many peoples. Why is the time element then added: “that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men”? In the Lord’s due time, the Holy Remnant will be rescued. The “whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain … [waiting] for the manifestation of the sons of God”; it has been a long wait—and a long groaning—for the “desire of all nations” to come (Rom. 8:19,22; Hag. 2:7).
The NIV reads, “I will settle them in their homes.” God will settle the Holy Remnant in His own way in the homes He will make for them, for when the Kingdom is established, the contemporary generation of Jews will go back to Israel first. The Jews who come forth from the tomb throughout the Kingdom will comprise the second phase of the regathering that takes place after Jacob’s Trouble, for they will come forth in the various lands where they lived previously. As they go back to Israel, God will settle them as He did the Holy Remnant—in His way in the homes that He will make for them, for each man will have his own vine and fig tree.
God “girded” Cyrus in two ways: (1) He gave Cyrus supernatural power in overcoming his enemies. (2) God prepared Cyrus as a child and fashioned him for his future work; He trained him for his position as general and renowned conqueror. Not only was God’s providence over the victories Cyrus later attained, but that providence operated from his earliest youth—even from his baptism, as it were, when he was given the name Cyrus. Thus God’s remarkable foreknowledge was displayed 150 years before the events occurred.
“Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel.” This statement is startling, but the “virgin” is the Holy Remnant—the holy, purged, contrite element. Many would ask, “How can God call Israel a virgin?” but the Holy Remnant will be considered such because they will be a screened and tried class whom God recognizes. Being repentant, they will want to consecrate under the new conditions of that age.
In verse 1, if “in that day” applies to the nominal Church during the seven phases of its experience, then the phrase would also apply to the Gospel Age. However, in verse 2, the phrase “in that day” refers to the glorification of Israel at the end of the present age when the Kingdom is established in power and glory. The Jewish survivors of the Gog and Magog invasion of the Holy Land will have a wonderful experience.
For “them that are escaped of Israel,” the Revised Standard has “the survivors of Israel [in Jacob’s Trouble].” That the survivors will be very highly honored, and why they will be “beautiful and glorious” and “the fruit” most pleasant, will be shown subsequently.
The term “Valley of Jehoshaphat occurs only twice in the Bible, and both times in the third chapter of the Book of Joel. The following quote comes from our verse by verse study in Joel
Zephaniah strongly castigated Israel: “You are filthy! You are corrupt from the top of your head to the tip of your toes—your princes, your prophets, your priests, and your judges!” His hearers would have felt he was using tough and insulting talk, likening them to ravening wolves. In referring to their condition, the prophet spoke truth boldly. Most of his hearers were angry, but the right-hearted element hearkened and looked inward. Thus Zephaniah gave a carte blanche condemnation of the people, yet among them were some with a proper heart condition. While his message was helpful in his day in regard to encouraging the people to go back to Israel and build the Temple, he was actually addressing individuals in our day. The main thrust will be fulfilled when God assembles all nations in the near future. While some of these verses had a partial application back there in the prophet’s day, the primary emphasis is on the end of the Gospel Age.
“Ariel, the city where David dwelt” is Jerusalem. (Bethlehem was the “city of David” at the time Jesus was born.) Depending on the Hebrew pronunciation, “Ariel” means “lion of God” or “mount of God” (Ar is “mount”; El is “God”). The Hebrew word for the altar of Ezekiel’s Temple is ariel in Ezekiel 43:15, “So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns.” The lion pictures Justice, one of the four attributes of God. The sacrifices are made acceptable on the altar, the hearth of which represents Justice. The wrath of God is pictured as a lion that devours those who transgress. In the throne of Solomon were lions, which were symbolic of executing judgment. The cover of the Ark of the Covenant was called the “Mercy Seat,” and the seat of mercy is Justice. In other words, Justice is the foundation of God’s throne (Psa. 89:14; 97:2). The seat of justice and judgment was Jerusalem, which was both the “lion [Justice] of God” and the “mount of God.” In the context of verse 1, Jerusalem represents Israel, the entire nation.
“Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.” One thought is that the message of doom was being pronounced, but more years had to pass before the execution. Another thought is that the clock was running out. While the people perfunctorily performed the sacrifices on the feast days of Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles in the capital of Jerusalem, yet it was just a matter of time until judgment would come. The people were rendering mere duty worship, and the date of judgment was coming nearer and nearer.
Two cataclysmic events will take place. First, Israel will war with its Arab neighbors and have a decisive victory. The warfare will probably be confused with Jacob’s Trouble, which will occur subsequently and involve a much greater conglomeration of people. That very last battle will be more along the lines of hand-to-hand combat, but prior to Jacob’s Trouble, regular warfare methods will continue. In Jacob’s Trouble, technology and electronic instrumentation will break down and fail. For example, a little cog missing from a wheel can halt machinery. To wage nuclear warfare requires technicians, money, etc. Hand-to-hand combat is another matter, and the fighting will be on this lower level in Jacob’s Trouble. Isaiah 10:28-32 describes the route Gog will take in coming down from the north, going from city to city and approaching closer and closer to Jerusalem.