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  • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

    Suspicious too, not only squeamish and uneasy. And the drift of the thread at this point seems to warrant that. All nations in the world today deserve the wrath of a Holy God

    Comment


    • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

      (I picked up this article about 30 minutes ago. It is another angle on the destiny of America)


      U.S. founded to destroy Islam?
      Pastor's book calls America to be 'Silent No More'


      Posted: June 23, 2005
      1:00 a.m. Eastern

      © 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
      While other Christian ministers are treading lightly with regard to the confrontation posed by Muslims, an Ohio pastor says he believes America was founded to see Islam destroyed.

      In "Silent No More," Rod Parsley, who pastors World Harvest Church in Columbus, a city with a significant Muslim population, characterizes Islam as a "false religion" that "is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth."

      "I look to the horrors of Sudan, and I find slavery, massacre and traumatic human upheaval of the sort that even beleaguered Africa has seldom seen," writes Parsley. "Unless Islam is checked from without and reformed, at the least, from within, it will become a force that shapes the future of the world as much as any other on earth."

      Reflecting on the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, Parsley says it's not true to say that the day was the dawning of a "brand new world." "Rather, what happened was that has been raging for centuries merely crashed into our lives," he says. "A war that has raged in nations around the world merely exploded onto our Western landscape – the war between Islam and Christian civilization."

      Parsley's book deals with much more than the confrontation with Islam. It's a manifesto on hot-button issues from race relations to homosexuality to abortion to poverty.

      Race relations and poverty? Aren't those issues generally associated with "liberals"? Yes, explains Parsley, who adds that the critical moral issues facing America don't belong exclusively to either political party or the old-fashioned stereotypical ideological breakdowns.

      "I told an audience of 1,000 pastors we hosted recently that I'm not a Republican or a Democrat – I'm a Christ-ocrat," he said. "I want to commend issues to the political left that typically belong to the right and vice versa. What I'm promoting, essentially, is biblical morality, and that's neither conservative nor liberal."
      Last edited by ZionGene; 06-24-2005, 10:53 PM.

      Comment


      • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

        Hello, All....

        As always, whenever I am away from the thread for a few days, it takes me hours to catch up. All very interesting mateial.

        I noticed an interesting article in Debka today, concerning Israeli / US relations, which seem to be on the slide. http://www.debka.com/ Article posted in part.

        DEBKAfile Exclusive: Washington to co-opt Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the Middle East Quartet. June 24, 2005,

        DEBKAfile Exclusive: Washington plans to co-opt Egypt and Saudi Arabia to the Middle East Quartet. Jerusalem is gravely affronted by a step that would grant Arab governments a position of influence on a supposedly impartial body dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. . . .

        The US secretary replied that neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia could be asked for cooperation without a seat on the relevant international bodies.

        This development puts the lid on the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s claim that disengagement would be good for US-Israeli relations and lead to an improvement in Israel’s world standing.
        Given all the uncertainty surrounding this matter, even at this late date, I'm going to hazard floating another scenario - just for the sake of it. 1) Given that the IDF is exhibiting more reluctance (to put it mildly) on an almost daily basis, to be involved in the explusion, 2) given that the US and Israeli relations are deteriorating on an almost daily basis, 3) given that the PLO, Abbas, Hamas, etc. continue to exhibit the absolute intent to "push Israel into the sea" on an almost daily basis, 4) given that . . . . , 5) given that . . . . etc. almost ad infinitum, I'm beginning to wonder whether the "disengagement" a-la giving up the land, will actually ever come about. It seems the tide is quickly turning against A. Sharon. Although he may still appear to be in power, there are other powers and forces lining up closely at his heels, that could pounce quickly to supplant him, with almost no regard to what Condi, or anyone else thinks. I reckon that we have yet to see the true nature of this "disengagement and expulsion" matter take either physical, or political form. It's a long, long way to Tipperary, and a long time until August. Disengagement may be completely passé 'ere too long.

        Later -

        And I just noticed on FoxNews, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160673,00.html


        Hard-Liner Wins Iran's Presidential Election

        Friday, June 24, 2005

        TEHRAN, Iran — The hardline Tehran mayor steamrolled over one of Iran's best known statesmen to win the presidency Saturday in a landslide election victory that cements conservative control over nation's political leadership. . .

        Ahmadinejad's surprising strength alarmed moderates and business groups at home and was watched with concern by international officials. Ahmadinejad would likely be a tough negotiating partner in Iran's talks with Europe over its nuclear program, which the United States contends aims to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran says the program aims only for producing energy.

        He has criticized Iran's current negotiators as making too many concessions to Europe — particularly in freezing the uranium enrichment program — and he was expected to put Iran's nuclear program into the hands of some avowed anti-Western clerics.
        It may not only be A. Sharon's successors that don't give two hoots about what Condi thinks. Mutually assured destruction might just be the ticket to get rid of the infidels. Isn't that the mindset with which we're dealing?
        Last edited by PlumBob; 06-24-2005, 11:49 PM.

        Comment


        • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

          Dear PlumBob and others: I saw these articles as well and simply shake my head. How can a process have any claim to legitimacy when it invites a multiple time belligerent (Egypt) to sit on the adjudication panel (the Quartet that just became an Octet..same ol song though ) Regarding Iran, suppose they get nuclear weapons, which of course nobody over here wants to happen. However Israel now has subs that carry cruise missiles no doubt with nuclear payload. In addition it is believed that they have at least 100 nukes that can be fired from silos near Dimona. Does the MAD policy not work here. Can Israel not inform Iran and others that any missile strike against its territory will be met with a nuclear retaliation..mutual assured destruction...in effect an updated "Samson option"?

          Regarding the two recent articles on Gog/MaGog war please tell me if I am being oversensitive in accusing the authors of outright DISHONESTY. Kinsella for the reference to "incalculable" odds in favor of Ezekiel naming Russia, and the Rast article for indicating the primary rationale given for the invasion in Ezekiel is to "wipe out" the Jews. It grates me when authors can "spin" whatever they want to attempt to prove some point.
          Last edited by HSB; 06-25-2005, 06:49 AM.

          Comment


          • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

            Originally posted by HSB
            Regarding the two recent articles on Gog/MaGog war please tell me if I am being oversensitive in accusing the authors of outright DISHONESTY. . . .. It grates me when authors can "spin" whatever they want to attempt to prove some point.
            OK, my dear Brother, I simply ask you to consider that YOU, just like ZionGene, just like Kinsella, just like everyone, just like ME - see the world through your own colored glasses - your own biases, your own experiences, - and your own expectations. I doubt that Kinsella is steeped in statistics and, after all, he has a business to run (I say that almost tongue-in-cheek, because that is included in my concept of "personal biases.")

            HSB, don't we all "spin" whenever we want to attempt to prove some point? I love you like a brother, I do hope you know that - you have a certain scenario in which you deeply believe. It may be correct. It may not be correct. It may be partially correct. You deeply believe in it, mainly because it's YOURS. It's your child - you hatched it in your mind - your intellect - to you it makes perfect sense. You see the world through your colored glasses, because your mind searches for those things that confirm your scenario-child to be valid. You have consistently put "spin" onto both the scriptures and the news, to lead others to your conclusions. That is totally without criticism, HSB, because we ALL do that. Human nature! (Now, that being said, I'm not trying to open a can of worms about where in the process of the fall, we got that inclination! )

            The chance that your scenario is TOTALLY CORRECT is about 1:1x10^3 - in my estimation. Pretty good odds, don't you think? Kinsella sees things a littl more skeptically - duhhhh.,...

            CHILL, BRO!!!! We're all gonna get to the same place at the same time !

            Comment


            • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

              Dear PlumBob: thanks for your rersponse. I don't have ANY problem with people speculating about who MaGog may be, or Gog etc. To listen and weigh various scenarios is both interesting and stimulating. It is a real encouragement to read and study the Word, and that is good!!! I also believe that if a little poll were conducted of WEDGies that an overwhelming number would probably go with the MaGog = Russia theory. I don't mind that! (In fact I hope and pray that some explanation other than the one I posted is actually correct!!) It is useful however to track some of these beliefs to see if they can explain all of the Scripture details, not just some of them. We all learn from that exercise.

              What I am objecting to strenuously is when people ADD things into Scripture then use what they have added to confirm their theory. The Rast article indicates that the primary rationale for Gog invading Israel as outlined in Ezekiel is to "wipe out" the Jews. That is simply totally incorrect. It is not in the Bible! Am I the only one bothered by this??

              On a separate note I JUST finished viewing a Discovery Channel program (which I taped) about mega-tsunamis. The situation that is the focus of the program is a volcanic island in the Canaries called La Palma. There is an instability that has opened up a fissure that runs almost the length of the island. Apparently there are underground pools of water that have collected and may reduce friction to the point that half the island slides into the Atlantic. These calm scientists indicated that their predictions call for an approximately 650m high wave that is about 30km long starting at the island and moving westward at hundreds of km/h. For the non-metric folks that is a half mile high wave heading our way. They said it was not a matter of if but when this occurs. Likely some seismic disturbance will trigger the slide. You could say the "gun is loaded and the trigger is cocked". I am not attempting to sound like a scaremonger when I passionately plead with people that what is about to happen in Israel affects us over here. God is not mocked by anyone.

              Comment


              • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                HSB,

                I read about the La Palma theory as well.
                It is my opinion that the United States is not going to be a significant "end-time" player.
                Now, whether that means the destruction of the East coast due to a tsunami or the West coast via "the BIG one" (or both?) I cannot say.
                Suffice to say that God is going to do what God wants done.
                What we do in the interim is what is important.

                Comment


                • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                  Originally posted by HSB
                  You could say the "gun is loaded and the trigger is cocked". I am not attempting to sound like a scaremonger when I passionately plead with people that what is about to happen in Israel affects us over here. God is not mocked by anyone.
                  Absolutely!

                  I am reminded of a song from my younger days, which goes in part
                  Signs, signs, everywhere the signs
                  Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind
                  Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?
                  Quoted in part, from the song Signs, by Five Man Electrical Band, at http://www.andrewg.ca/songs/signs/

                  We don't often read the signs, when the message isn't something that we want to hear. The signs do, however, point us to the correct way. We are also, as another song used to say, "Running on Empty."
                  Last edited by PlumBob; 06-25-2005, 11:00 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                    Originally posted by Humble
                    HSB,
                    Suffice to say that God is going to do what God wants done.
                    What we do in the interim is what is important.
                    Humble: a very sober and helpful comment in this "interim" period!

                    Oh great! I just noticed that I am now an official WEDG addict. My wife will be thrilled to hear that

                    PS to PlumBob: Five Man Electrical Band was a Canadian band from the early 70's I think. What's 30 years Bro?
                    Last edited by HSB; 06-25-2005, 11:04 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                      Originally posted by HSB
                      Humble: a very sober and helpful comment in this "interim" period!

                      Oh great! I just noticed that I am now an official WEDG addict. My wife will be thrilled to hear that

                      PS to PlumBob: Five Man Electrical Band was a Canadian band from the early 70's I think. What's 30 years Bro?
                      I've already closed the link, but Signs was recorded on an album named "The Sounds of Canada" or some such. 1971, I think. Just a few days ago Ahhhh, I remember those times as if they were yesterday!

                      Comment


                      • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                        Originally posted by PlumBob
                        I've already closed the link, but Signs was recorded on an album named "The Sounds of Canada" or some such. 1971, I think. Just a few days ago Ahhhh, I remember those times as if they were yesterday!
                        I'd like to know where evry one is from. Me Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. While you on the east coast will probably see tsumanii, we on the wet coast will see earthquake.

                        Looks like our minority Liberal govt (liberal in every sense and corrupt) was not pulled down by our Conservatives (who were asleep) so we can expect samesex marriage this summer, also I hear Canada joined the gang against Israel in the disengagement. Rife for judgement!!!!--makes me sick.

                        There is no knowledge in our land on our traditions in Christ. Our state religion is Tollerance--and that would be for anything other than bigoted Real Christianity. Our idol in the west is "materialism", and our mantra --"man is the measure of all things". "As in the days of Noah so it will be in the days of the coming of the SON OF MAN" --oh , oh what about Noah ? He was saved from judgement (RAPTURE?). Our nations are like Israel was in the days of Jeramiah, Ezekiel--when judgement hit. Ever since I was a little girl I would get up some mornings and look out my window and talk to Jesus and ask "is this the day your going to come and get me" Is still do it---does any one else do that?

                        I am sure curious to know who Gog is ---but like in Daniel when the vision is sealed till the end, I wonder if maybe we wont know who Gog is until the mystery is unsealed by God.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                          The Rast article indicates that the primary rationale for Gog invading Israel as outlined in Ezekiel is to "wipe out" the Jews. That is simply totally incorrect. It is not in the Bible! Am I the only one bothered by this??
                          With all due respect, HSB, I do see something in Ezekiel that indicates that Gog has "evil thoughts" toward the people of Israel.

                          In verse 4, God says - "And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth" - so God is going to turn him around, put a hook in his jaw and bring him and all his cohorts "forth".

                          Then in verses 10-12 it says - "It shall also come to pass, [that] at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

                          And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates

                          To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places [that are now] inhabited, and upon the people [that are] gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land"

                          What I see going on here is that God will bring Gog and his company forth and Gog will be a guard for his company. But after many days, he will be visited, and he will begin to think his own evil thoughts to destroy the people of the land of Israel and take spoil.

                          This is not a sudden thing. God is showing us that He had this planned and coordinated a long time ago when He "brought forth" Gog and his company. Then after many days (even centuries later), Gog will think evil to come against an unprotected people.

                          In otherwords, I do see there to be scriptural evidence that this could be Islamic nations with their evil intent to destroy the Jews from the face of the earth.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                            Please dont shoot me for posting such a long article --I got it in a link from Real Dutch.
                            I just find it really interesting . It contains elements of the Syria war threat, settlers in the mtns, philistines-palestinians etc written in 2000. I have printed it so I can desipher it and study it close to my Bible. Here goes:

                            War on the Horizon

                            Bob Westbrook, Editor of Trumpet Sounds.
                            May 24, 2000

                            The situation in Lebanon portends that Israel may soon be involved in another war. Now that Israel has withdrawn from the buffer zone in south Lebanon, the situation may quickly escalate to military confrontation with Syria. There are a number of Bible prophecies that may be speaking of the situation just ahead. It's important to have an understanding of these because fulfilled prophecy is one of the most powerful proofs of the veracity of the Bible. God has revealed the significant details of His plan for human history before they happen. This prophecy regarding the destruction of Damascus could occur very very soon, and we will be able to point to it as yet another evidence that the Bible is absolutely reliable, and that the things that God has spoken will soon take place.

                            Here is an outline of how I understand it:

                            The war will include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians.
                            Syria - Isaiah 17:1, Zechariah 9:1 Zechariah 11:2-3, Jeremiah 49:23-25
                            Lebanon - Zechariah 11:1 Zechariah 9:2-4
                            "Palestine" - Isaiah 17:3 Zechariah 9:5 Zephaniah 2:5 Ezekiel 25:15-17 Isaiah 14:31-32
                            Jordan - Isaiah 17:2 (Aroer) Zephaniah 2:8-9 (Ammon)
                            Damascus will be utterly annihilated. Isaiah 17:1 Jeremiah 49:23-27 The extent of the destructions hints that nuclear weapons may be involved; how else would an entire modern city "cease to be a city"?
                            The Palestinians will join the Syrians and foolishly make a grab for territory. They will see the obliteration of their ally Damascus and "writhe in anguish." "The king will perish from Gaza" - Gaza is the place where Arafat's headquarters are. Zechariah 9:1,5 "I will eliminate the pride of the Philistines." Zechariah 9:6
                            Lebanon, Syria, and perhaps Jordan will burn. Zechariah 11:1-3
                            As a result of Israel's destruction of Damascus, their national status will become emaciated because of intense international condemnation and outrage. Isaiah 17:4,12
                            These circumstances will compel Israel to begin looking to the Lord. Isaiah 17:7
                            Possibly, as a result of this war, Israel will obtain large portions of territory from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (land that had been promised to them by God.) Zechariah 10:9-10 Jeremiah 49:1-2 Isaiah 54:2-3 Obadiah 1:19-20
                            Isaiah 17 is the critical passage, for it unequivocally declares a prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled: "Damascus will cease to be a city, and will become a heap of ruins." Damascus is said to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, first mentioned in the Bible during the time of Abraham. It is now the capital of Syria, the implacable enemy of Israel. Syria is the occupying power in Lebanon, and is a primary sponsor (along with Iran) of anti-Israel terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Amal.

                            Hezbollah has indicated it will not stop its attacks on Israel, because their vowed purpose is the elimination of Israel. In a new tactic to further this aim, Hezbollah is now equipping, training, and mobilizing Palestinians from the Lebanese "refugee camps." Because Syria implicitly encourages this, and will refuse to restrain Hezbollah, even after many warnings by Israel, Israel will act decisively to protect the people in its northern towns. Both Lebanon and Syria will become involved in a war against Israel.

                            Zechariah 9:1-2 is another key prophecy regarding the fate of Syria and Lebanon. "The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD) and Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise." (NASB) Hadrach refers to the nation of Syria; Hamath and Damascus are cities in it. Tyre and Sidon are in Lebanon, and are the locations of some of the primary Palestinian camps, from which terrorists are being trained by Hezbollah. Notice the details of Zechariah's prophecy - the "burden" (ominous, woeful message) is against "the land" (Syria) and will "rest" (fall with the fullest and final force) on Damascus. And when this happens, it will gather the attention of all of the world, and especially of Israel. That's "when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord."

                            Here is more about Damascus, from the prophet Jeremiah: 'Concerning Damascus: "Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea. Damascus has become feeble, she has turned to flee and panic has gripped her; anguish and pain have seized her, pain like that of a woman in labor. Why has the city of renown not been abandoned, the town in which I delight?'" (Jeremiah 49:23-25 NIV) This seems to coincide with Isaiah's and Zechariah's prophecy regarding Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are other cities in Syria - could it be the "bad news" they are hearing is the obliteration of Damascus? The degree of their distress at hearing the news is powerfully portrayed by Jeremiah. They "are convulsed with anxiety" (NJB) and Damascus herself is "aghast" and gripped with panic.

                            Regarding the last sentence - "the town in which I delight" is obviously Jerusalem. According to Jeremiah, it "had not been abandoned" - implying that given the events he saw prophetically might have expected people to flee, but they did not. The Amplified Bible puts it this way: "How [remarkable that] the renowned city is not deserted, the city of my joy!" This is all conjecture, but consider this: one thing that would prompt Israel to use weapons of mass destruction (nuclear) against Damascus would be if they were responding in kind to the use of weapons of mass destruction (biological and/or chemical) by the Syrians. Perhaps that is what Jeremiah saw, and thus would have expected to see people abandoning Jerusalem, except for the fact that Israel put a stop to it by bombing Damascus?

                            Jeremiah continues with: "Therefore her (Damascus') young men shall fall in her streets, and all her soldiers shall be silenced in that day, says Yahweh of Hosts." (Jeremiah 49:26) Obviously, the Syrian army will never again be a threat to Israel. God Himself gets very personally involved in the action in the next verse, when He says, "I will set fire to the walls of Damascus."

                            Isaiah 17:3 says that the reign, the rule, the royal power, the sovereignty will "disappear" from Damascus. This also implies more than just a defeat by a foreign power. For a capital city of a nation to no longer rule over that nation, a catastrophic defeat must take place. In the wake of a defeat of this magnitude, Israel would very likely step in and and take possession of portions of the defeated nations where their troops have invaded, though this is not their initial intention or motivation.

                            I had puzzled over part of verse 3 in Isaiah 17, which is speaking of the destruction of Damascus. Verse 3 didn't make sense to me at first: "The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus." God would be judging Syria, but what would "Ephraim" have to do with that? Was He going to be dealing with Israel also, I thought? No, it didn't seem to fit. Then I realized after some research that the "hill country of Ephraim" is the area of the now known as the "West Bank," where Arafat wants to establish His Palestinian state.

                            Whether or not a Palestinian state is in existence before the war with Syria, the outcome will be the same for them. Even (or especially) if they have not achieved their desire of statehood on Israel's land at that point, they will jump at the opportunity to join Syria. They will see it as their chance to seize the land that Israel did not cede to them. And so this part of verse 3 is speaking of a situation in the very near future - that God will crush the "fortifications" of the Palestinians after they foolishly join the Syrians, presumably in a grab for Jerusalem. "Ephraim will be stripped of its defenses." (NJB)

                            CONT...

                            Comment


                            • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                              There are other prophecies that speak of the demise of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. In order to invent a historical claim to the land, the Palestinians have fancied themselves to be the spiritual descendents of the Caananites and the Philistines. Though there is no physical connection, the name "Palestine" is indeed derived from "Philistine." And one of the 5 Philistine cities, Gaza, is now the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. There are several Bible prophecies that speak of the "Philistines," written after the Philistines of old had faded from prominence.

                              In the context of an oracle against Syria and Damascus, (Zechariah 9:1-8) foretelling that it will be "consumed with fire," Zechariah also refers to the "Philistines" (Palestinians). They will "see it" (the destruction of their ally Syria by Israel) and "writhe in agony." Their "hopes will wither" and "the king will perish from Gaza". I believe that may be referring to Arafat. Furthermore, God says, "I will cut off the pride of the Philistines." To conclude, the Lord says, "I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch." (Zechariah 9:8 NIV)

                              That's one reason why I believe the first 8 verses of Zechariah 9, which describe what happens to Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians, is talking about end-times events as well as what happened during the time of Alexander the Great. That last verse can only be talking about end-times events, for certainly oppressors have overrun the Jewish people many times since this was written. Furthermore, Zechariah's prophecy then goes on to describe events that will happen at both the first and second coming of the Messiah Jesus.

                              Ezekiel also saw a future judgment against the Philistines, and the reasons that are cited for their punishment sound very much like the attitudes of today's Palestinians: "This is what the Lord God says: 'Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, therefore this is what the Lord God says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.'" (Ezekiel 25:15-17)

                              Zephaniah also talks about judgment on the Philistines: "Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; And I will destroy you, so that there will be no inhabitant." (Zephaniah 2:5 NASB) It is curious that God uses the term "Canaan," to describe the land. That seems to indicate that just as the Canaanites were inhabiting the land promised to Israel, so too these future Philistines would have possession of land which does not belong to them.

                              In the same context, God addresses what may be modern-day Jordan for their participation in the anti-Israel campaigns: ""I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land." (Zephaniah 2:8 NIV) Isaiah concurs with this, saying that in conjunction with the annihilation of Damascus, "The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid." (Isaiah 17:2 NIV)

                              The identity of Ammon today is easy to ascertain, for "Amman" is the capital of Jordan. Remember that land east of the Jordan River was allocated to 2 1/2 tribes of Israel? But today that part of the "East Bank" does not belong to Israel, but to Jordan. In this prophecy, the Lord wonders aloud why this situation has persisted: 'Concerning the Ammonites: This is what the LORD says: "Has Israel no sons? Has she no heirs? Why then has Molech taken possession of Gad? Why do his people live in its towns? But the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will sound the battle cry against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it will become a mound of ruins, and its surrounding villages will be set on fire. Then Israel will drive out those who drove her out," says the LORD.' (Jeremiah 49:1-2 NIV) . It was allocated to the tribe of Gad. The Lord is asking why the "Ammonites" live there instead of Israelis, and then proclaims that He will rectify that in the days to come. Incidently, "Rabbah" has become the modern city that is now the capital of Jordan, Amman.

                              In another place, Zechariah also speaks of a future conflagration in Lebanon, and massive environmental damage done in the area of northern Jordan, southern Syria, and the Golan Heights: "Open your doors, O Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars! Wail, O pine tree, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down! Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!" (Zechariah 11:1-3 NIV) Could this also be foretelling the war that is on the horizon? Foreign Minister David Levy recently echoed this prophecy when he thundered from the Knesset floor "Lebanon will burn!"

                              As a result of this war, and especially because of the "removal" of Damascus from the face of the earth, the international community will rise up in outrage against Israel. "Oh, the uproar and raging of many peoples who roar like the roaring of the seas, and oh the rumbling of nations who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!" (Isaiah 17:12) Israel will undergo withering criticism from the United Nations, and will be viewed harshly. The national status of Israel will become emaciated: "When that day comes, Jacob's glory will diminish, from being fat he will grow lean." (Isaiah 17:4) It is very likely that overt anti-semitism will once again explode all over the globe.

                              Though Israel will be severely censured by the international community, their physical situation should be vastly improved after the war. Here's a perspective to consider... what if, after all these events, Israel ends up with even more land, and no malicious neighbors to harass them anymore? Would they not see that as a sign that God is intervening on their behalf, despite their lack of faith in His ability to deliver them? There are prophecies in Ezekiel that seem to indicate this may be one of God's purposes for this war. Compare these two prophecies, from chapters 28 and 38. The first talks of Israel living in safety after all of their malicious neighbors have been punished and eliminated as a source of painful affliction to Israel. The second one is from the famous "Gog" prophecy, describing the condition of Israel later on when Gog and his "hordes" decide to invade Israel.

                              "'No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.' This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.'" (Ezekiel 28:24-26 NIV)

                              "'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land. (Ezekiel 38:7-9 NIV)

                              Notice that they both use the phrase "live in safety" to describe Israel. The first prophecy says that after they have been regathered to the land, they will "live in safety" as the result of God's subsequent punishment of their neighbors. The second prophecy says "living in safety" is the condition at the time of Gog's invasion. Because they do not now "live in safety" and continually suffer contempt and harassment from their neighbors, something has to happen to change that before the Ezekiel 38 situation can occur. Perhaps the war between Israel and Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Palestinians is the "punishment" that would eliminate the continual hostility from Israel's neighbors? If so, then the phrase saying that Israel had "recovered from war" in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy might be referring to the war with Syria.

                              In presenting these Scriptures for your consideration, I'm not certain that all of them necessarily refer to the situation just ahead. While the timing these events is uncertain to us, we know that every word that God has spoken will be certainly take place. We have His sworn testimony to that effect! 'The Lord of Hosts has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.'" (Isaiah 14:24)

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                              • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                                WendyJ: I will be out your way later this very day!! We arrive in Vancouver tonight and then early next week will be travelling to Hornby Island for the long weekend, spending time with 2 daughters/soninlaw and 2 grandkids. I will wave in your direction from the ferry!

                                SandyLion: thanks for your followup. I hope that the author was right and that the Muslim nations get the judgment that God will be dumping out on somebody shortly. My point about Gog was that he comes in reluctantly (hooks in the jaws) not screaming Jihad. The evil plan is IMHO targetted at the resources primarily (spoil and prey) once he is "on the ground". At any rate I will let this issue go. Hard to argue with Kinsella's 10 ^91 certainty about Russia anyway! PS Think Ill dig out some old records (can't believe how primitive that record player technology seems against the new iPods/CDs etc) and sing along with PlumBob's friends PS AT least if the electricity fails we could spin the records manually and use a grammaphone hookup (if anybody remembers what they are)

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