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Pentecost, War and Peace for Israel

Amidst the devastations that befell ancient Israel as the result of her rebellion against God, the prophet Ezekiel was shown that there would be a time when the captives would be returned from Babylon to their land.

Jeremiah had previously foretold that Israel’s captivity would last 70 years. In that generation the false prophets and corrupt leadership that were instrumental in leading Israel into her punishment would have been eliminated. Just as God used a 40 year sojourn in the wilderness to eliminate the people that could not inherit the promised land, His purpose in retaining Israel in Babylon and the other countries where the people had been scattered, served the same function and the corrupters would perish in the wilderness of their captivity.

In Ezekiel 36, God tells the prophet that the people would be restored to the land.

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land (Ezekiel 36:24).

At that time they would be cleansed from their filthiness (verse 25), and they would be given a “new heart” (verse 26).

And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them (Verse 27).

The promise of a time when God would put His law in their hearts was also previously prophesied by Jeremiah.

Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
     Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD:
     But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31-33).

With the promises of God’s restoration of His people ringing in his heart, Ezekiel was transported in the Spirit into a vision of a valley of dry bones. In response to the prophet’s obedience to God’s command to prophesy over them, he watched as God’s Holy Spirit brought the breath of life back into the dead. This outpouring of God’s Spirit was prophesied by the prophet Joel.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit (Joel 2: 28,29).

This prophecy was dramatically fulfilled on the day of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Acts 2).
     The prophet Daniel accurately foretold that the Messiah would be killed (Daniel 9:26). It was the Messiah’s death that enabled the Holy Spirit to be released upon God’s people.

As Ezekiel witnessed the restoration of His people through Pentecost as the result of the Messiah’s sacrifice (Isaiah 53), he was also shown that the Messiah would be king through the similitude of David, and that He would be their prince forever, an eternal king.

And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell there, even they, and their children, and their children's children forever: and My servant David shall be their prince forever (Ezekiel 37:25).

The witness of an empty tomb proclaims that the Messiah Jesus would live forever and return to be the king who would not die.

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore (Ezekiel 37:25,26).

It would be through the Messiah’s atoning death that the prophesied New Covenant would be instigated that would be the spiritual peace that the assurance of eternal life bestows. –

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

With the vision of life restored in a valley of death, and the promise of an eternal king resounding in his being, Ezekiel’s vision suddenly drops off into an abyss of time.

It would be many years later that the prophet Daniel would be given the remaining pieces of the puzzle that would complete the mural of God’s plan for the future of His people and the world.
     Along with Daniel’s instructions by the angel that the Messiah would be killed, the prophet was also shown that Jerusalem would again be destroyed. This prophecy was fulfilled forty years after Jesus’ death when the city was annihilated by Titus’ army in 70AD and the Jews were once again banished from the land. Historically, this tragedy was the event that followed Ezekiel’s vision of Pentecost and precipitated the great chasm of time, the gap in his prophecy that had to be traversed until the Jews once again would be seen in their own land surrounded by the armies of her enemies.

When Ezekiel is again privileged to peer through another keyhole into the future, he beholds to his dismay, a devastating vison of yet another attack on Israel. We are shown in Ezekiel 38:8-16, that the vision the prophet is witnessing takes place in the latter days. Israel has once again been returned to the land - “is brought forth out of the nations (verse 8); “that are gathered out of the nations” (verse 12).
     These are the only references to modern Israel. When all the other verses pertaining to the Jews’ return to the Holy Land are studied within their context, they are referring to the return after the Babylonian captivity and when they are brought back after their second captivity which is prophesied in Zechariah 14:1,2.

The attack on Israel that Ezekiel is shown in chapters 38 and 39, relates to the time in earth’s history when the prophesied one world government (Revelation 13) has achieved full power.
     By this time the antichrist is in control and according to Daniel’s record of this same period, it is the antichrist who invades the holy land.

He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon (Daniel 11:41).

We see in Daniel’s prophecy the link to Gog of Ezekiel’s prophecy in verse 43.

But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps (Daniel 11:43).

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: (Ezekiel 38:5).

Thus we are shown that Gog is identified as the antichrist.
     His invasion of the land of Israel propels the Jews into a second captivity, also graphically prophesied by Zechariah.

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the midst of you.
     For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city (Zechariah 14:1,2).

This event correlates to “The Great Tribulation” described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21.-

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

We are also shown in Ezekiel 11:36-38, the characteristics of the antichrist. - “He magnifies himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: - (Evil must come to its fullness before God destroys it (Genesis 15:16) –for that that is determines shall be done (verse 36).

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers (he comes from a religious background) nor the desire of women, or regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all (verse 37).

This proclaiming of himself to be god, is reiterated by the Apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2:3,4. The “day of Christ,” that is Jesus’ second coming, will be preceded by apostasy, a “falling away before that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (verse 3).
Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (Verse 4).

The word temple here is not the word that is used to describe the temple building. This word naos is associated with the holy of holies. This desecration, which is the proclaiming of man as God, in the place of God, is “the abomination of desolation," prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 9:27), and referred to by Jesus, is the event that precedes the second captivity, the great tribulation (Matthew 24:15).

This antichrist is described by Daniel as “the prince that shall come,” (Daniel 9:26) from the people who destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD. He confirms the covenant with many for one week (Daniel 9:27). The covenant is the everlasting covenant God gave His people through the Messiah Jesus. We were shown that the antichrist had a religious background. One of the ways that he initially deceives the masses into thinking he is a good guy so to speak, is that he portrays himself as religious to a point. Then halfway through the week, which could be symbolic of a period of seven years, each day of the week representing one year (Ezekiel 4:6, Numbers 14:3,4), he forcibly invades and takes over Israel. He cause the sacrifices and the oblation to cease. This is the point where he renounces his faith and denounces that sacrifice; that is the atonement of Jesus.

While many have interpreted this to mean that the temple has been built and he is stopping the Jews’ animal sacrifices, we need to understand that he is “antiCHRIST.” He is anti-Messiah and everything that Jesus is and represents. He breaks the everlasting covenant, renouncing Jesus’ atonement and this is the point when he declares himself as God.
     Prior to this declaration, the apostasy has been carried along by an increase in the promotion of humanism, which basically is the belief that man can be his own god. So when the antichrist declares himself to be God, he is replacing Christianity with humanism and will be accepted by the masses who have preferred this lie above the truth (II Thessalonians 2:20).
     Because the modern nation of Israel was founded by man as a secular nation, secularized Jews will accept the delusion. Orthodox Jews, Muslims and any remaining Christians will of course rebel against the antichrist’s blasphemous declaration.

The idea of the Jewish people accepting the antichrist as a humanist, who eventually demands to be worshipped in the place of God like a communist, brings us back to Ezekiel’s vision where we are shown the reason why Jerusalem is once again enduring a devastating invasion.
     In chapter 38, verses 16 and 17, we are shown that it is God that is causing Gog to invade Israel.

And you shall come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring you against My land, that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes.
     Thus says the Lord GOD; Are you he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring you against them?

In Ezekiel 39, verses 2 and 24, we are shown the reason why God has permitted this tragedy.

And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against Me, therefore I hid My face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so they all fell by the sword.
     According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done to them, and hid My face from them.

It is the sins of the people, including the rejection of the gospel that has caused the walls of God’s protection to crumble at their feet.

What we are being shown is that Israel will once again endure a repeat of the Babylonian captivity, although this tribulation will not be as long. Because of the severity of this war, “The time will be shortened” as Jesus said, or no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22). There would be no one left alive.
     There is an indication in Ezekiel 39:15 that nuclear weapons may be used to some degree. In verse 15 we are shown that after the war people are sent to bury the dead. When they find a body they “set a sign by it.” I was told by someone who had served in the military that some are trained to set a marker on a corpse that has been contaminated by radiation. Those who are familiar with the effects of a nuclear blast, see the description of God’s Judgment on Israel’s enemies as similar to a nuclear explosion. -

And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth (Zechariah 14:12).

Of course the supernatural fire of God’s wrath descending from above would also have the same effect.

True to the pattern in God’s word, when the punishment of Israel and the world has been fulfilled, God will cause those who have attacked Israel and caused her devastation to be destroyed.
     We see in Ezekiel 39:14, that it is their attack of Israel that causes the attackers own destruction. God operates with what is already existing within the heart of man. The animosity that is harbored in the heart of Israel’s enemies is the element that God sees in the people He uses as His rod of correction. That hatred is the catalyst that instigates God’s punishment of the attackers. So God uses the sin of Israel’s enemies to correct the sin in His people.

When the beast, the one world empire is finally permitted by God to unleash its havoc upon the earth, we are to remember that the evil is perpetuated by the continuous sins of the nations. The evil is ordained to slay the wicked.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9).

We see that God’s people are fighting in Jerusalem, (Zechariah 14:13,14). God causes Gog to die upon the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:4) and sends fire upon his land of Magog (Ezekiel 39:6).

This final war correlates to the time that just precedes Jesus’ second coming. The battle of Armageddon is a battle within the war that was instigated during the tribulation (Rev. 16:16). The failure of God’s enemies to overcome the Jews is portrayed in Revelation 19, which correlates with Ezekiel 39.
     Just prior to Armageddon, the sign of Jesus’ return appears in the sky. It is at this time that the Lord sends His angels to gather the Christians and the dead are raised (Matthew 24:30,31). This is the event described by the Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians 4:14-17 which precedes the final outpouring of God’s wrath on the wicked, the bowl judgments (Rev. 16) and the destruction of Babylon, the world system, both religious and political (Rev. 17). This time of wrath occurs in the space of time between the appearing of the sign in the sky and Jesus’ actual return. This is the only time in the history of the Christian church that there will be no true Christians on earth.

While the wicked are experiencing the culmination of the results of their rebellion against God and His people, there is a celebration in heaven when all of God’s people are gathered at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
     The glorious finale to this time of devastation upon Israel’s enemies is described in Ezekiel 39:25-29.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name;
     After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against Me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
     When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
     Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them to their own land, and have left none of them anymore there.
     Neither will I hide My face any more from them: for I have poured out My spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.

We see in verse 27 that His people are gathered a second time (Isaiah 11:11, 2:4, Joel 3) and returned to their land. We see in Zechariah 14 that Israel’s restoration begins and the war ends when Jesus returns. His feet land on the Mount of Olives causing a massive earthquake. Jesus prophesied of His coming while He was sitting in the exact location of His return (Matthew 24:3).
     It is at this time that all of the Jews that have survived the tribulation will at last receive Jesus as their Messiah. This is the time the Apostle Paul is referring to when he said, “All Israel will be saved.” -

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:26,27 from Isaiah 59:20).

Like the repentant thief on the cross writhing in the consequences of his sin, who received Jesus in the last few moments of his life (Luke 23:39-43), Israel will at last recognize her Messiah as she is delivered from her captivity.

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me (God in Christ) whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, (The Messiah), as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).

In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem,… (Zechariah 12:11),
as the realization of what their previous rejection of the Messiah Jesus and their sins have caused them.

As we witness the mourning of the people who had rejected their Messiah writhe in the ashes of their repentance, we return to Ezekiel’s visions of a temple restored in his prophecy contained in chapters 40 through 48. The vision these chapters contain were given to him 14 years after Jerusalem was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar and concludes his book of prophecies.
     The prophet is shown a temple restored. There would be a new temple built when they returned after the Babylonian captivity, but this prophecy is referring to another time in the future.
     We had just witnessed in the previous chapters Gog’s devastating attack on Jerusalem in the latter days, and the Jew’s vindication. Ezekiel is now being shown the restoration of the worship of the one true God through His image, the Messiah, who has returned in victory (Zechariah 14).
     Now because the Jews have received the New Covenant, they are given the land once again.

The new temple described in Ezekiel’s vision also does not have a separate court for the Gentiles which is another reminder to the Jews that the land is to be shared on an equal basis with the Gentiles.

And it shall come to pass, that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance to you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be to you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.
    And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourns, there shall you give him his inheritance, says the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 47:22,23).

This time this commandment will be obeyed. There will be one fold, Jew and Gentile, Arab and Hebrew living together as one under and one shepherd, the Messiah Jesus, just as God had always intended.

When the temple is restored, the Jews are instructed to resume animal sacrifices. While Jesus has removed their sin and the sins of all the people, and poured out His Holy Spirit upon them (Ezekiel 39:29), we can wonder why God is permitting the restoration of animal sacrifices. as they were always intended to be a foreshadow of Messiah’s sacrifice.
     By that time all the previous prophecies and foreshadows concerning the Messiah have been understood, including God’s use of animal sacrifice as a foreshadow of the atonement. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11).
     The sacrifices are now being restored under the Messiah’s rule as a memorial of what He had sacrificed for them and a reminder of their sin in previously rejecting His atonement. Thus the animal sacrifices to them would be the equivalent of what communion is intended to be for the Christian; a memorial of Jesus’ sacrifice and the sins of the people that caused the need for His atoning death.

We have now entered a time in the landscape of prophetic history when the judgment seat of Christ prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34) and reiterated by Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46) will have taken place. The evil one world totalitarian government will have been annihilated and replaced by a perfect theocracy with Jesus ruling the people with a compassionate, fair and just rod of iron; along with all those who had received Him in their earth lives and have returned with Him to serve as His magistrates.
     In Zechariah’s prophecy, we witness living waters being sent from Jerusalem to heal the seas (Zechariah 14:8) that have been devoid of life from man’s pollutions. Oceans that have been contaminated and had become as the blood of a dead man (Rev. 16:3); a massive dead zone void of oxygen and fish, will be restored. This restoration correlates with Ezekiel’s vision of the same miraculous event in chapter 47 of his prophecy where the water is seen emerging from the temple.

And it shall come to pass, that everything that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come there: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live where the river comes (Ezekiel 47:9).

The planet is supernaturally restored from the ravages of man’s greed, the men who destroyed the earth (Rev. 11:18). The evidences of war are destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9), and reformed into farming equipment (Isaiah 2:4) and the prophecies of happy children playing safely in the streets of Jerusalem and every city and town in the world are fulfilled.

Thus says the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof (Zechariah 8:4,5).

The warless world under the Messiah that was prophesied so long ago is gloriously fulfilled, precisely within the scriptures’ time frame. The map and plan was always there, overlooked for the most part by the people God had chosen to be the womb for its fulfillment.
     Those of us who have connected the dots and understood the mystery, should love our mother Israel who birthed our Messiah for us, and proclaim the gospel message of His deliverance in the time remaining before the final tempest arrives. Israel needs to repent, the Palestinians need to forgive and both sides need to receive the Messiah Jesus. Until then, there will be no real peace for Israel.

Copyright 2024 by H.D. Shively

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