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« Reply #135 on: July 11, 2009, 07:18:47 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 3 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. (Isaiah 11:3-5)

The striking contrast between the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah is evident. Psalms 2:8-9 confirms that He will rule the nations with an iron scepter. Rev. 19:15 agrees and adds that He'll strike down the nations with the word of His mouth.

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Once the Messianic era begins, peace will be it's most distinguishing characteristic. In part 1 we saw that in the Messianic Kingdom nation would no longer take up arms against nation. Now we see that the Millennial peace will extend to the animal kingdom as well. In a later installment we'll see that the creation itself will burst forth in joyful song.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim's jealousy will vanish, and Judah's enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:10-13)

The first re-gathering of the nation took place after the Babylonian captivity. The second one officially began in 1948, continues to this day, and will be complete after the Battle of Ezekiel 38. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. (Ezekiel 39:28 ) After 2000 years, God's people will have come home from the Diaspora and will be a single Kingdom again for the first time since 900 BC.

They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will lay hands on Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt. (Isaiah 11:14-16)

Chapter 11 closes with yet another promise that as the end of the age draws near the people we erroneously call Palestinians today will cease to be a problem for God's people by reason of conquest. Israel will take hold of them and place them under subjugation. These verses likely refer to the battle of Psalms 83, which is very possibly the next event on the prophetic calendar.

The Egyptian Sea is the Red Sea and it's gulf could be either the gulf of Acaba or the Gulf of Eilat, the two "rabbit ears" at its northern end. The mighty Euphrates, traditional boundary between East and West will become seven streams. The highway for the remnant from Assyria completes the idea that no longer will any natural boundary prevent God's people from coming to His Holy City.

Isaiah 12, Songs of Praise

In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." (Isaiah 12:1-6)


In the past, when Israel was in the land and at peace with God, the whole world stood in awe of the incredible blessing that accompanies a covenant relationship with our Creator. It's been a very long time since that has happened, but at long last God's people will be one with Him again, and again the whole world will be blessed. More next time. 01-17-09
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« Reply #136 on: July 11, 2009, 07:34:12 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 4 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

This installment of the End Times According To Isaiah is all about Babylon. The fact that I've included Isaiah 13-14:23 in this series demonstrates my belief that Babylon has never been destroyed in the manner Isaiah will describe for us here, and that there is a major role in the end times for this ancient city. In all the Bible, the only city mentioned more often is Jerusalem. In fact some have gone so far as to characterize the Bible as "A Tale Of Two Cities," Babylon, the city of Satan, versus Jerusalem, the city of God. Not surprisingly the two are always in contention.

Babylon is the origin of every counterfeit religion and mythology, every attempt to deny and defeat the truth of God's word. It's the place where man rebelled against God at the beginning of the Age. Why then is it so difficult for people to believe that Babylon will rise to prominence again for man's rebellion at the end of the Age? Is not Satan the motivating force behind man's rebellion? Those who want to allegorize the End Times references to Babylon simply don't understand the spiritual significance of this great city. Just like the one whose city it is, Babylon was, now is not, but will come again and go to its destruction. (Revelation 17:8 )

Isaiah 13 … A Prophecy Against Babylon

An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:

Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my holy ones; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath - those who rejoice in my triumph.

Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.

They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens - the LORD and the weapons of his wrath -  to destroy the whole country.

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man's heart will melt. Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.

See, the day of the LORD is coming  - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.

I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. (Isaiah 13:1-12)


Isaiah begins with a general statement identifying when Babylon's ultimate destruction will come. It will be during the time when the Lord judges the world for its evil, a time often called The Day Of The Lord, or the Great Tribulation. To make sure we understand this, we see the same reference to the sun, moon, and stars in Matthew 24:29 where they signal the end of the Great Tribulation.

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.

Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, each will return to his own people, each will flee to his native land. Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished. See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold. Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children. (Isaiah 13:13-18 )


The Medes were partners with the Persians who conquered Babylon in 539 BC. But nothing like what's described here happened at that time. As foretold in Isaiah 45, the Medes and Persians took Babylon with out a battle. In fact it was several days before all the residents discovered they had become a Persian City. The Medes, called Kurds today, are a fiercely independent people whose homeland straddles the borders of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Having been persecuted by all three countries, and particularly by Iraq, it won't take any special incentive for them to settle their score with Babylon when the time comes.

Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there.

But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged. (Isaiah 13:19-22)


The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah weren't discovered until centuries after they disappeared in a fiery blaze that turned everything to ash. Evidence shows that balls of sulfur up to 9000 degrees F (5000 C.) rained down from heaven burning everything in sight and melting the sand into glass. The entire ecosystem perished and the land became a barren wasteland, never again inhabited.

In contrast Babylon was continuously inhabited after its capture, first by the Persians, who made it a provincial capitol, and then by the Greeks when they conquered the Persians. Alexander the Great died there after conquering the known world. Babylon remained a province of the various iterations of the Persian Empire until 650 AD, almost 1200 years after it was first conquered. Today a small town called Al-Hillah stands among the ancient ruins.

In the mid 1980's Saddam Hussein spent millions in a restoration project, turning Babylon into a ceremonial city for weddings and other special events. Today's Iraqi leaders have plans for completing Babylon's restoration, making it into a cultural center complete with shopping malls, hotels, and perhaps a theme park. The US government recently donated $700K to fund studies on the renovation. The plan is that one day soon millions of people will visit Babylon again.

The original language of this passage contained words that are believed to be the names of demons. The animal names are said to have been substituted to make the passage understandable to western minds.
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« Reply #137 on: July 11, 2009, 07:36:09 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 4 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Isaiah 14 … The King Of Babylon

The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.

Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in the LORD's land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors. (Isaiah 14:1-2)

In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare. (Jeremiah 50:20)

Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon." The LORD dwells in Zion! (Joel 3:20-21)


Isaiah 14 opens with a reminder that at the End of the Age God would remember His people and bring them back to the Land He promised would be theirs forever. Many settlers would be converts to Judaism from among the Gentiles of Europe, working alongside descendants of the 12 tribes to build their country anew. We've already seen how Gentile nations like England and the US have helped make this happen. Soon, the enemies who oppress them today will be their subjects, even their servants.

Other prophecies yet to be fulfilled tell of a day when the Lord will so completely forgive Israel that even those who search for an accusation to hurl will find nothing. It's hard to imagine how such a change could come about. Zechariah explains what will make it possible.

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zechariah 12:10)

Once the nation's eyes are opened to the Messiah, It's like a new day dawning. They'll find that His blood has covered even the sin of shedding it, and He'll once again be pleased to dwell among them, and this time it'll be forever. (Ezekiel 43:7). And now, back to Babylon.

On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.

All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing. Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down." (Isaiah 14:3-8 )


In chapter 13 we saw the destruction of the city. Now the Lord has Isaiah turn to the one who has caused all the world's problems. As we'll see, He isn't talking about Nebuchadnezzar, or even the anti-Christ.

The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you - all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones - all those who were kings over the nations.

They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."

All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. (Isaiah 14:9-11)


The King of Babylon will join those who have foolishly chosen to follow him down through the ages. All the world's mighty men will finally see that he was no better then they. Though he promised them great things, even "all the Kingdoms of the World", in the end he can't even save himself from the wrath of God, and will share their miserable fate.

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." Isaiah 14:12-14
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« Reply #138 on: July 11, 2009, 07:37:57 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 4 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

The King James reads "Lucifer, son of the morning" in verse 12 rather than "morning star, son of the dawn." Lucifer is a word that means "light bearer" and comes from the Latin translation of verse 12. The Hebrew phrase is "Heylel ben Shakar" and is possibly the devil's real name. Heylel is from a root word that means "to shine" in the sense of foolish boasting or making a show of oneself. It's the source of the title "the shining one". Ben means "son" and shakar means "dawn." So Heylel ben Shakar means "shining one, son of the dawn".

When he translated the Bible into Latin in 382-384 AD, Jerome used the word Lucifer for heylel in Isaiah 14:12, giving the devil a new name. Some later translations incorrectly use morning star instead, perhaps to avoid personifying him. But the real Morning Star is Jesus, as Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:19 and as Jesus Himself said in Revelation 22:16. (Being a Latin word, Lucifer is not found in the Hebrew Scripture. The name Satan comes straight from the Hebrew haSatan which means "the adversary", so it's not really his name either, but is part of his job description.)

Having established that the Lord really had Satan in view, not the earthly king of Babylon, Isaiah then disclosed the basis for his rebellion. Satan set out to ascend to heaven and raise his throne (seat of power) above all other angels, to sit there on the mount of assembly, on its utmost heights. That means he wanted to be officially recognized as superior to all the angelic host and be the object of their worship and praise, and even beyond that to make himself equal to God, at least in one respect.

Like The Most High

I believe Isaiah's use of the title Most High in referring to God was intended to show that Satan didn't delude himself into thinking he could ever be recognized as the Creator. The first use of the phrase Most High in connection with God appears in Genesis 14:18. Then, in verse 19 Melchizedek blessed Abraham in the name of the Most High God, calling Him the possessor of Heaven and Earth. Satan wasn't trying to replace God as Earth's Creator. He wanted to possess it, and everyone in it.

When he couldn't get it legitimately, he stole it by getting Adam and Eve to disobey God. We know this because in the wilderness temptation he offered all the kingdoms of the world to the Lord, saying they had all been given to Him. Luke 4:6 While the Lord rejected his offer, He did not dispute his claim. This is why Jesus called Satan " the prince of this world" (John 12:31, 14:30,16:11), why Paul said he is "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4) and why John wrote, "the whole world is under the control of the evil one" (1 John 5:19) It's also why Paul wrote about the Lord redeeming the creation, not just you and me. (Romans 8:19-21) With His blood He redeemed everything Adam had lost.

But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"

All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb. But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit.

Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities. (Isaiah 14:15-21)


In middle Eastern thinking, killing a man is not the worst you can do to him. The worst thing is to deny him a decent burial afterward. Satan will spend the 1000 years of the Kingdom Age amid the rotting corpses of his followers, denied the courtesy of his own tomb. In contrast to the Righteous Branch, he has become the rejected branch. By deceit he gained the Earth and its inhabitants, but he destroyed one and killed the other. At the end of the 1000 years, he and his followers will be raised, but to slaughter not inheritance. (Revelation 20:7-15)

"I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD.

"I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty. (Isaiah 14:22-23)


The passage comes to a close with a repeat of its initial message. Babylon will be destroyed, but after seeing the extent of it's destruction, we know it hasn't happened yet. Jeremiah 50-51 tell the same story in even greater detail, confirming Isaiah's account. And for his version of Babylon's destruction (Revelation 18 ) John borrowed language from both these prophets. It's clear they were all talking about the same event. By the testimony of two or three witnesses a thing will be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15) More next time. 01-31-09
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« Reply #139 on: July 11, 2009, 07:53:51 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 5 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

This installment of the End Times According to Isaiah takes us to Isaiah 17 and the never fulfilled prophecy of the destruction of Damascus.

What's New?

In the past couple of years it has become even clearer that Isaiah's prophecy of the destruction of Damascus may soon come to fulfillment.  If so, it would explain why Syria is not included among the coalition of Moslem nations who will gather against Israel in the Battle of Ezekiel 38.

Emboldened by the outcome of the 2006 Hezbollah Israel war, Syria has become ever more bellicose in it's behavior toward Israel. Aggressive acts have included moving large military forces onto the Golan, opening the crossing that gives Syrians access to Israel for the first time since 1973, forming and training a Syrian terrorist force to infiltrate Northern Israel, and demanding that the Golan be returned at once or else this force would begin committing terrorist acts inside Israel.

It's been known for some time that Syria has one of the world's most advanced chemical weapons programs, even though such things are illegal, and probably inherited the bulk of Saddam Hussein's WMDs that the MSM (main stream media) delights in telling you never existed.  They've mobilized reserves, set up alternate communication centers, and moved all official historical and legal documents out of Damascus. They did this because they believe that Israel will respond to a chemical attack by destroying Damascus with nuclear weaponry. They've recalled all their citizens living in Lebanon. They've purchased Russian arms and defensive systems costing hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to protect Damascus.

Going Nuclear

In July 2007, a chemical warhead exploded at a Syrian missile facility while being fitted to a Scud missile, killing dozens of Iranian and Syrian technicians. The only likely target within range of the missile is Tel Aviv.  Then, just 2 months later, the Israeli bombing of a secret Syrian facility deep inside the country made headlines and demonstrated Israel's ability to render the Russian state-of-the-art anti-air defenses ineffective. These systems were sold to both Syria and Iran to protect against US or Israeli attacks by air.  The presence of nuclear materials at the Syrian base has been confirmed, so it might have been the location of at least a dirty bomb assembly plant and perhaps even a clandestine nuclear weapons facility.  The North Koreans were heavily involved in this, and are suspected of still helping Syria to develop some kind of nuclear weapons capability.

Most recently, Israel's Gaza incursion has opened a rift between Israel and Turkey, causing Turkey to suspend its role as the mediator in Syria-Israel peace talks, breaking one of the few lines of communication between the two countries.

While some of this is more than the MSM has been willing to share with you, it is a matter of public record.  My guess is that there's a lot more going on that we don't know about, making matters even more urgent.  So let's take another look at Isaiah 17, An Oracle Against Damascus, while it's still prophecy.

An Oracle Concerning Damascus:


"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. (Isaiah 17:1-2)

Because of the language of these verses, many scholars believe that this prophecy was only partially fulfilled when the Assyrians defeated the Arameans and overran their capital, Damascus, in 732 BC. To this day Damascus is thought to be the world's oldest continuously inhabited city with a 5000-year history and a population close to 2 million, yet Isaiah 17:1 indicates that it will one day cease to exist.

Some believe the phrase "cities of Aroer" refers to Aramean territory east of the Jordan River around the Arnon River, which flows into the Dead Sea in southern Jordan.  However, the Jewish Encyclopedia claims that this phrase in Isaiah 17:2 is probably translated incorrectly  because the geographical distance from Damascus is too great.  While they say it's possible that there may have been another Aroer near Damascus, it is more likely that the passage should be rendered "the cities thereof shall be forsaken." If that's the correct translation, it would include the Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, which was part of Aramean territory in Isaiah's time, and is in a direct line between Beirut and Damascus.

The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites," declares the LORD Almighty. "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm- as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. (Isaiah 17:3-5)

This segment speaks of the defeat of Damascus in 732 BC and the destruction of Samaria 10 years later (722 BC).  Damascus continued to exist as part of the Assyrian Empire and is still here today, but the ruins of Samaria are just now being excavated out of the sandy soil of Israel.  The systematic relocation of the ruling classes to the far reaches of the Assyrian Empire is also in view. This was standard Assyrian policy to reduce the likelihood of subsequent rebellion among their conquered peoples. Jacob and Ephraim are alternate names for the Northern Kingdom, and Samaria was its capital.
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« Reply #140 on: July 11, 2009, 07:55:38 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 5 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful boughs," declares the LORD, the God of Israel. (Isaiah 17:6)

Not all the people were dispersed.  Farmers were left behind to tend the crops and protect the harvest for their new rulers. They were joined by refugees from other parts of Assyria and their combined descendants were known as the Samaritans in the time of Jesus.  (A quick reading of 2 Chronicles 11:16 shows that all the faithful from the 10 northern tribes moved south at the time of the civil war that divided the nation after King Solomon's death 150 years earlier.  From then on, all 12 tribes were represented in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, so the 10 tribes from the North weren't totally lost.  The Lord has always preserved a believing remnant from all the Tribes of Israel.)

In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation. (Isaiah 17:7-9)

This is another passage that's problematic for those who try to consign the whole prophecy to history. There is simply no reason to believe that the Assyrians turned to God following their conquest of Aram and Israel. And far from abandoning their cities because of the Israelites, it was the Israelites who were defeated and dispersed. The yet future Jewish attack on Damascus causing the destruction and abandonment of Syrian cities, and the eventual return of the survivors to their God is a much more likely fulfillment. And it could happen soon.

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain. (Isaiah 17:10-11)

Asshur, father of the Assyrians, and Aram, father of the Arameans were both sons of Shem. Aram's son Uz is the traditional founder of Damascus. (The setting for Job, the Bible's oldest book, is the Land of Uz.) The knowledge of God in the memories of these patriarchs cannot be questioned. It wasn't that they never knew Him, but that they had forgotten Him, abandoned Him in favor of the Canaanite gods of the region, Baal and his consort Ashtoreth (aka Asherah, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus.) Currently Syria is almost totally Moslem.   Until they return to their Maker and Savior none of their plans and schemes will prosper in the long run, no matter how promising they seem at the beginning.

Oh, the raging of many nations- they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples- they roar like the roaring of great waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us. (Isaiah 17:12-14)

Having conquered most of the Middle East including the Arameans and the Northern Kingdom,  the Assyrians set their sights on the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Assyria's King Sennacherib brought his armies almost literally to the gates of Jerusalem, so close his commanders were within speaking distance of the Jewish defenders. On the night before they were to attack, the Lord sent His angel into the Assyrian camp on Mt. Scopus to slaughter 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Before dawn they had packed up and fled, ending 44 years of conquest. (Isaiah 37:36-38 ) This time in Israel's history so parallels the Jewish view of the End Times that Sennacherib is seen by them as a type of the anti-christ, while Judah's King Hezekiah models the Messiah.

But notice that Isaiah speaks of many nations raging against God's people, not just Assyria, leading us once again to consider Sennacherib's defeat as a partial fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.

Today many nations are stirred up against Israel. The various Mid-East "peace" conferences have left Israel standing alone against all but irresistible pressure to negotiate away its very existence. Syria and Iran are dead certain that Israel will attack soon, and are preparing accordingly.  Israel's other next-door neighbors are also preparing for war, and indeed many nations are taking sides.

Israel is not blind to these mounting threats, but until lately the current government seems to have been ignoring them.  That's about to stop.  Israeli Prime Minister candidate Benyamin Netanyahu, who's almost certain to be elected, has warned Hamas that if the rocket attacks continue after he takes office he will wipe out their leadership in both Gaza and Syria, even if it results in a confrontation with the Syrians.   We can easily envision a scenario that includes the final fulfillment of Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus.  Sudden terror in the evening, and before morning they and the surrounding cities are gone.

The phrase "rushing of many waters" is often used to describe a loud voice. Such a thing would certainly cause an incredible uproar among the nations, and many loud voices.  If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. Updated 02-07-09.
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« Reply #141 on: July 11, 2009, 10:02:19 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 6 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

This time we begin a very descriptive four chapter passage devoted to the destruction coming upon the Earth at the End of The Age. Before we're finished we'll see the Earth judged, Babylon destroyed, the Messiah revealed, the Church Raptured, Satan judged, Israel restored, and we'll even get a glimpse of Eternity.

Isaiah 24, The Lord's Devastation Of The Earth

LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants-it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. (Isaiah 24:1-2)

No one will escape this coming judgment. It will be world wide and will impact everyone. In Jeremiah 30:11 we learn that one of the Lord's objectives in the Great Tribulation will be to completely destroy all the nations among which His people have been scattered.

The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word. The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:3-5)

The cause of this judgment is the disobedience of the people of Earth. The everlasting covenant is the agreement whereby the Son (Jesus) agreed to die for our sins and in exchange the Father (God) agreed to forgive us. Mankind is not party to this agreement, we are only its beneficiaries. The Hebrew word translated broken here means to frustrate the intent of the agreement. The Father and the Son have done their part and kept their word, but the people of Earth refused to accept its provisions and be saved. It's this disobedience that will ultimately bring God's judgment, because He offers no other provision for their escape.

Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan. The gaiety of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers.

The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all gaiety is banished from the earth. The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces. So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. (Isaiah 24:6-13)

We'll see a reference to Babylon in a few verses. I think these verses speak of a typical city on Earth. Throughout the age of man, cities have always been more corrupt than the small towns of the country side. It makes sense that they would all be totally destroyed.

They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD's majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: "Glory to the Righteous One." (Isaiah 24:14-16a)

Tribulation believers will be the only ones on Earth who understand what's going on. They will see God's righteousness in these judgments and will praise Him for them.

But I said, "I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!"

Terror and pit and snare await you, O people of the earth. Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls-never to rise again. (Isaiah 24:16b- 20)


Jesus said that the judgments of the Great Tribulation will exceed anything the world has ever seen or will see again.(Matthew 24:21) That means Isaiah's use of language reminiscent of the Great Flood is actually an understatement. When it's over, no building will be left standing, every mountain will have fallen. Earthquakes will open up huge gaps in the surface of the Earth.

I believe that one purpose of the Great Tribulation will be to prepare Earth to be made new, to be put back into the condition it was in when Adam arrived. That means everything that man has done to defile and pollute the planet will have to be reversed. I believe it will also have to be straightened on its axis, brought back onto a 360 day rotation around the Sun and have its world wide sub-tropical climate restored as well.

In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously. (Isaiah 24:21-23)
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« Reply #142 on: July 11, 2009, 10:20:55 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 7 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In this installment of The End Times According To Isaiah, we'll look at chapters 26-27 which will complete the four chapter prophecy we began last time.

Isaiah 26. A Song of Praise

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down- the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:1-9)


Those speaking are Jewish Tribulation believers, obedient to the Old Covenant. They place in contrast two symbolic cities. The strong city symbolizes Jerusalem and houses the righteous nation, the believing remnant that trusts the Lord and receives perfect peace in the midst of chaos. But the lofty city, symbolizing Babylon, is full of unbelievers, and is brought low. The oppressed and poor within it rebel against their unjust leaders and help to trample it down, into the dust.

The believing remnant longs for the LORD's return, knowing that His judgments are bringing righteousness back to Earth. It's important to remember that in the last days, Israel will once again be an Old Covenant nation, under the Law. Otherwise they would neither need nor want a Temple, and admonitions like "Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on a Sabbath" (Matthew 24:20) would be unnecessary. Only Old Covenant Jews are forbidden to travel on the Sabbath.

Notice the word LORD is all in capital letters. That means in Hebrew it's JHVH, the tetragrammaton, the 4 initials of God's Old Covenant name. They don't yet know their Messiah's name, even though the Hebrew word for the salvation that makes up the strong city's walls and ramparts is Yeshua, the name of Jesus. Not until the Great Tribulation is almost over will they look upon the One they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10) and recognize Him, even though He's been protecting them all along.

Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD. O LORD, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them. (Isaiah 26:10-11)

Even in wrath, God remembers mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2) In the midst of totally destroying the nations among which they had been scattered, the Lord extends grace to His people giving them one last chance. But the wicked refuse to see it and will suffer the consequences. The Great Tribulation has been called the refiner's fire. In it all of Israel's impurities will be brought to the top and skimmed off to suffer the fate of God's enemies.

LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor. They are now dead, they live no more; those departed spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them. You have enlarged the nation, O LORD; you have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for yourself; you have extended all the borders of the land. (Isaiah 26:12-15)

Admitting their previous idolatry, the remnant once again swears fidelity to God alone, now and forever. Their other gods are dead and gone, never to rise again. They finally confess that it was He who enlarged their nation and extended their borders. This likely refers to a battle still in our future, foretold in Psalms 83, where the Lord will give the Jews victory over their next door neighbors, resulting in an expansion of their territory to an area more consistent with the original borders of the Promised Land.

LORD, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD. We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. (Isaiah 26:16-18 )

One of the things God chose Israel to do was to bring His salvation to the Gentiles, and here they admit their failure. God, who doesn't miss opportunities even then we fail in our calling, had Isaiah prophesy that He would accomplish this for them in the person of the Messiah. (Isaiah 49:1-6)

But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer. (Isaiah 26:19-21)

While the believing dead of the Old Testament will be resurrected, it won't happen until the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:2). And while the living remnant will flee into the mountains of Judea at it's beginning (Matthew 24:15), the actual order of these events will be the opposite of their mention here. And besides, Revelation 6:17 shows that God's wrath begins several years before the appearance of the Abomination of Desolation, the sign Jesus gave the Jews as a signal to flee. Not by any stretch of the imagination has this passage been literally fulfilled in the past, nor will it be by the Jewish remnant.

This is an End Times prophecy that first promises a resurrection of the dead, followed by the hiding of God's people while His Wrath is unleashed on the people of Earth for their sins. It's so startlingly similar to Paul's message to the Church In 1 Thessalonians 4-5 that I'm convinced it's "the Lord's own word" that Paul referred to as his authority in writing it. Let's read it.

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Of course, no one knows for sure that this is the passage Paul was referring to, but scholars have searched the New Testament in vain for any teaching by Jesus to justify Paul's claim. There is none. Let's compare the two passages.
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« Reply #143 on: July 11, 2009, 10:22:34 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 7 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Isaiah: But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Paul: The dead in Christ will rise first .

Isaiah: Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.

Paul: After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Isaiah: See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.

Paul: While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

The wording is a little different, but it sure looks to me like they're describing the same event. In further support of this, the Hebrew word translated "go" in the phrase "Go, my people" is translated "come" in the KJV, recalling the command to John in Revelation 4, "Come up here!" It also means depart, and vanish. Interesting.

Isaiah 27. The Deliverance of Israel

In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. (Isaiah 27:1)

It doesn't make sense that Isaiah would be speaking of a literal sea monster here. I believe this verse makes reference to Satan's destruction. If so it confirms the earlier prophecy of Satan's doom in Isaiah 14.

In that day- "Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me." (Isaiah 27: 2-5)


Isaiah compares God's protection of Israel to that of a farmer watching over his vineyard. As a demonstration of His mercy the enemy, represented by briers and thorns, has the choice of being consumed in the fire or making peace with Him.

In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. (Isaiah 27:6)

Since its rebirth in 1948 Israel has become a major exporter of fruit, vegetables, and fresh flowers, until recently supplying much of Europe's needs. Lately, political differences have caused some European and Middle Eastern countries to boycott Israeli exports. But this verse has a spiritual fulfillment as well. Because of Israel the Gospel will bear fruit in all the world.

Has the LORD struck her as he struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? By warfare and exile you contend with her- with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this, then, will Jacob's guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. (Isaiah 27:7-9)

As if anticipating the false teaching of replacement theologians who question Israel's right to exist, the prophet asks if the judgments that destroy the world will destroy Israel as well. We see the Lord's response In Jeremiah 30:11.

I am with you and will save you,' declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'

Having so far refused the Messiah's offer of pardon, Israel has chosen to remain accountable under the Old Covenant and must endure the punishment of a people out of fellowship. But God will not abandon them. The discipline of End Times judgments will awaken them, and they will seek the Lord. Hear the words of Isaiah's contemporary, the Prophet Hosea.

"Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence." (Hosea 6:1-2)

After 2 millennia they've been revived. As the 3rd begins, they'll be restored and He'll come to live with them again. The most precious fruit of all will be the the removal of Israel's sins.

The fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the desert; there the calves graze, there they lie down; they strip its branches bare.

When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor. (Isaiah 27:10-11)


It's a different story for Babylon,whose people,after all these centuries, remain without understanding and are beyond compassion.

In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one.

And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 27:12-13)


The Lord will go through the Promised Land and gather up His people, not missing any. Isaiah also made it clear in that in the Kingdom Age Egypt and Assyria will again be prominent nations on Earth, along with Israel.

There will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. (Isaiah 19:19-22)

Zechariah 14:18-19 explains that Egypt's affliction will be caused by a refusal to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium.

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance." (Isaiah 19:23-25)

Today a gigantic monument sits at the only spot on Earth that is both in the heart of Egypt and on its border. (The Biblical name for Egypt is Mizraim and literally means 2 Egypts since it's the dual form of its root, Matzor.) It's in a place called Giza, which is an Arabic word that means border. Giza is located on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt (the 2 Egypts) and is at the point of an arc that circumscribes the Nile Delta region.  So it's on the border, but also in the heart of Egypt. The monument is called the Great Pyramid, and it's the most remarkable edifice on the face of the Earth. The unique characteristics of the Great Pyramid's location, its construction, and its dimensions would challenge the limits of human capability even today, and yet it was built 4,000 years ago. Who built it, and for what purpose? Is this the monument of which Isaiah spoke? Many who've studied the Great Pyramid are convinced that the answer is yes. (Read more about The Great Pyramid of Giza)

As promised, in this 4 chapter glimpse of the End of the Age, we've seen the Earth judged, Babylon destroyed, the Messiah revealed, the Church Raptured, Satan judged, Israel restored, and have even gotten a glimpse of Eternity. And believe me, we've just begun. The most detailed and descriptive pictures of Earth in the Kingdom Age are in Isaiah, and they'll take your breath away. More next time. 02-21-09
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« Reply #144 on: July 11, 2009, 10:46:12 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 8 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In this installment we'll see the awful fate of the nations as foretold in chapter 34, followed by the glorious restoration of Israel in chapter 35. The contrast couldn't be greater.

Isaiah 34, Judgment Against the Nations

Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. (Isaiah 34:1-3)

There's no doubt about it. This passage directed toward the people on Earth at the End of the Age. Remember, the Lord had Jeremiah write that one of His objectives in the Great Tribulation was to completely destroy the nations. (Jeremiah 30:11) Depending on whose interpretation you favor, up to half the world's post rapture population will perish during the 7 years of Daniel's 70th week. The worst case scenario calls for an average of over 1 million deaths each day for 7 years as the most devastating time in Earth's history takes its grizzly toll. To say that chapter 34 is an intense passage would be to make one of the great understatements of all time. Even the Revelation will be hard pressed to surpass it.

All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree. (Isaiah 34:4)

There's both an astronomical and a spiritual component to this verse. True, the stars will disappear from the night sky, but the angels who rebelled with Satan will finally be defeated as well. Speaking of the time right after the Great Tribulation, our Lord said,

"Immediately after the distress of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' " (Matthew 24:29)

In the KJV the phrase translated "the heavenly bodies" above is rendered "the powers of the heavens" which is closer to the original Greek. Paul described them as "the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) Satan's warriors will be rounded up, and he himself will be bound in chains to begin his 1000 year prison term. (Revelation 20:2-3)

My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; see, it descends in judgment on Edom, the people I have totally destroyed. The sword of the LORD is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat- the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom. And the wild oxen will fall with them, the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood, and the dust will be soaked with fat. (Isaiah 34:5-7)

Revelation 12:7-17 tells of the war in Heaven, when Satan and his forces will be expelled and driven to Earth. Now the Lord comes charging after them to finish the job. The Kingdom of God is invading Earth to dethrone the usurper and take possession of that which was redeemed on the cross. It wasn't just for sinners that the Lord gave His life, but for the Creation as well. (Romans 8:19-21)

When the Lord speaks of Edom as the people He has completely destroyed, it means He's talking about the land they once occupied before Nebuchadnezzar forever ended their national identity. Bozrah is the region in the land of Edom where Petra is located, just south and East from the south end of the Dead Sea. This will be the home of the Jewish remnant who will have followed the Lord's warning of Matthew 24:15 and escaped from the anti-Christ at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The slaughter Isaiah refers to here is the utter defeat of the enemy forces that will come after the remnant with the intent of wiping them out. Instead they them selves will cease to exist. We'll see this event described again in Isaiah 63:1-6.

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause. Edom's streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulfur; her land will become blazing pitch! It will not be quenched night and day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again.

The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation. Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom, all her princes will vanish away. Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls. (Isaiah 34:8-13)


The land East of the Dead Sea will become an area of total devastation, consisting only of burning tar and sulfur. In the past, pitch seeped up through cracks in the mantle of the earth to cover the surface of the nearby Dead Sea where the cold water caused it to solidify. When lightning struck, the pitch would ignite, giving the ancient world a graphic model of the Lake of Fire. And in the ash that is all that remains of Sodom and Gomorrah the distinctive smell of sulfur still permeates the air. According to experts, it too was gathered beneath the surface and then shot into the air as balls of liquid fire that rained down on those cities, completely destroying them. Both these actions will be repeated, and this time it will be permanent.
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« Reply #145 on: July 11, 2009, 10:48:15 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 8 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

This area will be an uninhabitable ruin that will blaze forever. So how do wild animals dwell there? As it was in Isaiah 13:21-22 the Hebrew words here originally referred to demons. Translators substituted animal names to accommodate a society that no longer believes in demonic beings. A good study Bible will carry a footnote saying that the true meaning of the Hebrew words is uncertain, but some have been rendered as howling one, dragon, daughter of screaming, satyr, specter, female demon, arrow snake, or vulture in ancient writings.

The Hebrew words translated chaos and desolation in this passage are also found in Genesis 1:2 where they're translated formless and void. These two Hebrew words are only used in the Bible to describe the after effects of a judgment, lending credence to the view that Earth was made desolate between the first two verses of Genesis as the result of Satan's rebellion, and may have lain in darkness for eons before God said "Let there be light", and it was so.

Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also repose and find for themselves places of rest. The owl will nest there and lay eggs, she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather, each with its mate.

Look in the scroll of the LORD and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together. He allots their portions; his hand distributes them by measure. They will possess it forever and dwell there from generation to generation. (Isaiah 34:14-17)


The demonic horde will dwell here through out the generations, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

Isaiah 35. The Joy of the Redeemed

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:1-2)

Each of my trips to Israel has been different, and in the process I've seen nearly all of the country. I've also seen dramatic evidence of how this prophecy will be fulfilled. On my first trip, we arrived just after the worst snow storm in 100 years. Except for the high places on Mt. Hermon, Israel doesn't usually get any snow. Jerusalem had been brought to a standstill because they don't have any snow removal equipment. But within a couple of days it warmed up and the snow melted. When we arrived at the Dead Sea a few days later even our experienced guides were speechless. Almost overnight, the normally barren area had blossomed into the most elaborate confusion of grasses and wildflowers any of us had ever seen. It was an absolutely miraculous transformation that was never repeated on my subsequent trips. But when the Lord returns, it will be like that all the time.

On another trip we went to an observatory atop Mt. Carmel where Elijah had taunted the priests of Baal. Looking eastward we saw a seemingly endless forest, and were told that every single tree had been planted since 1948.

Later we continued into the far north to the national forest of Dan, next to Syria and Lebanon. We hiked for hours through the serene forest in one of the most peaceful days of all my trips there. I reflect on these experiences often as I read passages like this and am thankful that the Lord provided these glimpses of the way His land will be in the Kingdom Age.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. (Isaiah 35:3-7)


In that day God's people won't just have little glimpses of His Glory. Once the curse is gone, they'll be immersed in it. The land will spring forth in glorious array, finally freed from the bondage of decay. And so will His people spring forth in the restoration of their health and happiness.

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:8-10)


The endless line of Israel's redeemed from ages past, glorious in their resurrection bodies, will be home at last. And the Lord will be there and will dwell with them forever.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed." (Isaiah 55:12-13)

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 02-28-09
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« Reply #146 on: July 11, 2009, 11:21:36 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 9 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In this installment, we'll gain a little more detail on the blessings Israel will receive in the Kingdom Age, and we'll also see the Lord's response to those who claim that His promises to Israel were canceled because they rejected the Messiah.

Isaiah 40:1-14. Comfort for God's People

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2)

After the 2nd Coming, the surviving world's attitude toward Israel will change as the Lord commands them to speak words of peace and comfort to His people. In Isaiah 61:7 we'll see that instead of their shame, God's people will receive a double portion of joy in their inheritance.

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3-5)

John the Baptist quoted the first part of this passage when the Jewish officials asked who he was (John 1:23). It's complete fulfillment will come when the Lord returns. In Biblical times, when a King was about to take a journey, construction crews were sent ahead to smooth and level the road. Gullies were filled in, hill tops leveled off and all irregularities removed from the way, so the King would not feel any discomfort or experience any delay on his journey. When the Lord returns this will be accomplished supernaturally in plain view of all as the creation itself responds in joy to the arrival of the Messianic King.

A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:6-8 )


Throughout the last 2000 years many people have doubted it would ever happen. Learned theologians have stood in the lecture halls of our seminaries and the pulpits of our churches and denied this day. Peter warned us this would happen.

"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this ‘coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Some have taught that all prophecies concerning the Lord and Israel were fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and that we are to view the Bible's prophetic passages as being historical.

Others have said there would be no literal return of the Lord for anyone, that prophecies speaking of such were to be seen as allegory, not fact, fulfilled when we invited the Lord into our hearts.

And still others have said that even if the Lord does come back, it won't be for Israel. They said that by rejecting the Messiah Israel had been disqualified from receiving God's promises, leaving the Church as God's sole beneficiary. This doctrine, known as replacement theology, is at the core of liberal protestant belief even today.

But these views of man are of no more value than the grass and flowers that dry up and blow away. The Lord has made clear promises to His people and His word stands forever.

You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,

"Here is your God!"

See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:9-11)


Those who are being told to comfort His people are now asked to go before the Lord and present Him to them. Jesus quoted from this passage in Revelation 22:12. "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." And what is His reward? They will be His people and He will be their God. It's the final fulfillment of the 4th cup of the Passover, "I will take you as my own people and I will be your God." (Exodus 6:7) Like a shepherd tends his flock, he'll see to all the needs of His people.

And As For The Rest Of You … Isaiah 40:12-14, Isaiah 41:8-16

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind (Spirit) of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? (Isaiah 40:12-14)

The smug intellectuals who scoffed at the prophecies and said they meant something else will have a tough time answering these questions. This passage reminds me of the Lord's confrontation with Job (Job 40-41), and like him they'll be at a loss for words. It's as if the Lord is saying, "Who are you to tell my people what I meant? Have you done the things I've done? Have you ever understood My Spirit? Did I ever seek your advice or ask for your opinion? Of that day the Lord has said, "The wisdom of the wise will perish and the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." (Isaiah 29:14)

"But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:8-10)
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« Reply #147 on: July 11, 2009, 11:24:55 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 9 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In spite of those who allegorize the prophecies away and say that Israel has no purpose in the world today, the Lord will gather His people from the the farthest corners of the Earth and bring them home, just like a shepherd gathers his scattered sheep and reunites his flock.

"All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you," declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:11-14)

Israel's enemies will come to naught, and will no longer be found.  As their shepherd, the Lord will protect and defend His people. The last phrase of this passage reveals an interesting secret. We already know that when we see the word LORD all in caps, it means the Hebrew text contains the 4 initials of God's name, JHVH (YHWH). That means the name of God the Father belongs there.

But the Hebrew word for redeemer is only used for the kinsman redeemer, the Son. And even though both Father and Son are in view, God had Isaiah write "I myself will help you." It's one of the many hints in Scripture that Jesus was being literally accurate when He said, "I and the Father are one". (John 10:30) Not just one in purpose, or from one family, but literally one. As He told Philip, "Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)

"See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:15-16)

Even more than now "little" Israel will be a force to be reckoned with at the End of the Age. Mountains and hills represent governments here and before it's over, the Lord's government will be the only one left. All others will have blown away like chaff on the wind.

Daniel described the fate of the world's governments when confronted by the Kingdom of God in similar terms. First the vision Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. The statue represents the four Gentile governments who have ruled the world from Daniel's time till now.

While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:34-35)

And now Daniel's interpretation.

The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. (Daniel 2:44-45)

History tells us that the iron represents Rome, the bronze Greece, the silver Persia, and the gold Babylon. Prophecy shows that the Rock that will crush them all is the Kingdom of God.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:8-9)

By the end of the day of His return, the Lord will be King over all the Earth and the seat of His Kingdom, Israel.

No More Curse Forever. Isaiah 41:17-20

"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:17-20)

Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed." (Isaiah 55:13)

These two references confirm the Lord's earlier promise that at His return the curse that has plagued the Earth since the days of Adam and Eve will be lifted. Israel will be a garden paradise with mountain streams and fertile valleys. Every one who looks upon it will understand that the Holy One of Israel has created it. Like the rainbow was a sign that there would never again be a world wide flood (Genesis 9:12-17), Israel will be a sign that the curse is gone forever.

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:13-15)

Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (Micah 4:4)

What we've learned so far is that at the beginning of the Millennium all of Israel's enemies will have been vanquished. The Messiah will be King of the whole Earth. Every citizen of Israel will be a Messianic Jew. The curse will be gone and the planet will have been restored to the paradise it was when Adam arrived to take dominion over it. Satan will be bound and his demonic hordes defeated. It sounds pretty good, but there's plenty more to come. Stay tuned. 03-07-09
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« Reply #148 on: July 11, 2009, 11:44:27 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 10 of 13
A bible Study by Jack Kelley

In this installment, we'll take another look at the destruction of Babylon, this time from a spiritual perspective. At issue here is the origin of the pagan religions of the world and Satan's effort to make himself the object of all worship. Then we'll watch as Israel is once again made the premier nation on Earth.

Isaiah 47:1-15 The Fall of Babylon

"Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, Daughter of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate. Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams. Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one." (Isaiah 47:1-3)

According to Genesis 10:8-12 Babylon was originally founded by Nimrod. His wife Semiramis, who sometimes personifies Babylon in this prophecy, originally called herself the Virgin of the Sea, and that's most likely the source of Isaiah's sarcastic portrayal of Babylon in this passage. His command to "sit on the ground without a throne" is a reference to Babylon's self proclaimed title of "Queen of Kingdoms". Following with instructions to act like an ordinary woman of the time is like saying, "You're no virgin and you're no queen. You're no better than anybody else." As He frequently does, the Lord has His prophet use sexual terminology to symbolize their lack of righteousness.

Our Redeemer - the LORD Almighty is his name -  is the Holy One of Israel.

"Sit in silence, go into darkness, Daughter of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms. I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke. (Isaiah 47:4-6)

Here's a prophecy that God would order the Babylonian captivity because of Israel's disobedience. Jeremiah would later say that God was giving Israel to Babylon for 70 years and after that He would judge the Babylonians for their guilt. (Jeremiah 25:8-12) Some have questioned the Lord's motives in judging Babylon for simply obeying His instructions, and for them Isaiah's prophecy also contains His answer to their accusation.

You said, ‘I will continue forever -  the eternal queen!' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen. "Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.' Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. (Isaiah 47:7-9)

Under Satanic influence, Semiramis declared that she had been impregnated by the Sun god and then gave birth to a son, Tammuz. When he was killed in a hunting accident she went into mourning. After 40 days he supposedly rose from the dead. Semiramis thereupon named herself the eternal Queen of Heaven and established a celibate priesthood with an "infallible" leader to organize the worship of her and her son. She concluded that being the wife of a god and the mother of a "resurrected" son made her a goddess and meant she would never be a widow, nor would she suffer the loss of children.

Of course this was all nonsense, put into her head by Satan, the author of lies. But she became so powerful that her story has lived on in one form or another in every major mythology, and when the pagan religion of Rome was merged with Christianity in the 4th Century, traditions that began with her were continued in the Roman Church. Mistletoe, the Yule log, hot cross buns, the evergreen tree, the 40 days of lent, the elevation of Mary and others all come from the Babylonian mother-child cult started by Semiramis. Even the Bible recognizes her notoriety. The phrase "land of Shinar" is thought by some to have been derived from her name.

But as Revelation 18:4-8 confirms, total destruction would suddenly come upon the kingdom she personifies. By using a portion of Isaiah 47:7-9 John lends support to the view that he was speaking of literal Babylon, not some place else. At the end of the age, the great Babylonian religion will return to its place of origin to die at the location of its birth. Zechariah 5:5-11 explains this:

Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, "Look up and see what this is that is appearing."

I asked, "What is it?"
He replied, "It is a measuring basket." And he added, "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land."

Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.

Then I looked up - and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

"Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

He replied, "To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will be set there in its place."


When Babylon was conquered (but not destroyed) the seat of its mother-child cult was first moved to Pergamus, where Satan had his throne (Revelation 2:13), and then to Rome. So far it has never returned to Babylon, but 100 years after the Persians had conquered Babylon, Zechariah wrote that it will. The spirit of Semiramis is the woman in the basket who personifies wickedness. When the time is right she will be returned to her ancestral home. The Hebrew word translated Babylonia above is Shinar. We should remember that while Shinar may or may not be a derivative of Semiramis, it is a physical location in Mesopotamia called Babylon.

After the Rapture, the two largest and most powerful religious systems on Earth will be the Catholic Church and Islam. In Revelation 17, John describes how for a time they'll appear to be united. A woman, identified as mystery Babylon, the mother of prostitutes, will be riding a beast, which has earlier been described both as the anti-Christ and his kingdom. (Some traditions hold that far from being the Virgin of the Sea, Semiramis was the madam of a brothel when she first met Nimrod. If so, she really was the "mother of prostitutes".)

The woman and the beast are not the same, but for a time will appear to be in league with each other. The woman, being the rider, will actually be the dominate partner at first and has long been identified with the Catholic Church. But as Revelation 17:16 tells us, the anti-Christ and his kingdom will actually hate the woman, and acting on God's orders will destroy her.

Now think about this. If the anti-Christ will come from the Catholic Church, as some believe, would he destroy the very system he heads up? I don't think so. But today the countries that made up the Eastern leg of the Old Roman Empire are Islamic, and the anti-Christ could just as easily come from there as from the West. One of the central tenets of Islam is to make peace with your enemies until you're powerful enough to conquer them. To me, it's perfectly logical to see Islam's messianic figure, who some call al Mahdi, teaming up with the Pope after the rapture until he becomes powerful enough to consolidate the whole world under Islam and eliminate the Catholic religion. Both John's and Zechariah's prophecies could be fulfilled that way with the one world religion headquartered in Babylon. If so, the location of its birth will become the location of its death, just like Isaiah foretold.
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« Reply #149 on: July 11, 2009, 11:45:57 PM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 10 of 13
A bible Study by Jack Kelley

You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.' Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you. (Isaiah 47:10-11)

The Babylonian religion has always assumed that there is no one greater, no power to hold it accountable. But when the day of its destruction comes, neither great wealth nor supernatural power will be sufficient to rescue it.

"Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. That is all they can do for you - these you have labored with and trafficked with since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you." (Isaiah 47:12-15)

Today, some unbelievers dismiss Christianity as a corruption of the Legend of Semiramis, just another mother-child cult with Mary in the role of the Queen of Heaven and Jesus as the resurrected son, Tammuz. But here Isaiah shows that even though the myth preceded the truth in fulfillment, it was the prior knowledge of the truth that spawned the myth. Long before the prophets wrote of a coming Messiah, God had the gospel written the stars. It was called the Mazzaroth and was based on 12 constellations with a total of 48 stars traditionally named by Adam, Seth, and Enoch. Called by their Hebrew names, the stars in these 12 constellations tell of a coming redeemer who would be born of a virgin, die for the people, and be resurrected to life. But, still acting under Satan's influence, Semiramis and her priests corrupted the Mazzaroth into the 12 signs of the zodiac, giving birth to the blasphemy we call astrology today. Evidence of this has been confirmed in the ruins of the tower of Babel, one purpose of which was the study of astrology. That's why in Biblical times the practice of astrology was a crime punishable by death (Deuteronomy 18:10). (You who follow your horoscope should take heed)

No matter how astute their knowledge nor how comprehensive their experience, no astrologer will be able to save him or her self from God's judgment, let alone their mentor and their goddess, Semiramis.

Isaiah 49:8-26. The Restoration of Israel

This is what the LORD says: "In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,' and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!'

"They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. See, they will come from afar - some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan." (Isaiah 49:8-12)


The Lord has always kept a faithful remnant of Israel. In each generation some have been called to simply keep the dream alive in their hearts, while others moved the Lord's agenda forward, one small painful step at a time. But soon the time of waiting will be over. Imagine the joy in the hearts of those who hear the Lord's call to reassign the tribal inheritances, as prophesied in Ezekiel 48. When that happens, they'll know it's forever, that their times of hardship and unmet expectations are over.

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." (Isaiah 49:13-14)

After so many centuries of disappointment and heartbreak, many will be unable to believe it's actually happening. Over time they've spiritualized the promises and allegorized the prophecies until it no longer seems possible that the Lord will actually return for them. His response is poignant to the point of tears.

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?

Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.

Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live," declares the LORD, "you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.

"Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.'

Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these - where have they come from?' " (Isaiah 49:15-21)


As the people return in a seemingly endless stream, they'll be surprised at their own numbers. After 2000 years of relentless persecution the size of their population will far surpass their expectations. The true extent of the Lord's providence will be seen in their preservation. And though for 70 years now they've heard the world constantly demanding that they get smaller, they'll realize that instead, they'll need to get bigger. Ezekiel's prophecy says that Israel in the Kingdom Age will extend from 100 miles north of Damascus to 100 miles south of Jerusalem, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, so it'll will be more than sufficient to their needs.

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isaiah 49:22-23)

Having labored to keep their Jewish populations subjugated and contained in the past, gentile leaders will offer them every kind of assistance when the Lord returns in victory.  They'll see how very special the Jewish people are to the Lord and there's no limit to what they'll do to show their support and affection as well.

Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued from the fierce? But this is what the LORD says: "Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.

I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." (Isaiah 49:24-26)


Israel's wealth will be restored, all their captives set free. The Lord will personally see to it. The ill gotten gains of their enemies will be taken to the point of leaving them completely destitute, and they'll finally realize that the Lord sees fighting against Israel as fighting against Him. More next time. 03-14-09.
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