Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Valley of Decision

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”  Joel 3:14

It is my intensions to deal with the gathering armies of the world that will culminate with what we call World War Three. This train of thought will continue into future writings. The Bible calls this epic battle, the Battle of Armageddon to take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It seems that all nations have just skirted this epic event only to wait for the signal from God to commence the advancing of world armies.  As we continue in this Bible study it is also my intension to deal with the Millennial Reign of Christ, better known as the One Thousand Year Reign. Many empires have attempted to exert themselves to procreate and endure this long of a period of time and some have been successful. The only successful empire known to date is the Roman Empire which lasted 2,214 years. Its mighty force of economics is still felt and administered here and around the world today. Some defiant ones still say that Rome still lives and I for one believe it does through the Roman Catholic Church in which the influence of the Vatican is felt throughout the world.

“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. {This celestial event is the signature of Divine intervention in the Day of the LORD.} The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:9-17

For decades now it seems that any nation who has an interest in the Middle East has intentionally left a residue of their troops in that area to secure their personal interests. These military consorts are better known as ‘advisors’. The U.S. alone has thousands in the region looking after her best interest. The country of Iran and Iraq have expressed in detail the destruction of Israel many times over only to be pushed back on the burner of the furnace of God. The French, British, German, and only to mention the Russians, all have their advisors on the line of the entire Middle East as I write. For some time now the Russian’s have been aiding Iran with nuclear interests and setting up missile installations all up and down Iran’s borders getting ready for the Day of the LORD which is a lot closer than we can imagine. It seems Iran somehow feels threatened by the U.S. backed Israel. The time is not yet, but everyone who desires to be involved is already there and waiting to pounce on Israel. One day and very soon, the hand of God will remove and allow the armies of the world to advance into Israel’s borders and over run her with the intensions of total inhalation. Why are they so interested in Israel one might ask? For one reason and it seems the most obvious is the oil below the sands. By now everyone knows about the abundance of oil in the entire region. It seems that anywhere there is sand and open desert one will find pools of oil. But there is something more precious than oil and natural gas to be found in the region and that is water. That’s right, water. Precious water aquifers are known in the region and only now are being tapped into development of the wasteland desert to bring forth the harvests of diver’s fruits and vegetables to feed the surrounding cities. Anyone who visits can see fields of sand being transformed into beautiful orchards by means of irrigation from these aquifers unseen from above. The real reason for opposing military presence is because of the hatred and jealously of God’s favor upon a land and people of His choosing, the JEWS. The entire world is jealous of them to the point of annihilation because they seem to be so successful at everything they set out to do in life. According to God’s overall grand plans of the ages, this was planned from the very beginning of time. This is a very old story, once again, about to be unfolded before our eyes.

I have been taught as others have in Sunday school and church services how the LORD will deliver Israel and escape destruction. But according to The Scripture it tells us how the heathen rage and that Jerusalem will be overrun with troops according to prophecy. I feel that the reason for this action against Jerusalem is to convince her people without a shadow of a doubt just who is their Saviour and Messiah. This time it will not be any supporting country such as the U.S. The help of the arm of the flesh will be cut off to prove the point God deems necessary for Israel to wake up and realize the truth of the matter. It will be unquestionable to those who stand to lose their lives at the hand of invading armies.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:..” Joel 2:1-10

“The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.” Isaiah 13:4-18

The Scripture states that God will make man more precious than gold which implies that men will be so involved in the movement of armies that one will not be able to find one because of their scarcity. When God makes His move against the invaders, both the aggressors and defendants will lose tremendous amounts of armed personnel due to the intense fighting. I feel that this epic battle of the ages will dwarf World War I and W.W. II put together. The Bible declares that there has never been or ever seen the likes of this coming battle.

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 16:16

“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diver’s places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7-8 {words of Christ in red}

Just before this battle of the ages takes place there are certain things, events, which will lead up to it and divulge the hidden mysteries of Bible prophecy. I am convinced the most important of all the prophecies is the prophecy of the Anti-Christ that will be revealed as described by the Apostle Paul. The Anti-Christ, or the Beast of Revelation as he is referred to by the Apostle John will be revealed and will lead the nations will uncanny wisdom and power unlike we have ever seen. Underworld wizardry and magic will rule the day. I have seen and reviewed all the movies and documentaries I could get my hands on of WWII and found that there is an uncanny resemblance of this description of the Anti-Christ in comparison of the man that led the entire world into war, the Nazis dictator Adolph Hitler. Even with the charisma of this evil mastermind, we are told by the prophets that the Anti-Christ to come, in the not too distant future, cannot be compared to any of his predecessors of renown. Just when we thought these events could not get any worse that WWII, we are instructed this coming Battle of Armageddon will surpass all previous known wars.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thessalonians 2:1-12

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindred’s, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:1-18

In this Scripture above, The Apostles say the same thing according to the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel. There are so many proclaiming Christian’s today that have been told there is nothing to worry about because they won’t be here because the Rapture has already taken place. This is a lie of Satan to deceive the church. So many Christian’s will lose their faith in the church and their pastors because they have believed this lie for decades. They will be totally unprepared to deal with the events that will engulf all the church comprised of both true believers and false pretenders.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:15-22 {words of Christ in red}

The prophet Daniel wrote prophesies leading to the ‘abomination of desolation’, some 350 years before it happened the first time in history. We have an account of the Old Testament event that took place during the Jewish revolt {civil war 167-160 BC} recorded in the historical accounts in the Book of Maccabees I &II recorded by the renowned historian Josephus. The ruler at that time, Antiochus IV Epiphanies (175-164 BC)  one sons of Alexander the Great, decreed that all Jewish rituals of animal sacrifice be halted by slaughtering a pig on the altar of the House of God. This despicable atrocity was to infuriate and inflame the Jewish population into subjection of Grecian culture.

“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Daniel 11:31

This action taken against the Jew’s religious practices in the Temple signifying the end of sacrifices by desecrating the altar with a forbidden sacrifice. Antiochus was attempting to preempt the Jewish rituals by introducing the Hellenistic {Grecian} pagan rituals of that time. Of course, this action was outrageous and escalated civil war. Upon the untimely death of Antiochus IV Epiphanies, in which he died of natural causes, the war was ended with the Maccabean Revolt. The Temple Mount was cleansed and dedicated known today as the “Feast of Dedication” which is still held around the 15th of December.

 "They decked, also, the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold and with shields, and the gates and chambers they renewed and hanged doors upon them:"1 Maccabees. 4:52-59.

Our LORD Jesus made a visit to this Jewish festival just before He went to Calvary {AD.33} in the following spring, and after the Festival of the Passover.

“And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:22-24

This accurate account of a tyrant has been given place, though mistaken as the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ is described also by Daniel’s prophecies in conjunction with John’s apocalyptic writings in the Book of Revelation. As I have stated in other writings many times, history has an uncanny way of repeating itself. You might be asking, what does this have to do with the anti-Christ of Revelation? I would like to point out that there are two distinct events taking place in the same portion of Scripture and is given away with closer inspection. Daniel 11:21-35 gives the life and exploits of the Seleucid King, Antiochus IV Epiphanies, a vile usurper of the throne. One event happened before the First Advent of Christ. When Christ was here with the Disciples he spoke of another event that would occur in the future. The Scripture takes a turn from this epic event to look down the road of the future by focusing on yet a further future event, the “End of Times”. In Daniel 11:36 we have a further knowledge of these future events by the Prophet Daniel when he describes the ultimate evil and another vile usurper of the throne. Just when we thought it could not get any worse, the Anti-Christ appears to pick up where Antiochus IV Epiphanies leaves off somewhere in the very distant future. As I have stated many times, history runs in cycles and over periods of time and distance, the similar events will begin to surface once again to remind us of the things that used to be. I mentioned earlier the debauchery and defamation of the Temple and the offering up a pagan sacrifice known in Jewish history as the “abomination of desolation”. This act of defilement is carried into the future at the “End of Times” or better known as the “Great Tribulation. This “abomination of desolation is performed again by the Beast of Revelation but there is one very distinct difference between Antiochus IV Epiphanies and the Beast of Revelation. This time the offence will be that the Beast will declare himself as god and will set himself upon the throne of David in the Holy City of Jerusalem. This is where it culminates and this event is the apex that stirs the God of the universe, Jehovah God.

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