Prophecy Message #3

by Gary "Gabe" Hulin

Middle East Stumbling Stones

Peace Peace Peace

"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night for when they shall say 'peace and safety', then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child and they shall not escape. But ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overcome you as a thief. Ye are all children of the light and children of the day, we are not of the night , nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober; for they that sleep sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night; but let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to appoint us to salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us that whether we are awake or sleep, we shall live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another even also ye do." (1 Thess. 5:2-11)

These verses speak of the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation, the Day of Jacob's Trouble, a day that will come as a thief in the night. This refers to a time we do not know because it is immediately following the rapture of the church, a time that God says is known to the father (God) only. The reference to 'peace and safety' is seen to be at a time during which Israel will believe that they are living securely in their own nation. It more specifically refers to the false peace which has been guaranteed by the antichrist at the beginning of the tribulation period. Israel is looking for peace and safety now, and the world in general is crying out for stability and security in the Middle East. The world believes that if the Palestinian issue and the Israeli-Arab conflict are resolved there might truly be peace for these people who have been enemies for thousands of years. In turn, they believe, peace in the Middle East would go far toward peace in this world.

However, we who study God's Word about these things know that true peace will not come until Jesus Christ Himself establishes His Kingdom following the tribulation. In verse four it is pointed out that we should not be blinded to this day of coming trouble. In verse five we are commanded again, as we were in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, to watch and beware; and to be sober and vigilant as to the things that are happening in the world. In verse eight we are reminded to put on the armor of God, while verse nine again declares God's wish for us to escape this time of wrath to come by accepting Him now. Christians living at this time will avoid the terrible Day of the Lord by being raptured into His presence prior to God's dealing with the nations. Finally, these things should not be considered a doomsday scenario; we should build each other up as the time grows near to our being with Him.

The Origins of Enmity

The problem of peace and safety in the promised land is an age old one. The book of Genesis reveals an ancient hatred; an enmity and strife that has existed since Abraham; a conflict embedded in the very nature of our earliest forefathers. This sin has existed, and still exists, as the root of the current Arab Israeli conflict.

The lack of peace and safety in this world is the result of the work of satan, the Destroyer, the Accuser. The Bible speaks of the fact that it is satan's wish and inclination to destroy the nation of Israel. He has his plan to try to disrupt the Plan of God.

Beginning with Chapter 3:14 of Genesis, as part of the Divine Judgement upon man resulting from his fall in the garden, God speaks to satan:

"And the Lord God saith unto the serpent (satan) , because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thy go, and dust shalt thy eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Upon the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shalt be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee."

I believe that this is a dual prophecy. That is to say, the obvious interpretation is fully true, that because the woman was the instrument used by Satan to bring about the fall (the apple, remember?) And, in doing so brought about sorrow to herself and to the generations to follow, by pain in childbirth. However, it is also equally true that the woman refers symbolically refers to Israel, and thusly, there is enmity between the serpent (Satan) and Israel. Furthermore, Satan's seed will be at war with Israel's seed. This will become clearer as we search out more scripture. The husband then refers to the Gentile rule over Israel throughout this age (until the fullness of the Gentiles be brought in). This is a perfect example of how God allows some truth to be gotten while reserving a more poignant understanding of His Word to be realized only after more intense study and communication with Him.

Chapter 12 verses 1-3:

"Now the Lord had said unto Abram (father Abraham), get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curseth him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed".

Certainly, as we look at the recent war with Iraq and the 3 wars between the Arabs and Jews since their re-establishment as a nation, it is obvious that those nations that sided with Israel were blessed, even when the odds were wholly against them. For example, the three Arab/Israli wars have resulted in great victories for Israel, even in view of the fact that they were surrounded by and outnumbered by more than 100 to 1 by Arab neighbors!

The Abrahamic Covenant

In Chapter 13:14-18 of Genesis, God renews the Abrahamic covenant, the gift of Canaan, which includes, as part of it, the area which the nations are pushing to become the Palestinian state. This covenant is between God and the seed of Abraham:

"And the Lord Said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land that thou seest,to thee will I give, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if any man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee."

The first major understanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict is to understand the Abrahamic covenant; and, the fact that his seed will inherit All of it. This immediately poses several questions and dilemmas. Even though the Jewish nation has been restored to the land in this end time, Arabs have been living on the land for several thousand years. It is their home. They have toiled the land and built their lives in this area of the world. Do they not have the right to this land, then? What does God Say?

It is important to understand that the regathering of Israel is not complete yet. There are still hundreds of thousands of Jews in Russia, western Europe and scattered throughout the world. They are now returning, at unprecedented rates, to the land given to them by God. The complete fulfillment of this prophecy will not occur until the Millenial Kingdom, when Jesus Christ shall rule and the twelve tribes of Israel will be united. Out of New Jerusalem the nations of the world will be healed and blessed. Until then, the contention and strife between Arabs and Jews will continue for it is embedded in the very roots of their nature, as we shall see.

Chapter 17: 4-8:

"And as for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall beAbraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seedafter thee. And I will give unto thee and thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Verse 19:

"And Sarah thy wife will bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac,and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with hisseed after him. And as for Ismael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shalt he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah will bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."

The Arabs and Jews both originate from Abraham: the Arab nations, and the reference to the twelve princes, and the fact that they will be a great nation have come to them through God's promise to bless the seed of Abraham and his handmaiden, Hagar. (Gen. 15:15-16)

Certainly the Arab have been blessed materially, with incredible wealth, especially in these "latter days" with the possession of an abundance of oil "that croucheth beneath the deep". The covenant, however, was clearly to pass down to Abraham's son through Sarah, that is, to Isaac, who then fathered the Jewish nations. The Arabs are also mentioned as being "exceeding in number" as they outnumber the Jews by about 100 to 1. The Jews have been pruned by multiple persecutions throughout their history; yet, they have partially regathered to the land promised in the Original covenant and passed along through Isaac. The complete fulfillment of this covenant will not be realized until the Millenium, when God shall give over to the remnant of Israel the entire area from the Tigris-Euphrates river to the borders of Egypt. Until then the modern Arab nations have little respect for the covenant as presenting the land to the seed of Isaac.

"And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, if it be so, then why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels: and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.""

The elder was Esau and the younger was Jacob. The brothers were quite different in every way. The seed of Esau would have distinct characteristics that were opposite of his younger brother.

Continue with verse 24:

"And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment, aand they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bear them. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."

The Birthright is Sold to Jacob

Esau, the father of modern day Palestinians, was the rightful heir to the covenant as the elder son. However, the next verses reveal that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, for a fleshly cause, his appetite. The modern day Israelis, who are the descendants of Jacob bought the land from the Palestinians, as they began to return to their land this century. Sure, there have been wars that have resulted in the shift of land, also, but remember that the Palestinians were instrumental in causing these wars. They have had the opportunity to live in the land with Israel, at peace, but have chosen not to much like the hunter, Esau. His descendants, too, have sold their inheritance. The modern day Jews bought the land, worked and improved it with the sweat of their brow. Today the land has been brought back from the desolate rocky and barren state that it had been in for centuries, to become the small country that exports abundant farm commodities to Western European countries.

"And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field and was faint: And Esau said to Jacob: feed me I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. (Please refer to Message #14-Dukes of Edom: Fate of the Palestinians). And Jacob said sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; And he swore unto him: And he swore unto him: And he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread andpottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink. And rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."

The Man With the Plan

The Palestinians issue is the most prolific and far reaching scenario in the world today, for it holds the future of the nations of the Middle East. The land from the Tigris Euphrates river valley to the borders of Egypt has been passed to the descendants of Jacob (Israel).

The land once owned and occupied by the Palestinian Arabs has been sold to Jacob both by birthright as well as by actual purchase and war acquisition. It is little wonder that the problem is so far reaching, and emersed in emotion. But be sure that there will come a man who will seemingly hold the answer, the solution too this age old problem. The antichrist will be the one to sign the peace treaty in Israel, guaranteeing peace and safety. He will be revealed to the world by this act. The world will believe the "logical" answer to the Mideast problem to be creating a separate state for Palestine. Regardless, the covenant given to Abraham will pass on to it's rightful heirs..the descendants of Jacob. In fact, God reveals that the Palestinians (Canaanites, Philistines) will soon be "consumed" or "dissolved" so to be a nation no more. (Please refer to Message #14-Dukes of Edom: Fate of the Palestinians).

Daniel reveals the intentions of the antichrist in Chapter 11:39. He will seek a false peace and "divide the land for gain". A Palestinian state may be the world's answer but ultimately the land will be divided among the "remnant" of the nation of Israel.

A Blessing for Esau

Folowing the passing of the birthright to his brother, Esau asked his father, Isaac, if there was another blessing that he might receive:

"And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword shalt thy live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break the yoke from off thy neck." (Gen. 27:40)

Theses verses refer to the seed of Esau who today have broken the yoke from Israel in that they are dwelling in the land of "fatness of the earth"-oil! Furthermore, they certainly have been a people bent on wielding the sword, as history has shown.

In the next Chapter, verse 4, Isaac again reinforces his decision to bless Jacob (Israel):

"And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham."

The reference to the land wherein thou art a stranger, refers to the covenant boundaries where Israel is now regathering after being dispersed into other lands for the past several thousand years, thus, the term 'stranger'. Further, in the same Chapter Esau proves his unworthiness by denying the wishes of his father by marrying a Canaanite woman of the seed of Ismael.

Jacob's Vision at Bethel

"And he dreamed and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thy liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the North, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee."(Gen.28:12-15)

Finally, in verse 27-28: "And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Jacob's name was changed to Israel from that time forward.

The Good and Bad Seeds

Please read in Revelation Chapter 12. Here is a broad view of God's plan for Israel over the span of history. In light of the previous text, and by the Grace of God, a better understanding of a complex issue may be gained.

"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns; and seven crowns upon his heads." These verses reveal Israel as the woman whose kingdom is composed of the twelve tribes. She is about to give birth to Christ who has been the source of her pain. Satan, the Adversary, whose kingdom is this world, is represented by the seven empires over which he will rule in the span of history. There seems to be a special mention of the final kingdom represented by the ten horns which is most likely the same ten nation confederacy mentioned in Daniel "(Please refer to Message #6 Daniel's Vision of the Rise and Fall of the Great World Empires) .

"And His tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." The word "stars" is a symbol used in scripture to refer to angels. They can be good angels; or, as in this case, they are fallen angels.

In Chapters 11 and 18 of Isaiah, the fall of Satan and his being cast out of heaven and onto the earth is described, along with his followers. This scripture emphasizes this same plight. Satan, that ole dragon, is seen as being prepared to do away with the child (Son) of Israel who is Jesus Christ.

"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of Go, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days."

This man-child, Jesus Christ, will rule the nations in the millenial kingdom; and, reference is also made of His ascension unto God the father (at Pentecost). The woman (Israel) is seen as fleeing into the wilderness, known as Petra, where God protects them from the wrath of the antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation. Petra, also known as the Wilderness of Zen, is an extremely remote area south of the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan where Christian organizations have already stored bibles and foodstuffs for this eventuality.

The Bad Seed Bearer

"And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. And the great red dragon was cast out, that ole serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him; And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven 'now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of Christ, because his accuser has been cast down, which has accused our brethren before God day and night. And they overcome him, by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto their death."

Satan is the accuser of the brethren (saints) in time past and throughout the age. There will be those who come to Christ during the tribulation who will be martyred because they will not accept the mark of the beast. One-third of the Jewish population will come to know the true "Messiah" during this "time of Jacob's trouble".

"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea! For the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

At this time Satan is aware that he has only three and one-half years remaining and he will seek to destroy the earth in any way he can, in the personage of the antichrist, he will turn on the Jewish people and the tribulation saints with great fury.

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, which brought forth the man child, And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time (year), and times (2 years) and half a time (one-half year) from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth open her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with a remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

Satan will go to war with a remnant, a part of the seed of Israel, that one-third who will accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Daniel Chapter 12 gives us light to understand more clearly in the previous scripture:

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince that standeth for the children of thy people (Israel): and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even unto that same time: and at that time thy people will be delivered, every one found written in the book. And many of them in the dust of the earth shall wake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, forever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Michael is God's Archangel who will stand up for a remnant of Israel who come to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah during the last three and one-half years of the tribulation. The knowledge and understanding of this prophecy has been sealed until the "Time of the end", which refers to the "latter days" of God's Plan. This is where we are in time, now, as knowledge is being increased exponentially with the use of computers exploding knowledge by a multiple of four times all previous knowledge each year. This scripture may also refer to knowledge of His Word being given light in these days just prior to the tribulation period. It is only now, in these time, that we have been given more light to understand more fully the implications of this prophecy. A future insight into the time element is given with the phrase "many shall run to and fro", which should be easily recognized as we utilize the methods of modern transportation that speeds us in every direction.

The Root Causes of Israel's Burden

Please turn to the Book of Zechariah, Chapter 12, written over 500 years prior to the First Coming of Jesus Christ (Circa 500 A.D.):

"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And, in that day, I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered against it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and I will smite every horse of the people with blindness."

Romans :11:25-27:

"But I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,there shall come out of Sion, the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins."

Israel has a special place in God's Plan. Israel has been the keeper of God's Word. Most of the writer's of the Bible have been Jewish. Israel has been the focal point of the world's major religions. Today, 2500 years after Zechariah's prophecy of Jerusalem, the burdensome stone, the world focuses on the Mideast that rages on while religious and political factions of both the Arabs and the Jews contend for the city as their own.

Zechariah, Chapter 12:2-3:"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day certainly, the One who they have pierced is Jesus Christ, and they will come to recognize Him as their Messiah. Chapter 13, verse 1:

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David (a cleansing of Israel) and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleaness... And one will say unto him (Christ), what are these wounds in thine hand? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lordof Hosts: smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand upon the littleones. And it shall come to pass in all the land, two parts shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein (the remnant). And I will bring the third part through the fire (through the hardships and persecutions of all the history of Israel), and will refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name (come to accept Christ), and I will hear them: I will say, it is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."

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