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ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

February 1, 2018

Exact Ezekiel
Chapters 37-39


Introduction:

Before entering the most controversial chapters in Ezekiel, it is necessary to understand a few factors influencing the prophet's work. Rev. Jim Haddock sent an excerpt from the writing of Dr. Paterson, which details several of those factors:

"The book of Ezekiel {as Truth for the World wrote} has long been regarded as one of the most difficult books, if not the most difficult book, in the Old Testament." They go on to say "Ezekiel is written in 'apocalyptic language.' This is highly figurative speech. It contains many signs, symbols, and allegories. There are several key phrases which occur in Ezekiel. Ezekiel is called the "son of man" about one hundred times. The phrase, "The word of the Lord came to me" is found forty-nine times. Another phrase, '"and you shall know I am the Lord," is found more than sixty times.

"Probably no book of the Old Testament is as little read as this, and it may well be the least popular, as it is the least known of the Old Testament (John Paterson)."

     Jim Haddock
        jimhaddock@rocketmail.com
        (269) 721-3771

Remember: From chapter 33 to the end of the book, Ezekiel addresses the broader "House of Israel." These three chapters align with the rest of the book and tell the story of a great transition from sacrifices and burnt offerings to the final sacrifice of His Son and the establishment of a "new and better way."

It is necessary to lay out several guides which trail through these chapters.
  1. This prophecy (37-39) is about the end of the end times-the last battle.
  2. Chapter 37 lays out the new and living Israel of God-for they are the target of the evil one. The new Israel of God is not divided like ancient Israel.
  3. Chapter 38 tells the recipient who the evil one uses and declares their activities as a part of the plan of God to avenge His people.
  4. Chapter 39 tells how the Lord will carry out revenge against the nations who have persecuted His saints. A new world order arises with Jesus as its King.
Remember: Henry David Thoreau said, "It's not what one look at that matters… but what one sees."

Ezekiel was seeing the end of the world and the weapons of warfare that to him were described by him in ancient terms; they were almost "indescribable" in devastation.

Chapter 37:

     There are two integrated messages in this chapter--the raising of a "new life Israel" and the reunion of the whole house (no more divided kingdoms). Both these prophecies are about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Valley of dry bones:
     Perhaps this account is what most Sunday School children remember about Ezekiel. The spiritual song, with the refrain, "Dem bones, dem dry bones, Now hear the word of the Lord," constitutes the bulk of knowledge among adults.

     The resurrection of these bodies into a new form is the spiritual answer to the issue of usefulness in Ezekiel's generation. The Jews of that day were far from the Lord and were worthless as a people of witness. They had lost hope and faith, as shown in their self-appraisal. God raised up a host of people who believed Him, responded to Him and stood as an army of believers with a message of truth and righteousness. He who said, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out (Luke 19:40-41)," raised up a host from dried bones to deliver a pure message, when religion failed.

New life surged through the reformed bodies of those who would keep spiritual values in their new lives and represent a force of witness God could use. When the system church fails to bear witness to the lost world, God will raise a people who seek the highway of holiness and follow the paths of righteousness.

The true restoration of Israel as the people of the Lord commenced with the founding of the new kingdom of God, the "kingdom of heaven," through the appearing of Christ upon the earth. But inasmuch as the Jewish nation as such, or in its entirety, did not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Messiah foretold by the prophets and sent by God, but rejected its Saviour, there burst afresh upon Jerusalem and the Jewish nation the judgment of dispersion among the heathen; whereas, the kingdom of God founded by Christ spread over the earth, through the entrance of believers from among the Gentiles. This judgment upon the Jewish people, which is hardened in unbelief, still continues, and will continue until the time when the full number of the Gentiles has entered into the kingdom of God, and Israel as a people shall also be converted to Christ, acknowledge the crucified One as its Saviour, and bow the knee before Him (Romans 11:25-26)
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Events in the valley of dry bones are not a picture of the general resurrection. These folk are similar to those who rose from their graves at the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Matthew 27:51-53:
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
NKJV

This army is not a military show of force, but it is a picture of the necessity to redefine life. God life is established in the new birth. Why then did the Sadducees of Jesus' day not believe in the resurrection?

Did they begin by their not believing Ezekiel?

Whether this army was physical or symbolic---it was real to Ezekiel and proved that when a people lose their spiritual values and forsake the ways of the Lord, God will raise up a people who will respond to Him and His Word. The Babylonian captivity of the nation Israel was at this time "complete." Jerusalem had just been destroyed and the walls torn down. Ezekiel had just now been made a watchman to the whole house of Israel. This embodiment meant that God will have His people even if the establishment fails.

Ezekiel 37:1-14:
The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know."

4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.'"

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD:"Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."'" 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.'" NKJV

This whole house represents the end time state of the people of God, just as the next prophetic word indicates it will not be divided like the old one.

Two Sticks:

This next passage is about a symbolic picture of the unification of all Israel into the house of Israel. It does not give Judah the title deed to the land of the Northern Tribes. One stick with the name of Judah along with "his companions" represented the believing Jews and their part in the whole house. One stick had the name Joseph and "his companions" representing the Gentile believers. The reason Ephraim is mentioned is interesting. The Northern Tribes were known as the land of Ephraim and had the mountains of Ephraim. Also, Great Britain and the United States are under the "his companions" derivation as being in the House of Israel.

Joseph's two sons were Manasseh (Great Britain) and Ephraim (United States). This is significant to know, for when Ezekiel talks about a "land of unwalled villages," he is referring to the U.S.

In the following passage is the promise of Christ's kingdom being established and His reign among His people. Although it encouraged the captives, it had nothing to do with their return to rebuild the Temple and repair the walls. It has everything to do with the Israel of God after Jesus' return.

Ezekiel 37:15-28:
Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16 "As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.

18 "And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you mean by these?' - 19 say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."' 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.

21 "Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

24 "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."'"
NKJV

There is to be a new world order and His promise to establish His tabernacle in it is not in conflict with other Bible prophecies.

The following comment is very cogent to understanding the reference to the Israel of God.

…under the new covenant, Canaan extends as far as the Israel of the new covenant, the church of Jesus Christ, is spread abroad over the earth, and that Zion or Jerusalem is to be sought wherever Christendom worships God in spirit and in truth, wherever Christ is with His people, and dwells in the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Chapter 38:

Because there are opposing beliefs about these chapters, it is necessary at this point to layout the "standard" view one hears both in Israel on tours and in myriads of pulpits that use interpretations handed down over time. That view is that Gog and Magog stand for Russia and there will be a Russian invasion of the Holy land when they engage troops into the Middle East. Provocation for this battle to be held at Armageddon, in the North part of current Israel, will be the fight over Jerusalem, or the rebuilt Temple or just an evil plan in their mind for Imperialism. This view holds to geographic Israel brought back in power in the Balfour agreement of 1948. The view declares Ezekiel knew the mountains of Israel and mentions them as integral to understanding this prophecy. They agree this is the last great battle and God will intervene for Israel and His people. Perhaps this is the true interpretation, but then again, there are others who see things differently; one of the "different" views is presented here.

The next two chapters are basically one prophetic word about Gog. It will be necessary to take small segments of Scripture and explain the "players" in their action. Because these verses have been treated with bias, it is necessary to identify who is on the playing field and the location of the field.

There are many interpretations of these three chapters; this is one that does not follow the popular Zionist and Futurist Dispensational format. The following research by Rev. Jim Haddock is one of them.

…The words, Gog and Magog, go together like peanut butter and jelly, but seldom is an important distinction made between them. This leads to a cloaking of the ancient prophecy in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

In separating Gog and Magog, one will find Gog is a much more obscure individual than Magog. Magog was the grandson of Noah. His father was Japheth. Together with his brothers Meschech, Tubal and Gomer and including Magog's nephew Togarmah, Ezekiel gives a good description of a large swath of the real-estate described in the 38th chapter. Most of the land described made up former Soviet states. Josephus, Herodotus and many other sources agree on the connection between Magog and modern day Russia. Few people, however, seem to notice the vast difference in time between the birth of Noah's grandson Magog and the man Gog, a descendant of Reuben--the son of Jacob. This mysterious Gog was born hundreds of years after Magog. In the biblical table of nations there is no mention of Gog. There are, however, dark symbolic references found in Amos and Revelation. There is also the fact that he, as Reuben's descendant and like Ishmael and Esau, was Semitic and on the receiving end of a lost first born birthright. The descendants of Ishmael and Esau are the greatest enemies of Israel today.

Where is Gog in all this?

The Greek Septuagint Old Testament calls Gog the locust king. In Amos 7:1, it reads,

"Thus has the Lord God shewed me; and, behold, a swarm of locusts coming from the east; and, behold, one khaw-seel' caterpillar, (ravager, locust) king Gog."

Chuck Missler, founder of Koinonia House, points out what the Bible says:

Proverbs 30:27 The locusts have no king, Yet go they forth all of them by bands…

The Hebrew word, khaw-seel, can be compared to the Hebrew word, Abaddon (a destroying angel). This is the Hebrew name of the king of the locust from the Abyss in Revelation 9:11 (these locusts had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon).

Many believe the obscure man, Gog, became a symbol of a title. It's like the Hebrew word, "Rosh." Rosh is translated 548 times in the Old Testament as a title and not a place. But, due to the partisan belief structure deployed in most modern translations, the word is transliterated from Hebrew, letter for letter.

Ezekiel uses "Rosh" three times in chapters 38 and 39. Because it sounds a little like "Russia," Bible teachers assume it is, even though Ezekiel uses the word 21 times in his book. (Partisan translators never fail to cloak prophecy.)

The identification of Gog is a key component to receiving the gift of this prophecy. This prophecy gives us a clear sign of the end of time. All the prophets, as well as Jesus himself, told us to look forward to this period in history. This is a sign for "the end of the end," and the signs presented here tell us "our salvation is drawing near." Gog is a human son of satan, who has been long awaited and who will soon be revealed. Daniel spoke of him, as did many others, and the signs declare the stage is now set.

NOTE: Armed with the information at hand, the Scripture begins to be a bit plainer. Since all history is spiritual in nature, what transpires in these end times ceases to be a mystery and becomes an unfolding of spiritual insight.

Ezekiel 38:1-6:
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops - many people are with you.
NKJV

A concise definition of the characters populating these two chapters is found in Rev. Jim Haddock's writings:

To begin to understand Ezekiel 38, it's necessary to understand that chapter 37 does not give Judah the deed of ownership to his eleven brothers' land. It is a direct reference to the rule of Christ. Chapter 39 is also important, in that we see from that chapter the war described in 38 is the last war in this age and the war that leads to the "battle of the great day of God the almighty."

The players also must be carefully examined. For instance, Gog is the principle player or the leader of the whole thing. The event takes place "after many days" and "in the latter years" (38:8) as it says, "it shall be in the latter days" (38:16). Gog, in Hebrew, means "a covering" This mysterious individual is defined clearly for us by Ezekiel himself, when he writes (in 38:17) "Thus says the Lord GOD; Are you he of whom I have spoken in former times by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?"

In Isaiah 27:1, we see one of the places where, in a time prior to Ezekiel, the prophets spoke of this Gog, as a covering, or religious leader. The ultimate leader, ruling the land of Magog for this end time coalition, is none other than "Leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan, that crooked serpent"..."the dragon that is in the sea." The sea connotes "nations and tribes and tongues (Revelation. 17:15)."

The ultimate leader, of this easily definable coalition, is clearly Satan. Magog is equated with Russia. The land of Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia and the rest are geographic locations that Ezekiel well understood. To translate 38:2 the prince of Russia is a distraction. The Jerusalem Bible, as well as Bishops', Geneva, Wycliffe, KJV 1611, and any Hebrew-direct rendering says, "the chief (Rosh) prince" not the prince of Rosh. This matters-- for Russia, forcing Meshach and Tubal back into the fold, may be part of the sign of this whole thing beginning.

The covering dragon is the chief ruler of Tubal, who settled the land known as Georgia, the capital of which is named for Tubal (Tbilisi, in Georgian). Meshech is said to have settled the land east of Armenia to the Caspian Sea. The regions of Persia, Libya and Ethiopia are generally where they were in Ezekiel's day. Though the borders have changed, these nations are generally representative of a large Islamic coalition. This could be defined as most of North Africa, all of Iran, as well as just about every Middle Eastern nation that has an axe to grind with Israel. Many people "teach" that Gomer is Germany. That's understandable --in that a trainload of the early settlers of that region were named after the Prophet Hosea's prostitute wife. The problem with this logic is that it says "Gomer and all his bands." It does not say Gomer and all her bands. Gomer, as Ezekiel saw it, was the modern day Turkish peninsula and Togarmah (old Armenia).

Because of modern conditions today, the time for this prophecy is very close. All the "players" are lining up for what will be the "final battle." The next set of Scripture defines the circumstances and how the U.S. will be involved.

Ezekiel 38:7-13:
7 "Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you."

10'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, 'I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates' - 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, 'Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?'"'
NKJV

NOTE: Who meets the criteria better than North America? At the time of Ezekiel, it was desolate and mostly uninhabited, due to a sparse population. Something changed; it was discovered and became filled with a people made up from the nations. They came and prospered under Christianity and acquired much wealth.

Haddock's research has led him to believe what is spelled out in this next quote. Convincingly, it makes understanding of events found in Ezekiel 38:8 much clearer.

The future belongs to God, and it is a dangerous place to fool around in. We do, however, have these prophecies. We have them and they can show us just what Jesus meant when he said, "Behold, I have told you all things before hand." The frequency of subtle nuance found in Ezekiel chapter 38, as an example, is mind bending and few people have noticed a fraction of it. The misidentification of Gog, for instance, as well as a complete subsequent misunderstanding of Revelation 20, has many teaching that the whole affair doesn't take place for over a thousand years.

Magog, the son of Japheth, helped settle central Russia, but to call Magog Russia in these contexts may be over-generalization. Meshach and Tubal, as well as, "Gomer and all his bands" along with the "house of Gomer" had many who settled parts of modern Russia (including Gomer's son, Ashkenaz). Then, there is the "house of Togarmah," (Togarmah and all his bands of the north parts…) who had many lands in Russia--including his seventh son, Khazar. Many Ashkenazi and Khazarim populated southern Russia and Poland. Many, from both houses, converted to Judaism in the 8th century. They made up the lion's share of people who began to flow into ancient Samaria after the Belfour agreement was orchestrated and enforced by Ashkenazi Zionist, Lionel Rothchild.

Ezekiel 38:8 states, "The land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel…" People studying these things with anti-Zionist emotion will state authoritatively that this invasion has already occurred. They cite a recent DNA survey of the people in the modern nation called Israel which concluded (or proved categorically) only a small percentage of the population had Abrahamic blood and that most were descended from the Ashkinazi Khazars.

The complexity of this prophecy is such that mistakes of this nature are easy to make. These good pilgrims miss completely the next part of the prophecy. The next part clearly refers to a second front in the war. To get this we have to read Ezekiel's words.

If we listen to what the prophet really says. Ezekiel spoke God's words to Satan, "After many days thou art appointed," The word translated {Y L T} is paw-kad'. This word means to "oversee, muster, or charge." It is important to keep in mind that this Gog has hooks in his jaws. This type of bridle makes it impossible to refuse a demanded command or direction. Ezekiel writes on, "in the latter years thou shalt come into the land." The phrase, "latter years" comes from the Hebrew akh-ar-eeth' and means the last or end, or as Daniel called it, 'the final part of the days." One might say it means the "end of the rope of time."

Ezekiel continues with, "thou shalt come into the land … against the mountains of Israel." Ezekiel knows full well where this place is. He is clearly talking about all the land left by Jacob to his 12 sons. This includes Judah, whose land was more clearly defined than the other 11 brothers, but in no way deeds that land to those who would make claim to it. One reads many times how and when the lost 10 tribes get their land back (and as any Orthodox Jew will tell you, "they get it back" after "the resurrection of the last day [John 11:24])." Ezekiel says the same thing three times in Chapter 37. It was the Romans who evicted Judah. It is Judah that is promised a beh'takh or place of refuge and Gog can't stand it. His attempt to wipe Judah off the face of the earth failed completely when "the earth opened up and swallowed the flood" he sent after her in the Twentieth century (Revelation 12:14-16). It is a true statement that Judah was "given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place [beh'takh], where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."

Judah will, as Paul said, be finally relieved of her "blindness in part."

For 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. Romans 11:25

When the northern kingdom was lost, the term Israel applied to the remaining southern kingdom. The blindness settled upon that remnant.

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: Romans 11:26

The remnant of Israel is true Judah. True Judah has this beh'takh, or place of refuge, in her deeded homeland. True Judah will be addressed by God at the very end and many will follow Jesus Christ. This is what is referred to in Revelation 11 as the ministry of the two lamp stands that are before the God of the whole earth.

Remember the world before the flood had one centralized government and one unchallenged king. That king was Lucifer. Nimrod tried to bring that government back just after the flood and was stopped. The mystery of Babylon is that they never stopped and soon that government will be upon us "As it was in the days of Noah."

A man named Pitts made a huge splash with this simple truth 150 years ago. Rev F E Pitts went before the U S congress to speak of a prophesied future Russian invasion in 1857. This is stated in the congressional record. He spent two days presenting the United States as the end time nation that had become the "middle of the earth (v.12)" invaded ultimately by a coalition led by Russia.

NOTE: God has a judgment planned against Gog's evil plan. From this point on, the directives of Ezekiel are to the "house of Israel;" therefore, the "land of Israel" means wherever the Israel of God resides.

Ezekiel 38:14-17:
14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD:"On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes." 17 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?"
NKJV

It now appears who the perpetrator of the "evil plan" really is: Gog is satan.

Ezekiel 38:18-23:
"And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord GOD, "that My fury will show in My face. 19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, 20 so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' 21 I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD."Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."
NKJV

No wonder Ezekiel brings a clearer definition of this "great day of the Lord," in Chapter 39-it is a horrific show of power the whole world sees and trembles.

Chapter 39:

This chapter is about the last great assault by satan against Christian nations as it joins Revelation and other prophetic Scriptures in detail. Graphically, it lays before the reader a gruesome account of horrific dimension which draws upon God to intervene and destroy the forces of evil by Divine power the whole world can witness.

Chapter 39 is in harmony for instance with Revelation 16 and 19.

Revelation 16:13ff
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
… For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Revelation 19:19


Ezekiel 39:1-4:
"And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

Notice how closely aligned those words are with Isaiah 18:5-6 and Revelation 19:17-18.

…the sour grape is ripening in the flower; he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.
They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

Revelation 19:17-18:
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.


Ezekiel 39:5-9:
5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken," says the Lord GOD. 6 "And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Surely it is coming, and it shall be done," says the Lord GOD. "This is the day of which I have spoken.

9 "Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them," says the Lord GOD.
NKJV

Some researchers believe the "fire with their weapons" is material of nuclear or similar substance, not wood. When God steps in with tremendous natural force, it may give reason for what is taking place today with the many instances of earthquakes and volcanic activities. The extent of His intervention is described next.

Ezekiel 39:11-17:
"It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified," says the Lord GOD. 14 "They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man's bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land."'
NKJV

Hamon Gog means "the city of the multitudes of Gog," hence, the necessity for birds of carrion and other wild animals that are scavengers to be addressed and given assignment to "cleanse the land."

Ezekiel 39:17-20:
"And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field:

"Assemble yourselves and come;
Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal
Which I am sacrificing for you,
A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel,
That you may eat flesh and drink blood.
18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty,
Drink the blood of the princes of the earth,
Of rams and lambs,
Of goats and bulls,
All of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 You shall eat fat till you are full,
And drink blood till you are drunk,
At My sacrificial meal
Which I am sacrificing for you.
20 You shall be filled at My table
With horses and riders,
With mighty men
And with all the men of war," says the Lord GOD.
NKJV


Notice now the description of the final battle in Revelation 19.

Notice now the Revelation comparisons:

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war….
19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.
19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.


Next, Ezekiel turns his attention to restorative measures that await the people of the Lord.

Ezekiel 39:21-29:
"I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward. 23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them."'

Verses 21-29 explain the reason for God's actions to the Babylon captives and re-asserts the reason for their plight.

Then, Ezekiel moves back to the big picture of God's deliverance and re-establishment of His purpose for His people, which is fellowship with Him.

25 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name - 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD."
NKJV

No force can invade the City of God; no interloper masquerade its courts. God's eternal provision is within its gates as the citizenry of kings and priests learn the fruition of

1 Corinthians 2:9-10:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"-

10 but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.



Until Next month,


Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.






From the Mailbag:


From R.H., Minnesota:

My thoughts this month have been on "Sabaoth" the cross reference James 5:4 and Romans 9:29/Isaiah 1:9. I have been studying also, the Host of Heavens over these armies… also Ezekiel 28:30 on the real Israel, chosen seed---It all seems to be tied together. I appreciate your newsletters… they feed the eternal by the Holy Spirit.

From T.L., Kansas:

Happy New Year to all… for unprecedented favor and the joy of the Lord.



Missions Report:

From: Robert & Mary Grindley
            Branch Ministries

Contacts:

Web: http://www.branchministriesbotswana.org
Email: mailbranch@juno.com

AFRICA:
P.O. Box 2487
Selebi-Phikwe
Botswana, AFRICA

Office: 011 267 261 1746 (Landline)
Cell: 011 267 7421 8210 (Rob)
         011 267 7285 5461 (Mary)
UNITED STATES:
P.O. Box 432
Lunenburg, MA 01462
USA

Office: 978 400 7285
Cell: 978 549 7436


We want to thank you for the amazing opportunity to share our ministry and needs with you and your partners.


Our story begins as we mentioned with supernatural direction to Botswana via praying in tongues. Mary received her leading while at bible school during her missions class but later had a vision of stepping onto Africa and her heel landing in Botswana. This was her first open eyed vision. This supernatural direction was important to us in so many ways. When we arrived in Botswana Mary began to hemorrhage and bled for the first forty days, it was very serious and became life threatening. The Lord heard our prayers and she was healed. It is true however that this issue continued to plague her for seven years before receiving her final healing through the laying on of hands.



Botswana is a nation the size of Texas, with a population of 2.2 million people A stable democracy gaining independence in 1966 without violence as one of the poorest countries in the world. With the discovery of diamonds in 1967 the government has used this to develop the nations infrastructure. Religious background is traditional religion, animism and ancestral worship with a mix of Christianity. Governmental position is it is a Christian nation so opportunities are here to spread the gospel without governmental hindrance. In fact, the Government has asked the Church to step forward and play their role.

We were not really prepared for the spiritual atmosphere we would face in Botswana. We were ignorant of the reality of the kingdom of darkness and witchcraft and it took some time to awaken to the obstacles and spirits we were facing. We started with other missionaries and worked with them for nearly two years before going out on our own to start our first church and a year later our second. We were also unprepared for the toll of the HIV pandemic and the death rate we would soon encounter as the HIV situation began to take its toll.

It was heartbreaking to see people suffer and we lost many friends and their children in those early years as life expectancy plummeted from 66 to 37 years. The number of orphans mushroomed, the extended family being extended to the breaking point to care for children orphaned by relatives.

In response we began a campaign of speaking to young people in the schools about choices they were making. A Christian character based program was then launched in the schools reaching over 10,000 young people and we began to fervently pray for a way to begin an orphan care facility.

In 2001 we opened our first bible school but by year end our marriage was suffering the toll of overwork, trauma, and the spiritual world we were combating.

We left the churches with a local pastor and managed to keep the bible school running for the next several years, while residing in the States. Our programs in the schools closed as well as an after-school program for children where we taught them about the Lord and fed them.

Over the next three years as we worked on our marriage we spent three months in Botswana per year, mostly me going to teach in the bible school and preach in the churches.

In 2006 we traveled with an Evangelistic team and mobile bible school reaching other African nations. This was a great help to us, as we were certainly broken vessels. The spirit of faith was revived in us, and we received direction it was time to return to Botswana., this time settling in the fifth largest city called Selebi Phikwe.

We returned in July of 2007 and started our first church in this new city. Within the first few weeks a wonderful miracle took place as a lady with cancer on her leg was healed. The ministry grew and we started reaching out to the community under the Lords guidance reaching out to children from a needy area. We began a character based afterschool program utilizing sports to draw them where we could have regular contact to teach them to follow Christ and Biblical principles for living. Our numbers swelled and at one time the program ran over 600 children in three locations and we served thousands of meals. The programs results were clear as children's behavior changed. Unfortunately, later we had to scale back this program due to national issues relating to schools and currently we have 200 children regularly participating. After four years of running this afterschool program we were asked by local government dealing with HIV issues to start an HIV Prevention Program in both the junior and senior secondary schools in our city and the surrounding villages, which has also opened opportunities to minister to both teachers and faculty. Currently there are 11,000 youth participating in this character based Christ centered program, reaching nearly every young person aged 14-19 years in our area.

We began a second church in 2009 in the village of Tobane. In 2011 we opened an english Bible Training Program in our city of Selebi Phikwe. In 2016 we opened a second Bible Training Program translated into the local language to help train those not fluent in English the national language.

We started a third church in 2017 in a hard area about 40 minutes away. We are the only Gospel preaching church in this village. Although Christianity has taken great strides in Botswana in the last 20 years , the lack of solid teaching is evident. Traditional and ancestral practices still have a strong hold as well as false prophets merchandising God's power in an illusion and money-making scam. We need a true Holy Ghost move upon the Nation and we are praying fervently for God to pour out His Spirit here in these Last Days.

A primary school asked us in 2011 to adopt/ parent their school and speak to the students and faculty every Friday morning. The school was so receptive various workshops on Christian principles and teaching children were done and school results began to climb. We now have adopted a second school and speak to over 1,100 children and their faculty each week.

Mary began an outreach to women in the community, regardless of churched or unchurched and for all denominations, to bring encouragement and an opportunity to hear the gospel and grow in their faith in Christ Jesus. She has monthly meetings and many women have come to Christ through this outreach. In 2017 she focused mostly on biblical parenting in this forum. She also helps with development of income generation skills as somewhere near 75 % of households in Botswana are single women with dependent children.

In 2009 with great excitement and after many years of waiting we received 5 acres of land from the government to build an orphan center. Mary has overseen construction, and we believe we will open the full-time care facility to the first 24 orphaned children this year. We also purchased a 109 acre farm to help provide for the orphan center, our community programs and help the needy on a massive scale. We now have a tractor and farming equipment but being a semi-arid country the lack of rain requires a strong water source and irrigation. We need start up money for pumping and irrigation. The start up cost for the first 8 acres is $ 35,000.00 (irrigation, generator, pumps, tanks etc.)

The Lord has blessed us to see mighty signs and wonders and when we could we have held healing and even marriage conferences in other areas.

We are desiring in 2018 to launch Bible Training programs in India as well as Congo DRC.


Siteplan for Children of Promise Orphan Center


Children of Promise Orphan Center


Children's Residence Home


Director's Home and Administration Building
Children's Bedroom


Children's Bedroom
Caretaker's Bedroom


Home Kitchen



Garden


Farming Equipment in Partnership with Farmers From America to help Orphan Center


Tractor and Trailer


Botshabelo Church of Harvest Children's Outreach
Church of the Harvest


Church of the Harvest
Bible Courses Classroom Instruction


HIV Prevention Instruction
Peer Educators for HIV Prevention Program in Schools


Powerhouse Sports Program, running since 2008
Powerhouse Coaches who serve as role models and mentors


Children of Promise Orphan Center
Recent Graduating Class - Ministerial Training Course





Children Of Promise Orphan Center Needs - 02/2018


IMMEDIATE NEEDS:
  1. Vehicle (Used Mini - bus or Combi) $9,500.00
  2. Refrigerator with freezer (electric and single door width) $750.00
  3. Cook Stove & Hobb (vent fan) (gas,4 burner, counter top insert) $550.00
  4. Floor tiling for two orphan homes (12M X 15 M) Total Estimated for 2 homes $3,700.00
  5. Floor tiling for the Director's House (12M x 13M) Estimated $1,750.00
  6. Blankets (24 for single beds, and 4 for queen beds) $ 425.00
  7. Bath Towels-28, Face clothes-28, Hand Towels-9 $ 200.00
  8. Kitchen equipment (Family of 14 people): Total estimated for below $375.00
    • Pots and pans (also pots to cook over fire outside)
    • Plates & bowls
    • Cups
    • Glasses
    • Cutlery & Utensils, etc.
  9. Queen size mattress set for house parents $520.00
  10. 4 queen size linen sets $130.00
  11. 12 linen sets for single bed mattress (children's beds) $240.00
  12. Equipping of Office:
    • 2 laptops - large screen, high capacity Total for 2 = $1,600.00
    • 1 Printer with scanner/copier $ 150.00
  13. Shading & gum poles for playground area (17 meters by 21 meters) Estimated $ 940.00
  14. Child sponsorship for 24 children Estimated $75.00 per child monthly = $1,800.00for 24 children monthly

LONG TERM NEEDS:
  1. Third orphan home needs: Estimated total of $21,600.00
    • Electrical Estimated $2,200.00
    • Plumbing Estimated $2,400.00
    • Carpentry/closets/cabinets & 6 sets of bunkbeds (3 bedrooms. 2 baths & Kitchen ) Estimated $8,600.00
    • Paint inside and outside Estimated $ 1,800.00
    • Furnishings & Equipping Estimated $ 6,600.00
  2. Funding for building Christian School Estimated $120,000.00
  3. Funding for building Vocational Training Center Estimated $37,000.00
  4. Funding to build 17 additional orphan homes Each home cost $47,000.00


Rob and Mary Grindley








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