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How Prophecy Relates To The Fall Feast Season

The Soviet Union has been broken up into a number of so-called independent states for quite a few years now. While Russia is certainly a giant compared to other states of the former USSR, some of them are flexing their muscles. We have seen wars in several of these states in the Caspian and Black sea areas in and near southern Russia including religious wars in the republics of Chechnya and Georgia, and the continuous war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many Russians too, are wishing for a return to their former status as a world socialist leader. Recently we have seen Vladimir Putin's return to power in Russia. He has been quite clear that he intends to return Russia to a super power status. Russian leaders are establishing themselves as UN protectors of Iran, Syria, North Korea and more. It is clear that any of these countries would not hesitate to invade Isreal or back those who would continue the current chaos happening in many Middle Eastern countries. This continued chaos cannot do anything but threaten the existence of Israel. We cannot ignore the turmoil that has erupted recently in many middle eastern countries i.e. Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Jordan to name a few. The United States dollar faces additional possible devaluation due to overspending and price manipulation by Red China who has becomes one of the largest manufacturing nations in the world. In addition, China now has the largest military in the world. What does your Bible have to say about these and other nations in the end time that we are now entering? How does all this apply to us in this fall Feast season? The fall Feast season pictures the Kingdom of God, starting with Christ's return and concluding with the White Throne Judgment of Rev 20.

Today I want to talk to you about the significance of the fall Feast season from the perspective of prophetic scriptures. I'll cover 4 major points:

  1. The great dangers from the north and east Israel is prophesied to face.
  2. The destiny of the saints through these dangers.
  3. What Christians face today?
  4. The joyful return of all God's chosen when Christ protects them and sets up His kingdom.

We'll also describe how these events are exemplified by the fall Feast season; the Feast of Trumpets and particularly the Feast of Tabernacles. Many expect Jesus Christ to return on the Feast of Trumpets, however some are of the opinion that He will return on other days and that Trumpets is only a symbol of His return. The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the Kingdom of God on earth and the joyful life experienced by those living in it. As we go through this sermon, keep in mind that God's Word describes WHAT will occur but does not specify WHEN prophesies will occur, and sometimes even in what sequence.

(Mat 24:36 NKJV) "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

There are prophesies which describe modern Israel being threatened by two sources of invading armies: a European consortium and countries bordering Russia. To keep this sermon from getting too long, I won't comment on the American and/or European invasion other than to say that it could be prompted by dangerous threats from Iran or Syria, an attack by Saudi Arabia, and/or even partiality against Israel. It also seems to be associated with establishment of a European religious figure at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. I have described this in my sermon on the End Time Prophesies - Part 1. You might want to review that sermon. It is on our web site. Scriptures in Rev 11, 13, 17, and 18 where the US might be included, Dan 9 & 11, and 2 Thes 2:3-4 also describe this European or American threat. However, Rev 7 shows our deliverance. Instead, in this section of this sermon, I want to discuss prophesies which seem to describe countries bordering on, and possibly including, Russia.

1. So let's start by describing the great dangers from the north and east that Israel is prophesied to face:

Psa 120 (NKJV) In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me. {2} Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips <And> from a deceitful tongue. {3} What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? {4} Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree! {5} Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech [Me'-shak], <That> I dwell among the tents of Kedar! [Kedar represents uncivilized nomadic tribes.] {6} My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. {7} I <am for> peace; But when I speak, they <are> for war.

Meshech is referred to by Ezekiel as being in alliance with Gog, who is destined to invade Israel in the latter days. Let's read what Ezekiel has to say about it:

Ezek 32:26 (KJV) There <is> Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves <are> round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living.

This describes a destroyed Meshech and Tubal who had terrorized Israel. Meshech and Tubal are generally associated with the peoples residing near Moscow and southeast of there toward Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, eastern Turkey and various small nations of the Caucasus Mountains. But just as Kazakhstan extends well to the east, so does Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.

With the recent election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the region is nearly all Muslim and might very well be or have been reacting to an attempt by Israel to rid herself of the so-called Palestinian threat, the destruction of Iran by Israel, Europe, or America, or what appears to be the current loss of American military world leadership, prestige, and power.

Ezek 38:2-6 (KJV) Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, {3} And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I <am> against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: {4} And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts <of armor>, <even> a great company <with> bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: {5} Persia [Iran], Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: {6} Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: <and> many people with thee.

Magog means "from the land of Gog." Researchers identify Magog as Mongolian peoples in general. Mongolian peoples include Koreans, Japanese, and northern Chinese. This indicates God's opposition to all those people living along the southern border of Russia.

Gomer is often identified as Germany. But Germans are also identified with Canaan, Assyria, and Edom. Togarmah is identified with Turkey and the Turkish people. Even the Japanese trace their lineage to Turkey. If these identities are accurate, it looks like the entire Muslim nation of Asia will attack tiny Israel. Now God promises to step in.

Ezek 39:1-7 (KJV) Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I <am> against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: {2} And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:

The Mountains of Israel are Samaria and Judea - most of what the news media currently calls "The West Bank." As most of you know, the West Bank is really the land west of the Jordan River captured by Jordan from Israel in 1948 and recaptured by Israel nineteen years later in 1967. Could it be that these scriptures are describing a time when the Muslims have lost influence in Israel, and the world's Islamic nations, along with what may be their Russian allies, are trying to take it back? Could the Palestinian Authority or Hamas and Hezbollah, in Lebanon, presently occupying the mountains of Israel and Gaza, threaten Israel so much that they are ejected from the whole country, along with the Dome of the Rock and all their mosques? Could America become totally dispassionate or so badly mauled or stretched in Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran or the western Pacific or Taiwan or Korea or South America or some other area of the world that the surrounding Islamic nations become emboldened to destroy Israel once and for all? As we watch the current hearings in Congress and news reports is America ready to turn its back on the current conditions in this part of the world ? Iran, with its nuclear weapons program, has announced to the world that destruction of Israel, Europe, and the U.S. is their goal. The cities of the Mountains of Israel are mostly Islamic today. They constitute much of the so-called West Bank, the areas of Samaria and Judea. These areas were given to the Palestinian Authority after the PA was driven out of Gaza by Hamas. The human causes of this invasion are not clear yet but we know God has foreseen it. You can read more of this on our website in our articles "The Return of the Israelites" and "The 'Palestinians'."

Continuing in Ezekiel 39,verse {3} And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. {4} Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that <is> with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and <to> the beasts of the field to be devoured. {5} Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken <it>, saith the Lord GOD. {6} And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles:

Remember Magog is from the land of Gog. It is apparently a people, not a territory.

The nearest isles to southern Russia are the Philippines and Japan, but Indonesia, an all-island, Islamic nation, and Muslim Brunei and Malaysia are also nearby. The Philippines are also seriously threatened by Muslim rebels. The word "carelessly", in verse 6, is an old fashioned translation. Today we would say "without care" or "confidently".

Continuing in verse 6:

and they shall know that I <am> the LORD. {7} So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not <let them> pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I <am> the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

Who are these peoples described by Ezekiel? Togarmah and Gomer were in affiliation with Gog. Some feel Gog, i.e. Magog, will include 200 million Chinese (Rev 9:16) who may support the Russians coming to destroy the Jews and everything Jewish forever. Jews in Russia have suffered persecution for centuries. Nearly a million have moved to Israel in recent years. Now, in a gigantic display of antisemitism, some Russians and their southern border allies seem to be intent on destroying every vestige of Judaism from the face of the earth. What would initiate such rage? Will Israel finally be compelled to kick out all the so-called Palestinians? Will she then remove the Dome of the Rock, and destroy the El Aqsa Mosque from the Temple Mount? Wouldn't this please God? But God has His own plans and we just read Ezekiel's description of the results of the battle.

Whoever Meshech, Tubal, Gog, Magog, Togarmah and Gomer include, we know they will attack Israel from the north and east. They seem to include Russia and her southern border allies, but as verse 6 indicates, God's wrath will extend to other heathen nations.

The fate of these and the intervention of God is obvious, but His timing isn't. What was the attitude of King David to such momentous prophetic events?

Psa 121 (NKJV) I will lift up my eyes to the hills; From whence comes my help? {2} My help <comes> from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.{3} He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. {4} Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. {5} The LORD <is> your keeper; The LORD <is> your shade at your right hand. {6} The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. {7} The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. {8} The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

These verses form a Jewish prayer for deliverance from Russia and the Arabs, both of which prefer war rather than peace with the Jews. The Jews today have a very pretty song which they sing to the words of Psalm 121:1-4. They call it Hineh Lo Yanum.

Psa 124 (NKJV) "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side," Let Israel now say; {2} "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, When men rose up against us, {3} Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was kindled against us; {4} Then the waters [the people] would have overwhelmed us, The stream would have gone over our soul; {5} Then the swollen waters Would have gone over our soul." {6} Blessed <be> the LORD, Who has not given us <as> prey to their teeth. {7} Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have escaped. {8} Our help <is> in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

John stated that Jesus Christ made heaven and earth. This chapter could certainly apply to the miraculous deliverance from the northern armies we read about earlier.

Two verses from Hosea 13 also describe the dire situation Israel will find itself in:

Hosea 13:9 (NKJV) "O Israel, you are destroyed, But your help <is> from Me.

This is a very interesting scripture. The word "destroyed," H7843, is translated as "have destroyed yourself" in the KJV. The same word, H7843, is found in Deut 32:5 and is translated "corrupted." "You have corrupted yourself." This is exactly what we saw happening in Israel with the government forcing Jews to evacuate land to which they have title and giving their land to the so-called Palestinians. The Jews have been giving away their land to the Palestinians with no reciprocation of promised security. Hundreds of missiles from Gaza have rained down on Jewish towns. The present government is holding on to Israeli land despite European and American pressure to release it.

We need to keep in mind the words of Hosea 13:9;"But your help is from Me

Hosea 13:9(NKJV); "But your help is from Me," and verse 14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.

Sounds like much of Israel will have destroyed itself before God intervenes, but intervene He will.

2. But what is the destiny of the Saints in all this?

The body of Saints, referred to as the Church is not a corporate entity. The Church is the assembly of called-out and selected individuals. Biblical emphasis is placed on an assembly of Saints. Let's turn to:

Rev 12:14 (NKJV) But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Many believe the "woman" is the Church; that the Church will be protected from the tribulation by being placed in the middle-east wilderness by God. This is similar to the Church fleeing Jerusalem for Pella when the second temple was destroyed. However, this time the Church will flee via the wings of a great eagle. I'll let your imagination take over from there. In Revelation 3:10 God promises the Philadelphia era church protection from the three and a half year period of tribulation. Will God's people in Israel also flee to a place of safety when Israel is invaded? Mat 24:15 says yes. But God will do so by the individual, not because the individual is associated with some specific church group.

Rev 3:10 (NKJV) "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Psa 122 (NKJV) I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD." {2} Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem! {3} Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together, {4} Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the LORD, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the LORD. {5} For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. {6} Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. [Do you prosper? Do you love and pray for the peace of Jerusalem?] {7} Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces." {8} For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, "Peace <be> within you." {9} Because of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

Notice that the twelve thrones are for Christ's twelve disciples who will lead the twelve tribes of Israel.

Mat 19:28 (NKJV) So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

This verse also reminds us of the end-time prophesy of Jacob to his twelve sons described in Genesis 49.

Revelation 5 also adds to our understanding:

Rev 5:10 (NKJV) And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." [Not in the clouds of Heaven, as most believe, although the marriage with Christ may occur in Heaven at His Father's house.]

Daniel also prophesies about the destiny of the saints:

Dan 7:27 (NKJV) Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom <is> an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'

3. What are Christians facing now - in our day?

During the past administration, evangelical Christians in this country began living with the scorn and contempt of government agencies and leaders. One of the favorite whipping boys of the liberal news media and law enforcement was the evangelical Christian. The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington has instilled in this nation a more open display of dependency on God. But this persecutory attitude toward evangelical Christians will only intensify as the schism between pro-Israel, total-Bible believing evangelicals and the principles and traditions guiding anti-Christian legal groups, traditional Christian churches, and fast-growing Islam widens. Indeed, the persecution against Christians supporting Biblical principles is purely rebellion against God and His word. We must all accept the humble, dependent example described by the 123rd Psalm and heed its words.

(Psa 123 NKJV) Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. {2} Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He has mercy on us. {3} Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. {4} Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease, With the contempt of the proud.

In 2 Tim 3 (NKJV) Paul writes:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: {2} For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, {4} traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! {6} For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, {7} always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. {8} Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses [Moshe in Hebrew], so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; {9} but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. {10} But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, {11} persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of <them> all the Lord delivered me. {12} Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. {13} But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. {14} But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned <them>, {15} and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All Scripture <is> given by inspiration of God, and <is> profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

4. What will be the reaction of all Israelites after Christ protects them from extinction and sets up His Kingdom?

Isa 40 (NKJV) "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" Says your God. {2} "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

The warfare over Jerusalem seems to end before Christ establishes His Kingdom. If that understanding is correct, the invasion from the north countries must come first. Continuing in Isa 40,

verse {3} The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. {4} Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; {5} The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see <it> together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." {6} The voice said, "Cry out!" And he said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh <is> grass, And all its loveliness <is> like the flower of the field. {7} The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people <are> grass. {8} The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." {9} O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift <it> up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" [As I said earlier, many cities of Judea and Samaria today are mostly Islamic and are now under Palestinian Authority government - the same government founded by Arafat.] {10} Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong <hand>, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward <is> with Him, And His work before Him. {11} He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry <them> in His bosom, <And> gently lead those who are with young.

You can read more about this in Psalms 125 and 126.

Israel shall rejoice in the Eternal. A time of total and utter happiness. This is what the Feast of Tabernacles pictures as well.

Ezek 48:35 (NKJV) "All the way around <shall be> eighteen thousand cubits [This would be about 5 miles but the word "cubit" is not in the original text. Many translations use the word "measures" instead of "cubits". A cubit is about eighteen inches long]; and the name of the city from <that> day <shall be>: THE LORD <Is> THERE."

This scripture describes a time when Christ has returned to Jerusalem!

Isa 27:12 (NKJV) And it shall come to pass in that day <That> the LORD will thresh [to thresh is to beat grain out of its husk], From the channel of the River [apparently the Euphrates, in northern Syria] to the Brook of Egypt [The Brook of Egypt lies south of Gaza in what is now Egyptian territory; though some think it refers to the Nile River]; And you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.

We are not gathered as an organized church, but individually. We will not be able to blindly follow or blame our church leaders. Here is a time when God leads mankind.

Isa 52:9-12 (NKJV) Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed [bought back] Jerusalem. {10} The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. {11} Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean <thing>; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the LORD. {12} For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel <will be> your rear guard.

Isaiah 11 talks about Jesus Christ, Yeshua haMashiach in Hebrew, and His Kingdom after His return. Yeshua can also mean salvation. Let's read about Him:

Isa 11 (NKJV) There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. {2} The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of [disobeying] the LORD. {3} His delight <is> in the fear of disobeying the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; {4} But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. {5} Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. {6} "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. {7} The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox [sounds like a vegetarian world]. {8} The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. {9} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. {10} "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious." {11} It shall come to pass in that day <That> the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria [probably in northern Iraq] and Egypt, From Pathros [northern Egypt] and Cush [Ethiopia], From Elam [area east of Babylon] and Shinar [area around Babylon], From Hamath [the name of a town south of Tiberias but there may be another somewhere] and the islands of the sea. {12} He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

Notice that Christ will gather both Jews and other Israelites from around the world.

verse {13} Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim. {14} But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west [probably Gaza]; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab;

Some say Edomites are now in Turkey and Europe but it better describes their original area in southern Jordan, where they border Moab. It is my belief that those who today call themselves Palestinians are really Edomites and related to Ishmael.

And the people of Ammon shall obey them. {15} The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt [apparently the northern end of the Gulf of Suez and/or the Suez Canal]; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make <men> cross over dry-shod. [There are about seven branches of the Nile River delta where it enters the Mediterranean Sea. God apparently stops the Nile from flowing.] {16} There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria, As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.
Micah 4:4 (NKJV) But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make <them> afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
Psa 130 (NKJV) Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; {2} Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. {3} If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? {4} But <there is> forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. {5} I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. {6} My soul <waits> for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning; <Yes>, <more than> those who watch for the morning. {7} O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD <there is> mercy, And with Him <is> abundant redemption. {8} And He shall redeem Israel From all his [its] iniquities.

He redeems via the sacrifice of Christ. Atonement means to be reconciled or to have sins covered. So, here is atonement: Atonement for God's people and atonement for all Israel.

Jer 31:18-19 (NKJV) "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained bull; Restore me, and I will return, For You <are> the LORD my God. {19} Surely, after my turning, I repented; And after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, Because I bore the reproach of my youth.'

If Britain is Ephraim, as many believe, this prophesy is quite a change of attitude for the proud British. Is the recent action by Parliament to not intervene in Syria the first sign of this change of attitude? How many of us are ashamed and bear the reproach of our youth? I should point out, though, that the northern ten tribes of Israel are often described as Ephraim.

Zec 6:12 (NKJV) "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name <is> the BRANCH [the Messiah is a Branch of Jehovah]! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
Psa 133 (NKJV) Behold, how good and how pleasant <it is> For brethren to dwell together in unity! {2} <It is> like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. {3} <It is> like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.

Another benefit of God's Kingdom: People getting along! Can you believe it? Can you believe that militant Serbs or Russians or Arabs or Afghans or Libyans will learn to live in peace?

Ezek 37:15-22 (NKJV) 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.

Here we see not only selected Israelites from the U.S. and Britton together with Judah, the Jews, but a return of all Israelis, both Jews and Israelites from all over the world to the Holyland. Are Israelites returning to Israel now with the Jews or is this describing a future event? I believe it is a future event. With America being involved in a war with the militant Muslims including Lybia and Egypt and Iraq and Afghanistan of all places, where the Greeks, the English and the Russians were driven out, maybe not that future an event either.

(Zec 10:6-12 NKJV) "I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the LORD their God, And I will hear them. {7} Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, And their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; Their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. {8} I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased. {9} "I will sow them among the peoples, And they shall remember Me in far countries; They shall live, together with their children, And they shall return. {10} I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, And gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no more room is found for them. {11} He shall pass through the sea with affliction, And strike the waves of the sea: All the depths of the River shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, And the scepter of Egypt shall depart. {12} "So I will strengthen them in the LORD, And they shall walk up and down in His name," Says the LORD.

The land of Gilead is in southern Syria and northwestern Jordan. Lebanon is currently a vassal state of Syria. Gilead and its northern neighbor Bashan is the future home of the house of Joseph, whom I believe to have been the forefathers of the British and American peoples.

How and when might Syria be obtained for the Israelites?

(Isa 17:1 NKJV) The burden against Damascus. "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.

Damascus has never before suffered this fate. Will a desperate Syria send its biologically tipped missiles upon Israeli cities? Will the US or Israel attack Syria because it holds weapons of mass destruction? Would Israel respond to an attack on them by nuking Damascus?

Psa 134 (NKJV) Behold, bless the LORD, All <you> servants of the LORD, Who by night stand in the house of the LORD! {2} Lift up your hands <in> the sanctuary, And bless the LORD. {3} The LORD who made heaven and earth Bless you from Zion!

Here is a time when people will stand in God's presence.

Zec 14:9-19 (NKJV) And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be; "The LORD <is> one," And His name one. {10} All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba [a city north of Jerusalem] to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. [These two cities describe the north and south extent of Judah.] Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin's Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and <from> the Tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses. {11} <The people> shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. {12} And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. {13} It shall come to pass in that day <That> a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor's hand; {14} Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. {15} Such also shall be the plague On the horse <and> the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So <shall> this plague <be>. {16} And it shall come to pass <that> everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. {17} And it shall be <that> whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. {18} If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they <shall have> no <rain>; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. {19} This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

In conclusion:

Brethren, we entered the 2013 fall Feast season on Thursday, September 5th with the Feast of Trumpets. Saturday, September 14th is the Day of Atonement. The Feast of Tabernacles will start on September 19th and continue to September 26th. As you celebrate each Feast of Tabernacles, remember the encouraging messages taught by these scriptures we have reviewed today. Encourage yourself with them. The end is in sight. The Kingdom is right around the corner. Be sure you are ready when it arrives.

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell
7 September 2013
Copyright 2013, Wayne Bedwell