Ezekiel 38 and 39

We'll take our text from Numbers 35 and Ezekiel 37.

Numbers 35:33-34, "You shall not pollute the land in which you live: for blood defiles the land: and no expiation can be made to the land for the blood that is in it, except by the blood of him that shed it [eye for eye and life for life]. You are not to defile the land in which you live, because I too am living in it: for I the Lord dwell among the people of Israel".

Ezekiel 37:21-28, "Say to the twelve tribes, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I am taking the people of Israel from among the heathen whither they are gone and will gather them from every quarter and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and One King shall be King to them all. They shall no longer be two nations and no longer divided into two kingdoms. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, their detestable practices, and all of their other transgressions: for I will save them from all their apostasies and will cleanse them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God."

"My servant David shall be King over them; and they shall have One Shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances, and be careful to obey My statutes. They shall dwell in the land which I gave Jacob My servant, the land in which their fathers lived; they and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever: and David My servant shall be their Prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace; it shall be for them an everlasting covenant. I will bless them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: I will be their God, and they shall be My people. When My sanctuary remains in the midst of them the nations will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel".

This will restore the "kinsmen of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel according to the flesh—genuine blood Israelites—to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises" to the land of the Covenant for their conversion to Christ and the Millennium. However, these 144,000 must first go through the Tribulation so this-evening we'll study Ezekiel 38 and 39 which leap ahead to the time of Daniel's Seventieth Week—after the close of the Gentile dispensation.

The Israel state was restored in the land in 1948, but the people of the twelve Tribes have yet to return. An invasion is threatened from the north; some of the historical nations will take part in the attack, but the invaders are remote barbarians, from outside the ancient then civilized world.

This attack will come between Ezekiel's prophecy of the restoration of Israelites to Israel, described in chapters 33-37, and his picture of ultimate harmony between the Lord's Millennium Temple (which will be the 144,000 Elect Israelites) and the land. The Book closes when the Lord Jesus returns in chapters 40-48 to dwell in the hearts of His servant nation prior to the millennium when the Kingdom will be restored to Israel.

In chapters 38 and 39 we shall see how God will "bring forth Gog"; and without human help defeat his vast armies and crumble every possible refuge with divinely induced panic as fell upon the army of the Midianites when Gideon's soldiers smashed their pitchers and shouted the cry to battle (Ezekiel 38:19-23; Judges 6-7). This is the time of the Sixth Seal when men shall plead with the mountains, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits upon the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." The details are omitted from the description of the victory for it permits no spectators (Genesis 19:24-26; Isaiah 17:12-14). And the plunder from Gog's defeat is not treated as riches for Israelite soldiers, but as belonging to the real Victor, their Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore cherem and destined for fire (Ezekiel 39:9-10; Isaiah 9:4-5; Psalm 46:9-11), and as a feast for God's non-human creation (Ezekiel 39:18-20; Isaiah 34:1-8). Israel's only participation is burying the dead and destroying the weapons. We pray the Lord's blessing for a clear understanding and grace to see the sequence in which these events unfold as the seven years and the seven months may not be literal but imply "completeness" (from the number seven) emblematical of the Supernatural nature of the deliverance and of the Israelites' zeal for holiness (Daniel 2:44-45; Zechariah 4:6-7).

Ezekiel 38:1-7,"The Word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, look northward, toward the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech [or Moscow], and Tubal [Tobolsk or Siberia]. Magog represents the Scythians from whom after intermarriage with the Medes, came the Russians. According to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, these are descendants of the sons of Japheth. "Gog" is their "chief" or principal man, the Czar or President of a union of several lesser princes.

"Prophesy against him. Say, Thus saith the Lord God; I am against you, Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will put hooks into your jaws, and draw you from your own land, and I will mobilize your troops and armored cavalry, and make you a mighty host, all fully armed: Persia [Iran], Ethiopia, and Libya [these last two, according to Genesis 10, descended from Ham]: shall join you with all of their weapons: Gomer, and all its troops; the armies of Togarmah from the distant north with all its troops, as well as many others. [Gomer and Togarmah are the peoples of the eastern boundary of the old Roman Empire in the area around Mount Ararat where the borders of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia meet with Syria and Iraq]. Be prepared, stay mobilized, you and all your companies that are assembled around you, you are their commander".

Ezekiel 38:8-12, "Many years hence you will be called up for service: at the end of years you will swoop down into Israel, that will be lying in peace after the nation has been restored to statehood from war and occupied by people now living in security, all of them brought together from the nations in the mountains of Israel, which had been a perpetual waste."

Ezekiel says Israel is "restored" from the sword at this time, and her citizens "gathered" out of the nations. Yet Jesus stated emphatically, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times [not dispensations] of the Gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). Why? Because Israel will be ruled by a non-Semitic people with no part in God's Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Israel unto the consummation (Daniel 9:27).

banksterJesus described this time following the end of the Gentile dispensation as a period of extreme and universal terror (Luke 21:25-26). The United States will be reeling from the earthquake that has sunk Los Angeles while her Western allies will be occupied supplying emergency relief to their former dominions. The Middle East will have erupted as "es Sakhra," the Dome of the Rock, was demolished by the earthquake that split the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 24:30). Muslims have invaded and viciously raped and pillaged Israel, and Russia taking this window of opportunity, has invaded the United States whose exhausted military now deployed worldwide in fruitless wars of aggression, struggles for its own survival. And enraged by senseless US belligerence in service to the International Banksters whose plot to destroy the US dollar sank trillions of dollars of national reserves into now worthless US Treasuries, Russia and her allies march unhindered through US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, gaining thousands of fanatical followers along the way, and invade Israel, insensible to the fact this prophetic catastrophe masks the restoration of God's favor to Israel; as a consequence of which their fight is against God. They will perish for lack of knowledge. Knowledge to discern that Banksters are not Israelites, and scarcely any Jew is Semitic (Hosea 4:6; II Thessalonians 2:10-12; II Timothy 3:7-8).

"You Russians shall go up and roll down upon them like a storm, and cover the land like a cloud. Thus saith the Lord God; at that time an evil thought will come to your mind. You will say, I will march against the land of unwalled villages, and fall upon these people living in such confidence, without walls, or bars or gates. And I will seize booty and carry it away as plunder, assailing the waste places now inhabited and the people who were gathered from the Goiim or nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, and who dwell at the center of the Earth."

Sheba, and Dedan, (descendants of Ham who established Yemen in Southern Arabia), and the merchants of Tarshish, shall ask, Have you come to capture spoil? Have you gathered your company to carry away silver and gold, to drive away their cattle and seize their goods, and impoverish them?"

God is sovereign. He examines the motives and objectives of every heart. In addition to contemplating aggression against those who are defenseless and complacent, dwelling securely without walls, bars, or gates, Russia covets Israel's Dead Sea mineral wealth and strategic position "at the center of the earth".

Since the State of Israel has been restored, the deserts have been made to produce abundantly; the Dead Sea holds important chemical salts, the estimated total value of which is four times the wealth of the United States. Brother Branham said, "Russia will come down, say, We just got to have that stuff. That's uranium and everything down there; we got to go get it. And as they go down, then will be the battle of Armageddon. That will be when God will stand like He did in the valley for the children of Israel and fight again. But that will take place until the Gentile dispensation will be finished. And when that time is finished, she's cut off" (C.O.D., 77:111; 294:530; Daniel, 122:157).

But Armageddon will be several years after this invasion.

Armageddon is the valley of Berachah (Blessing), where Jehoshaphat defeated the Gentiles. Joel 3:2 prophesied, "I will gather the armies of all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat (which means 'Jehovah has judged'), and punish them there for harming My people, for scattering My inheritance among the nations, and dividing up My land." That will be Armageddon.

Moab, Ammon and the Edomites, whom God forbad Israel from invading on their journey to the Promised Land, came to invade Israel in the days of Jehoshaphat. God anointed a Levite, who prophesied that "the battle is the Lord's" so when Israel goes to do battle, they should once again find their enemies have fought themselves to death (II Chronicles 20).

What a perfect type of God's prophecy for the end-time. Zechariah 14:13, "It shall come to pass in that day that Russia will be seized with great panic from the Lord; and they will fight against each other in hand-to-hand combat." The same thing. Back there it was Moab, Ammon and the Edomites that attacked the Land of the Covenant, here it will be Russia and Islam who will attack.

Ezekiel 38:14-16, "Therefore, son of man, prophesy. Say to Russia, Thus saith the Lord God: on that day when My people Israel are dwelling in security, you will bestir yourself and come from all over the remote north with your vast host of cavalry and cover the land like a cloud. It shall be in the latter days that I bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in your defeat, O Russia, before their eyes."

Thus says the Lord God; "Are you he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them" (Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 5:26-29; 34:1-6; 63:1-6; 66:15-16; Joel 3:9-14)?

God calls Israel "My people," and the land "My Land," signifying that the Gentile dispensation is over, and He is dealing only with Israel. So at that time an offense against the land of Israel and elect Israelites (not so-called Jews) will be an affront to God.

Though Gog stirs himself, comes from his place, and goes up like a cloud against Israel, three verbs implying his own self-propulsion—the real controlling power behind his attack is solely God: "It is I who will bring you." And by bringing Russia to the Land for judgment, He will prove to the nations His Own holiness.

Ezekiel 38:18-20, "And it shall come to pass when Russia comes against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, that My fury shall explode. For in My jealousy and blazing wrath I declare in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel; and the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and ALL men upon the face of the earth, will shake at My Presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, cliffs shall tumble, and every wall shall fall to the ground".

Haggai 2:21-23, "Speak to Zerubbabel, [the representative of the Davidic monarchy and covenant, and in direct line of ancestry of Jesus Christ], governor of Judah, saying, I'll shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. [Russia and her allies will slaughter one another].

In that day, says the Lord of hosts, will I take you O Zerubbabel, My servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and will make you [through Messiah, your descendant] My signet [that is the Seal of Redemption]: for I have chosen you [with whom to renew My covenant to David's line], says the Lord of hosts'.

The earthquake follows and marks the Presence of God (Isaiah 2:19-21; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Joel 2:2, 21; Zechariah 14:3-4; Revelation 11:19). It sinks Los Angeles, and cleaves the Mount of Olives, destroying the Mosque of Omar on Temple Mount. Russia for mercenary reasons, and the Moslems through religious fanaticism, grasp their opportunity and invade Israel, but God stands for His land and His people.

I Kings 19:11-12, "And God said to Elijah, Go forth, and stand upon the Mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

pyramid rock from Sabino CanyonThis is precisely what occurred at Sunset Mountain in 1964 where a strong wind rent rocks from the mountain side, and inside each rock was a representation of the Capstone mystery Brother Branham had delivered in the revelation of the Seven Seals. The Lord told Him, "Judgment is striking the West Coast," and three days later on March 27, 1964 a magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck Alaska. It was the second-largest earthquake recorded in modern times and the largest in the written history of North America, releasing 100 times more energy than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and followed by tsunamis. Over 100,000 square miles of Alaska broke, twisted, tilted, dropped and rose, the floor of Seward harbour was lowered by 315 feet. Water sloshed in lakes and harbours as distant as Louisiana and water levels jumped in wells as far away as South Africa; seismic waves traveled through the planet for weeks and the Earth rang like a bell.

For all of this, Christ was not in the strong wind, nor was He in the earthquake. He was the still small Voice unfolding His secrets in the heart of His Bride to bring her to maturity in the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation. And God will not be in the earthquake or the four winds that strike the mountains of Israel, but in the still small Voice of His two witnesses.

Ezekiel 38:21-23, "I will call for a sword against Russia throughout all My mountains, says the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against his brother (Haggai 2:21-23; Zechariah 14:4, 10). With disease and with bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him, upon his hordes and the many people that are with him, torrential rain, accompanied by hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will manifest My greatness and My holiness and make Myself known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord".

Like my sermons, much of the Scripture is recorded in shorthand as it were: a few words can say a great deal. Unlike my sermons, the Scripture is inerrant. I don't wish to seem uncertain as if I'm preaching guesswork; I rely upon the Message of Brother Branham to place and unfold these Scriptures. Although his Message finished the mystery of God, I have to find the quotes that identify what it is saying. Ezekiel 38 and 39 appear to cover Daniel's Seventieth Week from the end of the Gentile dispensation and the earthquake to the consummation, and the Prophet did not say much regarding Ezekiel 38 and 38 beyond the fact that they will "come to pass after the rapture," so we must examine corresponding scriptures in Zechariah, Revelation and elsewhere.

Unlike Daniel 11 these chapters don't deal with Rome and the beast but with Russia and the Islamic people. Rome is not overtly involved until after the first invasion when she will form an alliance with the USA and the International Jews whereby the Pope restores peace. Verses 21-23 would appear to be a summary of the judgment of God upon Russia and its Muslim allies early in the first half of the Seventieth Week. The climax: rain of fire and hail of brimstone, is reminiscent of the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-28). The chapter concludes with a triple assertion of God's purpose: "I will magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the sight of the many nations who witness Gog's fate, so they will recognize that I Am God." In thus exercising His wrath against the world powers, God proves His true identity and implies that His people shall be saved as in the Exodus; and as Joshua took seven years to conquer the land, so now Israel will be seven years destroying discarded weaponry after God defeats their invaders.

I see two invasions of Israel and two series of earthquakes. The first invasion will follow earthquakes that sink Los Angeles and a 1,500 x 300-400 mile segment of earth's crust, igniting the Pacific Ring of Fire; and on the other side of the world, cleave the Mount of Olives, demolishing the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount at the end of grace (Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 6:12; 11:19; 16:18; 18:21-23). Israel's enemies will be victorious and Russia will invade and occupy mainland USA. Then by authority of Vatican II's federation of world religions Satan incarnate in a man, hereafter called "the beast" (Daniel 7:11; Revelation 9:11; 11:7; 13:4-8, 14-18; 17:8-11, 17; 19:20; 20:10), will stop the war. In covenant with Jewry's International banksters he will refinance their US dollar with gold backing and be acclaimed president of one totalitarian world government (Daniel 9:27). "The great city [Jerusalem] will be divided into three parts"  (Zechariah 14:2; Revelation 16:19) between Israel, Palestine, and the Roman Catholic church which will govern it as the corpus separatum agreed under UN Resolution 181 on November 29, 1947, and world capital. Israel's defeat will cause a mass exodus of non-Semitic anti-Semitic Israelis enabling genuine blood Israelites of the twelve tribes to return in safety from exile in Islam to the Land of the Covenant for their redemption.

The second invasion will follow after Rome forcibly imposes her trinity doctrine which is "the mark of the beast," abrogates her covenant with the Jewish international banksters and murders the two Israelite prophets of Revelation 11 and Zechariah 4. Brother Branham said, "At this very time, the antichrist covenant that the Jews have made with Rome will be broken. Rome and her allies then send their troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Jews. But as they come against the city to destroy it, there will appear in the heavens the sign of the Coming of the Son of Man with His mighty armies to destroy them who have been destroying the earth. With the enemy repulsed, Jesus then comes and presents Himself to the 144,000 [by revelation of His second or 'parousia' Coming to Israel]" (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 41). Jesus said, "After three and a half days the Spirit of life from God entered into the [two witnesses], and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon all who saw them [worldwide on satellite television]. And they heard a great Voice from heaven saying, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand [UN or US Roman troops]: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Revelation 11:11-13; 12:16-17). Brother Branham continues, "Having seen His mighty acts of salvation, the [144,000 elect Israelites] have come to know His power. But also seeing His wounds and knowing that they had rejected Him even to that moment, causes them to cry out in the agony of terror and fear, even as did their brethren of old when they stood before Joseph, being sore afraid that they would be killed. But as Joseph said, "Don't be angry with yourselves. It is all right. God was in it all. He did it to preserve life." Even so will Jesus speak peace and love to them (Zechariah 12:9 – 13:9).

Ezekiel 39:1-16, "Son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; I am against you, O Russia, the Leader of Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tobolsk): and I will turn you around and drive you from the remotest parts of the north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. (In our KJV we also read, "And leave but the sixth part of thee" which is a misinterpretation that should read: "drive" or "forcibly march"). And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand.

"You and all your vast armies will die upon the mountains of Israel and I will give you as food to the birds of prey, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. You shall not reach the city, but fall upon the open fields: for I have spoken it, says the Lord God. And I will rain down fire on Russia, and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts: and they shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I make My holy Name known among My people Israel; and I will not let them profane it any more: and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel."

"That day of judgment will come, and everything will happen just as I have declared. And they that inhabit the cities shall go forth, and gather the weapons, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: They shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for these weapons will furnish all the fuel they require: and they shall use the possessions of those who despoiled them, and rob those who plundered them, says the Lord God."

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give to Russia a vast graveyard in Israel in the valley of the travelers, east of the Dead Sea: and it will block the path of the travelers: there Gog and all his multitude will be buried: and they shall call it "The valley of Hamongog" (or Gog's Army).

It will take seven months for the house of Israel to bury them, in order to cleanse the Land.

"Everyone in Israel will help bury them; for it will be a glorious victory for Israel on the day I glorify Myself, says the Lord God. And at the end of seven months they shall employ men to systematically search throughout the land for any skeletons and to bury them, to cleanse it: And the travelers who see a man's bone shall set up a sign by it, so they can be located and transported for burial in the valley of Hamongog. The name of the city there shall be Hamonah [Multitude or Army]. Thus shall they cleanse the land".

Ezekiel 39:1-16 restates the previous chapter with variations in detail. The first five verses announce Gog's defeat. In verses 6-8 we are told that Gog's defeat is extended to his homeland and that of his allies. The Fire of God's wrath will rain upon Magog and his allies "living securely" in distant lands; an ironic note, since Israel's own defenseless "living in security" had prompted Gog to launch his attack.

Gog's defeat and the destruction of his homeland will be followed by the burning of his weapons. A number of other Biblical passages use the motif of weapons to emphasize God's superiority over the nations, or the foolishness of trusting in or fearing weapons.

Of Israel's restoration to the Land, Christ's parousia to Israel, and the Millennium, Isaiah 9:4-7 says, "God has broken the yoke of Israel's burden, and the staff on their shoulder, the rod of their oppressor, as when He destroyed the vast host of the Midianites on the plain of Esdraelon [which is Armageddon] by Gideon's little band. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall all be for burning as fuel for the fire."

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to establish and to uphold it, with judgment and with justice from henceforth forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (as Revelation 19 confirms).

The people themselves destroy the weapons; in fact, this task and the burial are their only real participation in the whole contest. As the account makes clear from beginning to end, Gog's invasion and his defeat are totally under God's control. So much weaponry will be abandoned it will provide sufficient fuel to supply Israel's domestic needs seven full years. If this is a literal period to be fulfilled rather than a measure, it must be placed at the start of the seventieth week.

The promise they will despoil those who would despoil them, and take booty from those who would rob them, turns the tables on Gog. Further irony is seen in that God gives Gog a burial place in the land, rather than the land itself. The burying of the remains of the dead keeps the land pure from ritual pollution, and since it proceeds for seven months, emphasizes the enormity of Gog's defeat and God's glory.

Ezekiel 39:17-21, "Son of man, thus saith the Lord; Call all the birds and animals and say to them, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves from far and near to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh, and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of warriors, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats, and bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

You shall eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus you shall be filled at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men, and with all the men of war, says the Lord God. And I will set My glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see My judgment that I have executed, and My hand that I have laid upon them."

The animal guests at the feast eat the fat and the blood normally reserved in a sacrifice for Jehovah, for these sacrifices are "unclean." The victory over Gog will be an occasion for the nations to see Jehovah's glory and to realize His justice. However, like pharaoh, their day of grace has expired and their hearts have been seared by the hot iron of unbelief.

The Son of man, Jesus Christ, has come down in His 'parousia' and make His Word so real it has united the Bride as one with Him and she has been taken Home. We go to the wedding supper, not to the marriage. Because "the marriage of the Lamb has come to pass. . . And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come! Gather yourselves together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, and captains, and valiant men, of horses and riders, and the of all humanity both small and great, bond and free" (Revelation 19:7-9, 17-18; Ezekiel 39:17-20; William Branham, Proving His Word, p. 44:236).

Ezekiel 39:22-23, "From that day onwards the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they dealt so treacherously against Me, I hid My face from them, and gave them into the hand of their adversaries; and they all fell by the sword."

This is no indication of repentance. Revelation 22:11, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." The time for repentance among the Gentiles and all but the elect Israelites has passed. Those who are the saved must lay down their lives for their principles, or take the mark of the beast and have their names removed from the Book of Life.

Brother Branham said, "For three and one-half years while the retributive wrath of God is poured out, His Bride will be in the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then will He return, leaving His Bride in "His Father's house," while He makes Himself known to His brethren. At this very time, the antichrist covenant that the Jews have made with Rome will be broken. Rome and her allies then send their troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Jews. But as they come against the city to destroy it, there will appear in the heavens the sign of the Coming of the Son of Man with His mighty armies to destroy them who have been destroying the earth. With the enemy repulsed, Jesus then comes and presents Himself to the 144,000. Having seen His mighty acts of salvation, they have come to know His power. But also seeing His wounds and knowing that they had rejected Him even to that moment causes them to cry out in the agony of terror and fear, even as did their brethren of old when they stood before Joseph, being sore afraid that they would be killed. But as Joseph said, "Don't be angry with yourselves. It is all right. God was in it all. He did it to preserve life." Even so will Jesus speak peace and love to them" (William Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 40:2).

Through Gog's overwhelming defeat, the 144,000 elect of Israel will recognize their God from that time onward. The cleansing of the Land symbolizes a return to the Orthodox Law and ordinances of Moses. Malachi 4:4 says, "Remember ye the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments." Before the prophet with the Elijah anointing can introduce the elect to the New Covenant of Ezekiel 36, their Moses must take them back to their foundation in the Old Covenant whence they have fallen.

Ezekiel 36:21-29, "But I had pity for My holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, "Thus saith the Lord; I do this not for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy Name's sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, whither you went. And I will sanctify My great Name, which you have profaned in the midst of the heathen; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes."

"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh."

"And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses. . ."

From the time of God's great sacrifice of Gog's army, the nations will learn it was because of iniquity and rebellion that Israel went into exile, and not God's weakness or His inability to defend them. But the nations will only harden their hearts.

Ezekiel 39:24-29, "I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid My face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; now I will end the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My holy Name. Their time of treachery and shame shall all be in the past, when they live safely in their land, with no one to make them afraid."

"Once they are settled and undisturbed in their land, when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated My holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God because I caused them to go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will not leave a single one [of the 144,000 elect] among the nations. Neither hide My face from them any longer: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God".

Restoration will lead to serious reflection among elect Israelites on the reasons that led to their historic departure from the land. Ezekiel uses the account of God's defeat of Gog's invasion in chapters 38 and 39 to underscore once more the finality and irreversibility of the divine promise for the future of Israel . . . and the world gathers to Armageddon.

May the Lord use these words to clarify our understanding of things to come. bb960724.htm

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