“As He fights in the day of battle” (12:4-5)
(Verses 4-5) “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the Lord of hosts, their God.’“
A nation of idols
The nation of Israel today has a lot of religion and yet is still by enlarge a secular and materialistic nation whose leadership is certainly not submitted to the LORD or to His word. Some time ago on the internet we saw Prime Minister Netanyahu welcoming and endorsing a cabinet minister and leader who is openly gay and extolling his virtues as a leader. Also you have the annual gay and lesbian Mardi Gra parade in Israel not to mention the hedonistic and immoral lifestyle of many young Israelis. As to non-therapeutic abortion Israel takes the prize on this one. Israel has liberal abortion policies now in place. It is indeed at present a nation of idolatry and immorality but this is going to change after the LORD has dealt with His wayward people.
“The altar of Molech or the altar of the abortion clinic?”
According to a report in the online publication Tablet on June 16th 2015 part of an article read; “By any measure, Israel has some of the most liberal abortion policies in the world—not just in the Middle East, where the practice is generally outlawed or heavily circumscribed, but among Western democracies. Today in Israel, abortions are legal at any stage of pregnancy, often subsidized by the state, and overseen by committees of social workers and doctors that typically approve 98% of all requests. Last year, the government allocated an additional 16 million shekel ($4.6 million) to make abortion free for all women between the ages of 20 and 33.Indeed, Israel’s abortion regime is so permissive that it has even drawn rare words of rebuke from the country’s traditionally stalwart Republican backers. Rep. Trent Franks, the GOP chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus in the House of Representatives, told Buzz Feed; “The truth is, it’s something that breaks my heart, that a country that I love as much as I do would take such a position,”… “One of the greatest heartbreaks to me about Israel is their position on protecting innocent life.” (End of extract) The LORD will put up with many things and His patience knows no bounds yet when it comes to non-therapeutic abortion He draws the line. What difference is there between offering up innocent babies upon the altar of an abortion clinic for the sake of expediency than it is offering up innocent babies on the altar of the pagan god Molech? There is no difference at all! One of the main reasons the LORD pronounced judgement on Israel through the prophet Jeremiah was their sacrificing of innocent children to the satanic god Molech. Is Israel any different today?
What will it take?
What will it take to bring about Israel’s repentance? It will take the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, that’s what it will take! Like the LORD has done in the past He will bring foreign armies against Israel once again because by enlarge they are still a backslidden nation. He has a five-fold purpose in doing this. 1. To bring Israel as a nation to repentance and submission at the feet of their long lost and rejected older brother Yeshua Ha Mashiach. 2. To rescue, rapture and resurrect the saints. 3. To save the world from annihilation. 4. To show the surviving nations that His Son is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 5. To establish the Millennial Kingdom of God on earth.
The LORD will deal with the nations decisively!
In the days of King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet when the Assyrians invaded Israel and their armies were right at the very gates of Jerusalem there was a national repentance as the king, the leaders and the people repented before the LORD and looked only to Him for support. Previously they had looked to Egypt for support and found Egypt to be “that splintered reed of a staff which pierces a man’s hand and wounds him if he leans upon it.” (2 Kings 18:21) Egypt had fallen to the Assyrians. Egypt of course is a metaphor for the world. Israel could no longer count on any human support and they were alone facing annihilation at the hands of the Assyrian King (a type of the Antichrist). When the whole nation turned back to the LORD through the ministry of Isaiah the prophet we read what happened to the Assyrians. Isaiah records what happened to them; “Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at Nineveh. It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword.” (2 Kings 19:35-37) The Angel of the LORD was the Metatron, a Christophany (manifestation of Jesus before He was made flesh).
Plague and pestilence will be their lot!
The Angel of the LORD headed up the armies of heaven then and when He comes back being the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh He will be the commander in Chief of the armies of heaven. He will fight on behalf of Israel and the remnant of Israel will also fight with Him!! The plague that hit the Assyrian army will also hit the armies of the Antichrist. Zechariah also records this part of his vision. “Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. It will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.” (Zechariah 14:12-15) It is said that when they exploded the Atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the eyes of people literally melted in their sockets.
“A sword against him!”
Ezekiel also wrote; “It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord God, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord.”’ (Ezekiel 39:18-23)
The apostle Peter
Peter the Apostle also described what the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ would be like when he wrote; “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up… because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Peter 3:10,12b) When we read of “the elements melting with intense heat” the original Greek text describes a nuclear reaction or the splitting of the Atom. How could a first century fisherman know about this kind of thermonuclear reaction? Of course he could not know but the Holy Spirit knew!
Ezekiel and John
Once the LORD has destroyed the foreign armies the birds of the air will have a feast day called the great supper of God. Plague and death will bring the birds of prey to feast upon rotting flesh. Both the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle John wrote about this.
The prophet Ezekiel
The prophet Ezekiel also wrote; “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord God. “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 39: 3-6)
The apostle John
Likewise the Apostle John also records this same event; “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-16)
“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”
John also records this part of the same vision that Ezekiel had; “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:11-21)
“The winepress of the fierce wrath of God Almighty”
It is interesting to note the phrase; “and He (the Messiah) treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” This phrase appears in several other passages of scripture that together describe the same event as the winepress of the wrath of God also appears in them. They all describe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 63:2-6) (Joel 3:13) (Revelation 14:17-20) (Revelation 14:17-20) When you read the account of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in Revelation chapter 19:11-21 you have a corresponding passage in Isaiah 63:1-7. The winepress of God’s wrath is mentioned in both passages. It is the same battle. In Isaiah’s account the Messiah is seen coming from Edom and Bozrah and His garments are splattered with the blood of his enemies. Edom today is Southern Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the city of Bozrah is the gateway into Saudi Arabia, the heart of the Muslim world. The Lord Jesus will fight those armies attacking Jerusalem all the way down through the Valley of Jehoshaphat into Saudi Arabia. Islam will be no more!
Two end-time Harvests
In Revelation chapter 14:14-20 you have two harvests described. One is a harvest of mercy (Vs. 14-16) the other a harvest of judgement. (Vss. 17-20).
The First Harvest
(14:14-16) “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the [m]temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth [o]is ripe.” Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.”
The harvest of mercy
The first harvest does not specifically say who was harvested but in the context of the second harvest it would have to be the harvest of mercy. This would not only include the last great evangelistic harvest but also the rapture and resurrection of the faithful Church. The angels are involved in this first harvest. This corresponds to other Bible references to the rapture and resurrection. (Daniel 12:2) (Matthew 24:31) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) (Matthew 13:29, 37-43) (John 5:28) (John 6:39) The rapture and resurrection are the same event. Furthermore, according to Matthew 24:29-31 the rapture and resurrection take place after the sun has been darkened and the moon is not giving its light and the stars are falling from heaven and the shaking of the heavenly bodies. These signs in the heavens are all part of the Day of the LORD. (Isaiah 13:9-13) (Isaiah 24:18-23) (Joel 2:30-31) (Revelation 6:12-17) They all describe the same event. After the elect have been gathered to meet the Lord in the air the bowls of God’s wrath will be poured out. Faithful believers will not experience the bowls of God’s wrath. Paul tells us this when he wrote; “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1:10) If you have repented of your sin and confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead then you are saved and will not experience the wrath of God. You will be part of the first harvest.
The Second Harvest
(14:17-20) “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.”
The harvest of wrath
These are all those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes only through repentance and faith in Him and in His shed blood to justify a sinner in God’s sight. The angels are involved in this harvest as well. These Christ haters and Christ rejecters are harvested to be sent into the winepress of God’s wrath. They are trampled outside of the city (Jerusalem) and their blood flows as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of about 180 miles. This is literal blood! These will be the Islamic armies accompanied by others gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat that have been attacking Jerusalem. In Isaiah 63 we see the Messiah of Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ coming up from Bozrah and Edom (Saudi Arabia) with His garments splattered with the blood of His enemies. This is what these Bible passages teach us. There is one Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is the Day of the LORD which includes the judgements, the rapture and resurrection of the elect, the bowls of God’s wrath and the Second Coming itself. They are a series of sequential events that follow one upon another and all together they constitute the Day of the LORD.
The Warrior Messiah
In the Old Testament we have several pictures of the Messiah of Israel our Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph is a type of Jesus the suffering servant who in His first coming did not come to judge the world but to save the world. King David is a type of the all-conquering Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ who will reign on the earth after He has come back. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Gideon is a type of the warrior Messiah, the one who fights for Israel and for all of His elect against their enemies. Gideon we know defeated the Midianites in battle. Midian itself lies in the Saudi Arabian land mass. In Judges Chapter eight we are told what Gideon did after he had defeated the Midianites. “So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments which were on their camels’ necks.” (Judges 8:21b) Gideon removed the crescent ornaments which symbolized the Mesopotamian moon-god of war. Today this god is called Allah. When the Lord comes back to fight for Jerusalem he will ‘clean house’ with Islam. The blood of Islamic soldiers and terrorists will flow like a river as high as the bridles of their horses for around 180 miles. This will be the ‘red wine’ of the ‘trampling of the grapes’ in the wine press of God Almighty. In that day instead of broken crosses there will be broken crescents! What Gideon did to the Midianites foreshadows what the Lord Jesus Christ will do to the Islamic hordes of Antichrist and the armies of the nations that have accompanied them into the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
Which harvest will you be a part of?
It may be that you have been reading this study and as yet you have not decided to make the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour and Lord of your life. If this is the case then you will not be part of the first harvest but it is not too late. The Bible says; “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:6) Maybe you are asking the question “What must I do to be saved?” The Bible is clear.
(Acts 2: 38-39) “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
1. You must first repent
All of us have sinned against God and violated His laws and commandments. Has anyone ever been able to keep the 10 commandments? Of course not! The only person who ever did was the Lord Jesus. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s perfect standards and have forfeited any rights to enter heaven when we die. Our destiny is hell and ultimately the lake of fire which the Bible calls the Second Death. Those who are part of the second harvest in Revelation Chapter 14 will end up there. They will be resurrected to receive sentencing as they will have already been judged. To repent means to change from a Christ hating, Christ-rejecting way of life to a Christ loving and Christ-accepting way of life. We must be willing to forsake our sins and the things we love more than we love God. Isaiah wrote; “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7) Abundant pardon is good news for repentant sinners!
2. You must put your faith in Jesus alone to save you.
He is the only door of salvation. The Bible says; “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) The Lord Jesus Himself said; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). The Bible says; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
When the Lord Jesus died on the cross He shed His own blood for your sins and took your place of condemnation and on the basis of that shed blood God can forgive sin and through that blood cleanse your heart and life from all sin. Faith in Jesus and in His blood to save you will protect you from the coming wrath of God. As it is written; “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) And again the Bible says; “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:9)
Grace according to the Bible is unmerited favour, something we can never earn or merit. Your good works and best intentions cannot save you. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
3. You must believe with your heart and not just with your head and confess what you have done openly before others.
How are you to believe? The Bible is also clear on this point. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10) Have you called upon the Name of the LORD?
4. You must receive Him as your personal Saviour and Lord over your life and be willing to be baptized by immersion.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) “…Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.(Mark 16:16) Baptism itself does not save you as it is faith alone in the Lord Jesus that will save you. However if you have been saved then you will want to be baptised once you understand how it relates to the decision you have made to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and be obedient to Him for the rest of your life.
5. You must ask Him to give you the Holy Spirit.
“So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13) When you ask in faith you must believe that you have received from Him what you asked for. As the Lord Jesus said; “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24)
“The Valley of decision”
On that day when the armies of the nations are gathered against Jerusalem in the Valley of Jehoshaphat it will be for those armies the Valley of Decision. All of them will have made the decision to fight God and the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact it will be a valley of decision for the whole world as it will be this last great battle for Jerusalem that will pre-empt the second Coming of Jesus Christ to judge the nations of the world. In the end there will only be one of two choices we can make, Christ or the Antichrist. There will be no vacuum or middle-ground.
Those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord will also be on the side of Israel. Those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will be against Israel. After the Second Coming of Jesus those who have survived will be judged on how they treated Israel, Jesus’ brethren. (Matthew 25:31-46). The implication is that if you are a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ then you will love His brethren Israel. So then which harvest will you be a part of?
On that day when the nations are gathered against Jerusalem the prophet Joel makes this declaration to the world of men; “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:14-16) Is it the valley of decision for you?