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Doug

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Jerusalem's walls
« on: July 23, 2009, 12:06:37 AM »
Dispensationalists insist that the "Jerusalem" of prophecy is the literal, earthly city, but the New Testament refers to the church as "Jerusalem which is above" and "the heavenly Jerusalem."

The wall, and street of the holy city are mentioned in the 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel 9:25, "... the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

The 70 weeks begin with a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, Dan. 9:24. Isaiah 44:24-28 indicates that Cyrus would be the one who issued this decree: "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer ... That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

To discover how the 70 weeks can be calculated from the decree of Cyrus, 538 BC, try the 70 weeks calculator, at:
http://vinyl2.sentex.ca/~tcc/OP/calc70f.html

In Revelation 21, the wall of the holy city is described, and a street, but no other buildings are mentioned. The wall is described here:

Revelation 21:12-14
It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The street is mentioned here: "The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." [Revelation 21:21]

There are no buildings, houses, parks, factories, schools, etc., mentioned in the holy city; only a street, and a wall, precisely as in Daniel 9:25. John seems to identify the holy city of Revelation 21 with the holy city of Daniel's prophecy, having a street, and a wall. Daniel 9 makes no reference to a temple being built, but he alludes to its destruction, saying: "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." In the holy city of Revelation 21, there is no temple. The implication is that Daniel's prophecy in chapter 9 is primarily about the holy city of the church, the heavenly Jerusalem, rather than the earthly city, which was appointed for destruction, along with its temple.

The prophet Zechariah wrote about Jerusalem being measured:

Zechariah 2:1-2
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.

Revelation 11:1-2 is a similar prophecy, but the temple of God was to be measured, rather than Jerusalem. John was given a reed, and was told to measure the temple, and the altar, and them that worship therein. Jerusalem, and the temple, are both metaphors of the church in the New Testament. In Revelation 11:2, the temple itself is distinguished from its outer court, which was not measured, and which was given to Gentiles. The Gentiles would trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. The metaphor switches from the temple, to the holy city.

The 42 months is symbolic, as it represents the time of the church, the present age, when the gospel goes to the world. It is equivalent to the last half week of the 70 weeks prophcey in Daniel 9, which is also called "a time, times, and a half." The church is trampled by Gentiles for this period, implying that those who are trampled, are the ones who are "circumcised in heart," as Paul said in Philippians 3:3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." John's prophecy in Revelation 11:1-2 suggests that many of those governing and dominating the church are Gentiles.

Zechariah said God will be a "wall of fire" around Jerusalem. This can only refer to the church, not the earthly city.

Zechariah 2:3-5
And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

The phrase "towns without walls" links Zechariah's prophecy with the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, which refers to the land of Israel, that is invaded by the hordes of Gog and Magog, as a land of "unwalled villages." The Gentile invaders in Ezekiel 38 come against the mountains of Israel, and the prophets of Israel, and the "unwalled villages," and they seek to take a spoil. The mountains of Israel are the most prominent parts of the promised land, and so, perhaps, in Ezekiel's prophecy, mountains represent the promises of God to his saints. The invading armies are people who are unqualified, who usurp those promises of God to themselves, or assign them to unbelieving Jews.

John F. Walvoord (1910-2002), President of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1953 to 1986, commented:

Another important aspect of the prophecy is found in verse eleven where it states that the people of Israel will be dwelling "securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates." It was customary in ancient times, whenever a city prospered, to build a wall around it. One can go to ancient lands and see the ruins of walls around most important cities. They would, at least, have a fortress with a wall around it to which they could retire if the houses themselves were scattered and a wall about the houses was impracticable. In other words, it was customary to build walls about cities. In our modern day, this custom has been discontinued for the obvious reason that a wall is no protection against modern warfare.

If one goes to Israel today, though one can see many fabulous cities being built and marvelous developments taking place, one will not find a single new city with a wall built around it. They are cities without walls. How did Ezekiel know that at a future time the war situation would be such that cities would be built without walls? Of course, the answer is a simple one. He was guided by the inspiration of God, and it was not a matter of his own wisdom. But in this scene he is describing a modern situation, something that could not and would not be true back in the days of old, before Christ. This detail is very important because un- walled villages point to Israel's situation today.


[John F. Walvoord, "The King Of The North," part of the series "The Nations in Prophecy." http://www.walvoord.com/page.php?page_id=301]

Walvoord's comments were written before the great Apartheid Wall was constructed in Israel. The presence of this wall completely destroys the interpretations that dispensationalists like Walvoord, Hal Lindsey and others have proposed for Ezekiel's prophecy in chapter 38, as the state of Israel in Palestine is not a land of "unwalled villages." There is a very prominent wall over 700 km long and up to 8 m. high, that turns much of Palestine into an enormous prison, patrolled by cruel, murderous Israeli guards, many of them recent immigrants from Russia, whose immigration was financed by deceived American dispensationalists and Zionists. Below is a link to a photo of the Apartheid Wall at Jerusalem:
http://tinyurl.com/ltfuga

The Apartheid Wall snakes its way around Jerusalem in an insane fashion:
http://stopthewall.org/maps/1068.shtml

Walvoord's comments above, which described Israel as a country of "towns without walls" were not even accurate when he wrote them, as a very prominent stone wall has existed around Jerusalem for centuries. Below are links to some photos of the Tower of David, part of the wall:
http://tinyurl.com/lgz6cg
http://tinyurl.com/m7emny

Below is a link to a photo of the Golden Gate, another part of the wall:
http://tinyurl.com/ku7jve

Below is a link to a photo of the Damascus Gate:
http://tinyurl.com/koldpz

Below is a link to a photo of the wall of Jerusalem near the Al-Aqsa Mosque:
http://tinyurl.com/mqbc8a

Even without the recently built Apartheid Wall, the state of Israel was not "a land of unwalled villages" and would not be so, while the walls shown in the above links remain intact. These walls show that dispensationalist "prophets" like Walvoord, who say the prophet Ezekiel referred to literal walls are misguided.

Zechariah said God will be a "wall of fire" around his holy city. To separate those who are in, from those without, is the function of a wall. By his Spirit, God does that. The enemies of God's people, who destroy and divide the Church, the wolves who devour the sheep, are outside. Paul wrote:

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

In John's vision, the holy city has a great and high wall, which seems to be the major feature of the city, along with the gates that are in the wall. Apart from the wall and its gates, and the street, we don't find much else said about the city. There is nothing about the buildings, homes, gardens, markets, traffic control systems, garbage collection and sewage treatment plants, or things like that.

The dimensions of the wall are given, 144 cubits. These cubits, though, are said to be angelic cubits, not necessarily human ones. There are 12 gates, and each one is a single pearl, so either those gates are very tiny, or there are enormous oysters somewhere, where pearls big enough to construct a gate could form ... unless, of course, the pearls are meant to be metaphors. That must be the true explanation, as entering the holy city is the "pearl of great price" that Jesus talked about in his parable about the man who sold everything he had, to purchase one pearl.

Entry to the holy city is the goal Christians hope to attain. In the prophecy of Joel 2, the locust invaders "climb the wall like men of war," and "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief." [Joel 2:7, 9]

They need to enter through the door; Jesus says he is the "door" of the sheep. Those who don't enter through the door, are called thieves.

John 10:1-2
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

The false prophets are called "thieves" as they try to take a spoil, and deceive Christians, taking them captive in their delusions. Jesus himself is the "door" through whom we may enter the sheepfold.

John 10:7
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

At each of the gates of the holy city in John's vision, there are angels, who have the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them. This pictures the status of those who may enter the city. They are the children of Abraham by faith, the Israel of God.

The wall has 12 foundations, with the names of the 12 apostles in them. And the foundations are garnished with precious stones.

The city that John describes is a metaphor for the church; the dimensions are hardly those of a real city. Its width and breadth and height are equal.

In John's description of the holy city, only one street is mentioned. Perhaps this is the street referred to: "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul." [Proverbs 16:17]

Its street is pure gold; the emphasis is on "pure," as gold is associated with our trials. Peter spoke of trials as "more precious than of gold that perisheth." He spoke of our hope for an "incorruptible inheritance:"

1 Peter 1:4-8
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The street of the city it is also said to be like "transparent glass." Again, this indicates the prophecy is not describing literal walls, buildings, and streets, or even literal gold or glass. Both these materials are symbolic. The symbolism suggests all things are to be revealed; the true Israelite, to Jesus, was a person "in whom is no guile." [John 1:47]

Doug
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 01:08:39 PM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: Jerusalem's walls
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 05:12:27 PM »
Quote from: Doug

Zechariah said God will be a "wall of fire" around his holy city. To separate those who are in, from those without, is the function of a wall. By his Spirit, God does that.


What is a "wall of fire"?

The imagery suggests a wildfire, or bushfire, stretching over a wide area, consuming everything that will burn in its path. Such fires are often descibed as "a wall of fire" by firefighters.

Jesus said, "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" [Luke 12:49]

The "fire" that he refers to, I think, is the word of God, that provides light and truth, and also destroys the false ideas of men. Jeremiah wrote, "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD" [Jer. 23:29]. He said, "his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones." [Jer. 20:9]

The disciples on the road to Emmaus said, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" [Luke 24:32]

The scriptures provide a guide to those who believe, but also a "wall," that separates those with faith from the world, from which they have escaped, like the Israelites escaped from their bondage in Egypt. The apostle Peter wrote that the saints have "escaped the corruption that is in the world."

2 Peter 1:3-4
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

In Exodus we read that when the Israelites came out of Egypt, God went before them, in a pillar of a cloud, and at night, he was in "a pillar of fire."

Exodus 13:21-22
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

In the wall of the holy city in Rev. 21, the 12 gates have the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them. "On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel." [Rev. 21:12]

So... if John N. Darby wants to enter the holy city, he would have to enter through one of those gates. If Wm. Kelly wants to enter the holy city, he too will have to enter through one of the gates with the names of the tribes of Israel on them. Anyone who wants to enter the holy city, must enter it through one of the gates, which are called "pearls," alluding to entry into the kingdom being a "pearl of great price" in the parable of Jesus.

Doug

Doug

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Re: Jerusalem's walls
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 04:33:48 AM »
The promise to Abraham in Genesis is called the gospel in the NT, "In thy seed shall all nations be blessed." This promise is far more comprehensive than the temporary possession of some real estate in the Middle East.

Dispensationalist John F. Walvoord wrote:

The restoration of Israel is the capstone of the grand structure of doctrine relating to the Abrahamic Covenant. In bringing to a close consideration of this covenant as it pertains to premillennialism, attention should be directed again to the strategic importance of this revelation to Scriptural truth. It has been seen that the covenant included provisions not only to Abraham but to Abraham's spiritual seed, i.e., all who follow the faith of Abraham whether Jew or Gentile in this age. It has been shown that Abraham interpreted the covenant literally as pertaining primarily to his physical seed. The unconditional character of the covenant has been demonstrated--a covenant resting upon God's promise and faithfulness alone. The partial fulfillment recorded to the present has confirmed the intent of God to give literal fulfillment to the promises. It has been shown that Israel's promise of perpetual possession of the land is an inevitable part and conclusion of the general promises given to Abraham and confirmed to his seed. Israel's continuance as a nation, implied in these promises, has been sustained by the continued confirmation of both Testaments. It was shown that the New Testament church in no wise fulfills these promises given to Israel. Finally, Israel's restoration as the natural outcome of these promises has been presented as the express teaching of the entire Bible. If these conclusions reached after careful examination of the Scriptural revelation are sound and reasonable, it follows that premillennialism is the only satisfactory system of doctrine that harmonizes with the Abrahamic Covenant.

[Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, J. Dwight Pentecost, John F. Walvoord, Zondervan, 1964. p. 93-94]
http://books.google.ca/books?id=2k6jJ12en1cC

Looking at this statement by Walvoord, I must suppose that he and J. Dwight Pentecost considered the formation of the Zionist state of Israel to be extremely important, a "capstone" of the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, which Paul called the gospel!

But, what does scripture say about this? Paul said "the Jerusalem that now is," which was the glory of the province of Judea at that time, was pictured by Hagar the Egyptian bondwoman who was cast out of Abraham's household. On the other hand, the church is pictured by Sarah, the legitimate wife of Abraham, the "freewoman." He wrote,

Galatians 4:21-31
 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.


It seems that Dr. Walvoord was not thinking of the Zionist state as a bondmaid to the church, when he said "The restoration of Israel is the capstone of the grand structure of doctrine relating to the Abrahamic Covenant." I think Walvoord had it exactly backwards; "the church is the capstone of the grand structure of doctrine relating to the Abrahamic Covenant."

After all, it is by humanity coming into the holy city, that the blessings of the promise to Abraham become available to them!

Revelation 21:24-26
 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.


Here is a summary of some of the things I have been presenting:

In Bible prophecy, Israel, Judah, the city of Jerusalem, holy city, house of David, and the temple are terms used to refer to the church of the NT. The 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel applies only in part to the literal city. Its application is primarily to the church.  The church is also depicted as a woman clothed with the sun in Rev. 12.

Two prominent features of the holy city, mentioned in both Dan. 9:24-27, and Rev. 21, are its wall, and a street. The wall is identified with Christ, in Zech. 2, which speaks of a "wall of fire." In Rev. 21 the wall of the holy city has 12 gates, which have the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them. Each gate is a single pearl. The city consists of gold, transparent like glass. The foundations are garnished with precious stones.

The 70 weeks prophecy refers to the anointing of the church, but the literal city does not get anointed. The river flowing from Jerusalem in Zech. 14 represents the Gospel, and the knowledge of God, flowing continually, like a river, from the church to the world.

The temple is another, separate metaphor, also representing the church. The prophecy of the 2 witnesses in Rev. 11 is related to this anointing. 

The Mount of Olives, in Zechariah's prophecy of Zech. 14, is symbolic of the Olivet prophecy Jesus gave there. The valley between the two halves of the mountain is where Christians need to flee, to avoid the seducing spirits of dispensationalism, and preterism.

Gehenna, a valley near Jerusalem, used for disposing of garbage, represents the judgment of those unfit for the kingdom of God. They will have to go through the judgment, referred to as great tribulation in Rev. 7. 

Prophecies about God defending, and comforting Jerusalem, apply to the church, which is Christ's bride. The 144,000 in Revelation 7 describes the church. Isaiah 60 parallels Rev. 21. In Rev. 12 the woman is given eagle's wings, that represent an  understanding of prophecy.

Numerous prophecies about the desolation of Jerusalem, the siege by all nations in Zech. 14:1-3, and the assault by the hordes of Gog and Magog in Ezek. 38 & Rev. 20, all apply to the church. In Joel, these invaders are depicted as an army of locusts. These prophecies reveal the current state, and the future of the church.

Doug

Doug

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Re: Jerusalem's walls
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 04:14:22 PM »

Quote from: Doug on July 25, 2009

Numerous prophecies about the desolation of Jerusalem, the siege by all nations in Zech. 14:1-3, and the assault by the hordes of Gog and Magog in Ezek. 38 & Rev. 20, all apply to the church.


Many people fail to notice that the invading hordes, the armies of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel's prophecy of Ezek. 38, come against the prophets of Israel. "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them." [Ezek. 38:17 (NIV)]

Ephesians 2:20 says the prophets are included in the foundation of the church with the apostles. These invading armies come against the prophets of Israel, by misinterpreting their words.

Have you heard or read the claim that this prophecy of Ezekiel is about a modern day attack by Russia and its allies upon the Jewish state in Palestine? Have not people like Hal Lindsey sold millions of books making such claims? And the "Left Behind" movies of Tim Lahey teach similar things. I suggest, those people making such claims are among the armies of Gog and Magog! 

Some have claimed that Iran will be one of the invading nations, because Persia is included in Ezekiel's list. Many popular prophecy interpreters make such claims. They promote Zionism. Chuck Missler, Joel Rosenberg, Mike Evans, Joel Rosenberg, John Hagee, Jan Markell, and many others, say Christians should support the Jewish state in Israel, and so they misinterpret the prophecies of scripture. U.S. politician John MacCain chanted, "Bomb bomb bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran..."

Writing against those interpretations, Phillip Mauro said,

It is appropriate here to point out that one of the glaring errors of 'dispensational teaching' is the failure to recognize what the New Testament plainly reveals, namely that names which God temporarily gave to the shadowy and typical things of the Old Covenant, belong properly and eternally to the corresponding realities of the New Covenant. Thus we are given the proper meaning of 'Jew' (Rom 2:28,29); 'Israel' (Rom 9:6; Gal 6:16); 'Jerusalem' (Gal 4:26); 'Seed of Abraham' (Gal 3:29); 'Sion' (1 Pet 2:6; Heb 12:22; Rom 9:33). Likewise it is made known that according to the New Covenant meaning, 'the tribes of Jacob' are those who are Jews inwardly, that is to say, the entire household of faith (James 1:1; Acts 26:7).

[Phillip Mauro (The Gospel of the Kingdom, p.81), quoted at:
http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/articles/full.asp?id=9|21|180

Dispensationalists like Hal Lindsey expect the Jews in Palestine to suffer a "mass annihilation," possibly because of a nuclear war. Lindsey wrote:

"There is no question, in reviewing Bible prophecy, that a cataclysmic, apocalyptic war will engulf the Mideast prior to the return of Jesus Christ. In this nuclear age, it makes sense to us that the mass annihilation we read about might be the result of a nuclear exchange. Because the Bible talks about mass destruction by fire, this scenario seems to make sense. 'And I will send fire on Magog [Russia],' Ezekiel recorded. If faced with annihilation you can count on Israel to protect its civilian population by any means necessary... Its clear that the Bible can't be talking about any other time in history but today."

[Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (London, Lakeland, 1970), pp. 150-151.]

Lindsey believes the war of Armageddon will occur because the Jews will try to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. Writing about Daniel 9:26-27, Lindsey stated:

This prophecy speaks of sacrifice and offerings which demand that the Jews rebuild the Temple for the third time upon its original site. At that point, Judaism and Islam will be placed on an inevitable course of war over the site, a war that will start Armageddon.

[Israel and the Last Days (Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House, 1983); Combat Faith (1986); p. 23.]

Rev. Stephen R. Sizer comments:

Lindsey does not explain how he fits the nearly 1878 year gap between 70 A.D. and 1948 into Daniel 9:24-27. The seven years he claims is still 'allotted' to Israel during which they will be 'purged' is actually a euphemism for the 'tribulation' in which Lindsey believes many Israelis will suffer and die in the nuclear war of Armageddon.

Lindsey thinks the war in the Middle East will be a nuclear one because of the "plague" described in Zechariah 14:12. He said,

This is exactly the way a neutron bomb works. A soldier is hit by a burst of radiation that leaves only a skeleton within a nanosecond. How could Zechariah have known such a thing 2500 years ago? Once again, the Apocalypse code unlocks the meaning of something not understood for centuries, because the technology for such things did not exist until now.

[Hal Lindsey, The Apocalypse Code (Palos Verdes, California, Western Front, 1997), pp. 110-111.]

Actually the "plague" that Zechariah describes is more likely a description of the spiritual condition of Hal Lindsey and other Dispensationalists who resist Christ, and the truth, which destroys the "tares" in the church that are sown by the enemy. Zechariah said, "And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth." Their eyes consuming away in their holes pictures spiritual blindness. Lindsey and others make the most appalling, ridiculous claims about the Bible, and the prophecies that they misinterpret.

John interprets the prophecy in Revelation 20:8-9, as including all nations, and they "compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city." The beloved city is the church, not the earthly Jerusalem. Those who claim it is the earthly city, are among the armies of Gog and Magog!

They come against the mountains of Israel, symbolic of the words and promises of God. Ezekiel 36 is about the mountains of Israel, that are described as in the possession of an enemy, and "are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:" they are "became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about." Ezekiel says the heathen will no longer possess these mountains, but God's people Israel will possess them, and they will bring forth fruit.

The invading armies of Gog and Magog come against the "land of unwalled villages." "And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, ..." [Ezek. 38:11]

This can't be the modern Jewish state in Palestine, as there is a very prominent wall there, 700 km long, and up to 8 m. high. The "land of unwalled villages" refers to the church, the bride of Christ. In Zechariah 2:8 it is called the "apple of his eye." It is not the Zionist state of Israel in Palestine.

The invaders ride upon horses; "all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:" [Ezek. 38:15] Modern armies do not ride horses! These horses represent people with no understanding, Psa. 32:9.
   
They want money! This is what Ezekiel calls "an evil thought" in verse 10. They want to profit by promoting their teachings.

Ezekiel 38:10-12
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

Consider the religious publishing industry, and TV evangelism, in the US. Ezekiel said these are people who seek "to take a prey." They seek to take people captive to their flawed interpretations. God's people are called "sheep," in prophecies like that of Ezekiel 34, which says of them, "they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no-one searched or looked for them." [Ezek. 34:5-6].

The false teachers have divided the church, into tens of thousands of sects, and cults. A Wikipedia aricle says there are now about 38,000 denominations!

The hordes of Gog and Magog are deceived by Satan [Rev. 20:8] and they "compass the camp of the saints about," which can only be the church. The earthly Jerusalem is not "the camp of the saints."

They are rained on, with an "overflowing rain," and great hailstones fall on them, and fire, and brimstone, [Ezek. 38:22]. Read more of their fate in Ezekiel 38:18-23, and also in Ezek. 39.

Doug