God’s Battle #10

Thursday, October 27, 2022

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV).

Indeed, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s!”

Christendom’s plenteous and hopeless confusion amongst innumerable so-called “Bible groups” can easily cause us to assume the Holy Scriptures are totally irrelevant, a Book of fairytales and superstitions, a complete waste of time. (After all, countless souls have already been disenchanted in “church” to the point of resenting, forsaking, and opposing any and every notion of “Jesus,” “God,” “Christianity,” “Bible,” and the like.)

Dear friends, we must take our eyes off our fellow man—and instead look at literal, historical, rightly-divided verses—if we hope to ever see and rejoice in any Bible truth. It is not God’s fault if He has given willfully ignorant souls over to the darkness they preferred (Romans 1:18-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12). Remember, we must be sincere seekers of the truth, or we will wind up with the same spiritual blindness and displeasure unspeakable! When we think about the Bible laid out on a timeline—“time past,” “but now,” and “the ages to come” (see Ephesians 2:7,11-13)—we can appreciate how the past and the future are mirror images of each other. Whoever wrote the Book of Genesis knew what the Book of Revelation would say.

As we consider the decades of fruitless summits, treaties, and speeches regarding peace in the Middle East (or any other part of our Earth), let us remember sinful man will solve absolutely nothing. We live in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4; cf. Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8), and it will remain that way until the Lord Jesus Christ comes back literally, physically, and visibly to fight and guarantee righteousness in the Earth. “Let them [Israel’s enemies] be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth [Millennial Reign of Christ!]” (Psalm 83:17,18). Only then will it be proclaimed, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). It is His battle!

God’s Battle #9

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV).

Indeed, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s!”

Remember, Zechariah 14:1-4 is Christ’s future return in power and great glory. Keep reading: “[12] 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. [13] And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. [14] And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.” (See Christ’s earthly kingdom founded in verse 9.)

Again, verses 13 and 14 remind us of the war of today’s Scripture. Whether history or prophecy, Israel’s enemies destroy each other, leaving their material riches behind for the Jewish people to enjoy (re-read 2 Chronicles 20:23,25). Furthermore, how interesting it is that the Gentile armies who sought to besiege Jerusalem during Jehoshaphat’s lifetime match those Gentile nations united with the Antichrist against Jerusalem and Israel in the ages to come. Compare Psalm 83:1-8 with 2 Chronicles 20:1,22,23—noting especially the Moabites and Ammonites.

In both past and future, Gentiles want the Promised Land that God gave Israel forever (see 2 Chronicles 20:7,10,11), and are determined to annihilate the Jewish people to achieve that end (Psalm 83:4,5). Read Psalm 83:9-18, believing Israel praying for Christ’s Second Coming to deliver them as He did with Deborah, Gideon, David, Jehoshaphat, and so on. The prosperity, fear, and peace of Jehoshaphat’s reign that followed the war of today’s Scripture (see verses 25-30) foreshadow Christ’s Millennial Kingdom (Isaiah 61:6; Zechariah 9:10; Zechariah 14:11).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

God’s Battle #8

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV).

Indeed, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s!”

Zechariah 12:4-9 looks toward Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to defend Jerusalem: “[4] In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. [5] And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.

“[6] In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. [7] The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. [8] In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. [9] And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

We should bear in mind how this closely resembles the context of today’s Scripture. As in the days of Jehoshaphat more than 2,700 years ago, so antagonistic Gentile armies have gathered to attack Jerusalem (yet future from us). Like long ago, the LORD ultimately controls the situation: He gives opportunity for Satanically-inspired men to oppose Him, but He causes them to turn on and destroy each other, sparing Israel and Jerusalem to enter His earthly kingdom….

God’s Battle #7

Monday, October 24, 2022

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV).

Indeed, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s!”

Zechariah chapter 12 says concerning the ages to come: “[1] The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. [2] Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. [3] And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

Chapter 14 concurs: “[1] Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. [2] For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. [3] Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. [4] And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

Verse 3 calls to mind the countless wars the LORD God fought on Israel’s behalf throughout the Old Testament economy. Those ancient conflicts and victories look forward to the future Battle of Armageddon, which the Apostle John describes in Revelation 16:12-16 and Revelation 19:11-21. Jesus Christ leaves Heaven to come to Earth and defend Jerusalem….

A Celebration in Every Nation!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory (Psalm 98:1 KJV).

Behold, the King reigns over all the Earth!

Psalm 98 is the core of the “New Song Psalms” (96–100). All five psalms should be read together to see the full picture—Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to sit in the throne of His glory. Today’s Scripture is the violent Battle of Armageddon, when He vanquishes Israel’s enemies. All nations witnessed it, and now they revere Him: “[2] The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.”

Israel is redeemed from sin and restored from judgment, now ready to enter and enjoy God’s earthly kingdom: “[3] He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. [4] Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. [5] Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. [6] With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” The sounds of musical instruments are heard throughout the world. God’s Son has become “heir of all things!”

The natural world celebrates that the rightful King now literally and physically sits on David’s throne in Jerusalem: “[7] Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. [8] Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together [9] Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.” All corrupt governments have been put down, Satan’s evil world system has been permanently abolished, and now righteousness reigns throughout the endless ages to come!

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9). “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

LORD, Defend!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it (Isaiah 31:4,5 KJV).

Behold, God ultimately delivers Jerusalem!

Zechariah chapter 12: “[2] Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem…. [8] In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. [9] And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

At His fiery Second Coming, Christ flies from the third heaven, through outer space, and penetrates Earth’s atmosphere. From the air, He fights the Antichrist and his allies attacking Jerusalem (Revelation 16:14-16; Revelation 19:11-21). Isaiah chapter 31 continues, “[8] Then shall the Assyrian [Antichrist] fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. [9] And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.”

Zechariah 14:1-4: “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east….”

LORD, Hear!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God (2 Kings 19:15-16 KJV)

Will God pay attention to King Hezekiah’s prayer?

Back in chapter 18, verse 13, Sennacherib King of Assyria attacked and captured all the fenced cities of Judah. King Hezekiah, ruler of Judah (in Jerusalem), gave Sennacherib all the silver in the Jerusalem Temple, the treasures of the king’s house, and gold from the Temple (verses 14-16). However, Sennacherib sent officials to taunt Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem, claiming he would attack the city anyway (verses 17-37).

In chapter 19, Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, even instructing representatives to go to the Prophet Isaiah for to learn the Word of the LORD (verses 1-7). A written message from the Assyrians reached Hezekiah (verses 8-13), teasing and intimidating the Jews even more. In today’s Scripture, Hezekiah has heard this latest news and is praying in the Temple (verse 14).

His prayer continues: “[17] Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, [18] And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. [19] Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.”

The LORD replies to Hezekiah’s petition by sending Isaiah the Prophet (verses 20-34): He will defend Jerusalem for His sake and for His servant David’s sake! Verse 35, “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand [185,000!]: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” Indeed, 700 B.C., God delivered Jerusalem here—a small glimpse of her deliverance from Gentile armies yet to come!

The Holy One in Israel

Monday, April 4, 2016

“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7 KJV).

The King has returned!

Friend, hopefully, you read today’s Scripture slowly. Lest you did not, we duplicate its final words: “…the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” Note the little two-letter (seemingly insignificant) preposition “in.” Usually, in the Old Testament, we read of “the Holy One of Israel.” That term highlights that the Being separate from sinners—the Creator God—belonged exclusively to the nation Israel (as opposed to all nations). But, in today’s Scripture, the underlying thought goes beyond Israel merely having a relationship with God. Here, He is “in” Israel—not the “the Holy One of Israel” but rather “the Holy One in Israel!” You must be cognizant of the context of today’s Scripture to fully appreciate the change in terminology.

Chapters 38 and 39 of the Prophet Ezekiel’s giant book explicate the Antichrist’s reign and Jesus Christ’s return to fight and destroy him and his confederacy of nations (Battle of Armageddon). Also highlighted is the re-gathering, salvation, and restoration of the nation Israel so that she enters Jesus Christ’s Millennial Kingdom on Earth. The Jews, punished by God for centuries of pagan idolatry, have been scattered for over 2,500 years throughout every nation under heaven. At the point of today’s Scripture, this dispersion has ended.

At the time of today’s Scripture, Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) is no longer a royal exile in heaven. He went there 2,000 years ago when they refused to have Him as their King and demanded His crucifixion. Now, He is back, and He is literally standing in the land of Palestine (cf. Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 8:23). The whole world can see Him in a physical body, the visible representation of the invisible God, literally right there in Israel’s midst! How exciting! Little wonder, we read: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

Return, LORD! #2

Friday, November 20, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

God was not at all surprised when Israel conspired with Rome to sentence Jesus Christ to death. The Holy Spirit had written in Psalm 2 nearly 10 centuries prior: “[1] Why do the heathen [Gentiles] rage, and the people [Israel] imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth [Gentiles] set themselves, and the rulers [Israel] take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [“Christ” Jesus], saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them [Gentile and Jew] in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them [Gentile and Jew] in his wrath, and vex them [Gentile and Jew] in his sore displeasure.”

The Old Testament provides various previews of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath (cf. today’s Scripture). Amos chapters 1 and 2 identify the “flight path” the Lord Jesus Christ will take once He leaves the third heaven, His return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). He will enter Earth’s atmosphere in Damascus, Syria, along the eastern Mediterranean shore. Flying southward, He visits (Gentile) Gaza and Edom. Turning northward on the Sinai Peninsula, He sends fire also into the land of the Ammonites, and Moab. Finally, flying westward, He crosses the Jordan River, reaching Palestine, judging the Jews—Judah (southern kingdom) and Israel (northern kingdom). Judgment not only falls on the Gentiles, but also on Israel.

Zechariah 14:4 says Jesus Christ lands and stands on the Mount of Olives, exactly where He left Earth some 2,000 years earlier (Acts 1:11,12). He and His angelic armies defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-3,11,12), and all lost Jews (Zechariah 13:8,9), allowing only the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) to enter His earthly kingdom. The King has “returned” to Israel!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Have we been ‘grafted into Israel?’

Zechariah and Dispensationalism

Thursday, July 23, 2015

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9,10 KJV).

What can the Prophet Zechariah teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: first, He came meek and lowly, and then He will return in power and glory. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets were unaware of two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-9) first predicts Jesus Christ riding the donkey into Jerusalem, the “Triumphal Entry” (First Coming). Then, it mentions His glorious return to destroy Israel’s enemies, bring everlasting peace, and establish His earthly kingdom over the Gentiles (Second Coming). Zechariah knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but also completely hidden from Israel’s prophets. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Zechariah. Wow!