The future invasion of Jerusalem is a very sad and horrifying story, and there is much information in Biblical prophecy that can be combined to tell it. I'll make just a few points here, however, and give you an outline.
"And Elam carried the quiver with a chariot of a man and charioteers, and Kir exposed the shield. And it happened; your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the charioteers surely set in order at the gate [Old Jerusalem]. And He removed Judah's covering; and you looked in that day to the armor of the house of the forest. You also saw the breaks in the city of David, that they were many; and you gathered the waters of the lower pool. And you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall...let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" (Isaiah 22:7-10, 13).
Here are the Jerusalemites taking a last stand in the Old City, for, modern Jerusalem built in the last 100 years has no walls and will, therefore, be taken by Gog first of all.
This segment of Isaiah must depict the end times because Jerusalem was at no other time successfully invaded by Elam and Kir, peoples from modern Iran. You can see that Israel's valleys must -- before the invasion on Jerusalem -- be filled with the machinery of these Iranian peoples (how long will that take???) The Hezbollah now in Lebanon is extremely anti-West and anti-Israeli, and is funded, and therefore controlled, by Iran! Therefore, I expect in the near future a build-up of Iranians in Lebanon.
When the most-devoted Jerusalemites hear how the northern lands are filled by the anti-Christ's men, rather than fleeing -- as Jesus directed anyone whom would listen -- they will look to whatever weaponry they can muster, and then enclose themselves within the Old-City walls...right next to the Temple site destined to support the Abomination!
Among those who flee Israel at that time will be the terrified rulers: "All your rulers fled together" (22:3), and it's predictable that the abandonment of their posts will disorganize the military and leave the Jerusalemites to fend for themselves:
"What ails you now that you have gone up to the housetops? Crashings fill the noisy city, the joyous city..." (22:1-2).
What are they doing on their housetops prior to the midway point of the tribulation, if not firing at the incoming soldiers? This is why "crashings" fill the "noisy city," for the enemy is firing in on them, and they are fighting back. Hence, the city has not yet been taken at this point. But it is the critical point spoken of by Jesus: Let those in Judea flee to the mountains; let the one on his roof not come down to take anything from his house..." (Matthew 24:17).
It will be a very difficult thing to escape from Jerusalem when she is completely surrounded at close range. Iranians from the north, but also Arabs from the south and east. Most Jews will wait too long as they do not heed Jesus. But imagine trusting in God to save you when it's God coming as the blazing whirlwind of Ezekiel (chapters 1-11) against all four walls around you. Those that do flee are captured in flight and "tied up together" for exile/execution (Isaiah 22:4). Ezekiel 5:12 tells us that a third of the Jews will die inside the walls due to plague and famine, and a third outside of the walls will also die (when trying to escape I presume).
The enemy will move in, when the main Israeli defense is behind the walls, to cut off their supplies. Much of the available water will be used to mix the mortar needed for filling the holes in the walls. With their guns pointed out in all directions, the Jews watch Gog's looters turn up like rats, morning by morning, in different parts of the unwalled city. Says Isaiah of Jerusalem's siege:
When the overwhelming whip passes through, then you shall be for a trampling to it. As often as it passes, it shall take you; for morning by morning it shall pass; and by day and by night, it shall only be a terror to understand the message" (28:18-19).
The "overwhelming whip" is the overwhelming army of Gog, covering the land like a cloud. According to Zechariah 14:2, the intruders pillage homes and ravish women; and upon killing many, they take Jerusalemites captive and deport them, though some...mostly Arab/Palestinian inhabitants, no doubt...will be permitted to stay in the city, to the tune of half the population. Ezekiel tells us that one third of the Jews will be brought into exile, wherefore if Zechariah tells us that one half of the city will go into exile, other peoples besides Jews are also deported. Most of the Jewish remnant that is to populate the Millennium will be among those that go into exile.
The population of Jerusalem is now about 650,000, 450,000 of which are Jews. Thus, if two thirds of the 450,000 are killed, in accordance with Ezekiel 5:12, then only about 150,000 remain alive for exile. Thus, if half the city--about 325,000 people--is to go into exile, while a maximum of 150,000 of them are Jews, some 175,000, at least, will be non-Jewish exiles. Exiled Jews will be scattered to "the sons of the Greeks" (Joel 3:6). Even Daniel 11 refers to the exile (v 33). Then the focus will turn on those behind the Old-City walls. Isaiah 29 says:
"Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David camped...I will compress Ariel, and there shall be mourning and sorrow; and it shall be to me as Ariel [lion-like]. And I will camp as a circle on you, and will lay siege work on you, and I will raise up ramparts on you..." (29:1-3)
At least part of the delay in the Old-Jerusalem invasion will be due to the building of ramps against the walls so that the soldiers may flood in over them. With modern machinery, this would not take long, but remember that the Israelis within the walls will have the ability to shoot at the rampart-builders. For this reason, the enemy may decide to wait until the Israeli bullets are mainly spent, and their foods likewise diminished. Indeed, since we know that the Jews within will be starved to death, we know that some significant time must elapse before the invasion continues over the walls.
The invasion may become impeded when Muslim inhabitants of the Old City are used loosely by the Israelis as "hostages." This could explain the building of siege ramps as opposed to indiscriminate bombing over the walls. Moreover, UN pressure may be applied on Gog. It is my belief that Gog is invited to partake in European globalism at about this time, in what could be an effort to pacify him while extending globalism to his side of the world. But no matter. At that passionate point, not even the anti-Christ, should he have a remarkable change of heart, will be able to stop the rabid Muslims from carrying out their brutal will upon the Jews. And the Old City will be "compressed" from all sides by the will of God Himself, with the West powerless to resist His will. God will starve the Jews:
"For behold, the Lord YHWH is turning from Jerusalem and from Judah...the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water" (Isaiah 3:1-4).
While this prophecy speaks of the greater Jerusalem and surrounding areas, it will also fall on the Old-City. You see, the land within the walls has no natural springs of water. The only source of ground water for five miles around is the Gihon spring outside the walls, located well below the city at the bottom of the Kidron Valley. While water is currently piped mechanically into the City, it will be a simple matter for the enemy to cut that supply. Now you might think that the enemy cannot cut off the rainfall, but you would be mistaken, for the enemy is God, and He can, and will, do just that:
"And I will make known to you what I will do to My vineyard. I will take away its hedge, and [the city] will be burned. I will overcome its wall, and it will become a trampling ground, and I will lay it desolate. It shall not be pruned nor hoed, but briers and thorns shall come up. And I will command the clouds from raining on it" (Isaiah 4:5-6).
Knowing that the sanctuary must experience the Abomination prior to the City's desolation, one can predict where God's invaders initially break into the Old City: at the wall(s) of the rectangular Temple site acting as the extreme south-eastern corner of the Old City. But after entering over the south or east Temple wall, there is yet the north or west Temple wall which must be overcome before the intruder can step foot onto the city streets. Can you guess which wall -- north or west -- they will choose to conquer? It's not hard, knowing that the Wailing Wall, where the Jews now worship, is the western wall.
As the invaders finally storm into the Temple site, the Israelis will be forced to fall back behind the sanctuary walls, into the city streets, and will thereby prolong the invasion for days. During this time, Gog's men will profane the Wailing Wall section of the western wall (on Purim?). In the meantime--for 30 days?--they will plan their attack into the city streets, deciding to do go over the walls on Passover, I believe.
In Daniel 8, there is the phrase, "transgression that causes desolation," an alternative to "abomination that causes desolation." While the term "abomination" means "a disgusting thing" and may therefore include several possibilities (e.g. an idol), the use of "transgression," which means "a revolt," evokes the following rendition: a "revolt that causes desolation." Now that finally makes some sense to me. Indeed, as an alternative to the "abomination that causes desolation" in Matthew 24:15, Luke reads, "surrounded by camps [of soldiers]." But an "idol that causes desolation" just doesn't have logic. How can an idol cause desolation?
Therefore, my personal definition of "Abomination" is the military revolt that brings about the 42 months of trampling/desolation. But that which makes the revolt abominable is the fact that there is a trampling of the Temple site, not to mention the deeds that accompany the trampling. Daniel wrote:
"and arms from him [Anti-Christ] will stand, and they will profane the sanctuary...and they shall apply the abomination that desolates."
We see that the Abomination is applied by soldiers. Will it truly be a propped idol, as many scholars insist? No, but it's the invasion itself, and the particulars...things we don't yet know for certain. It is perhaps predictable that the profaning of the sanctuary will involve ecstatic Muslims proclaiming Gog as a special messenger of Allah, wherefore he will begin from that point on to proclaim himself as God in a jesting manner, specially designed to mock the Jews and their God. Like Goliath before him, he will blaspheme and taunt...but only until "David" the King returns to slay the monster with the "sword of His mouth" (Revelation 19:15).
If the Abomination commences on Purim, I can only wonder if this modern "Haman" will not also think to build gallows at/on the Wailing Wall, to terrorize all Jews locked up in the Old City. In any case, the so-called "abominations on an edge [of the Temple site]" (Daniel 9:27) will be followed by a pouring of Gog's soldiers over that wall on Passover, as if to add steely weight to the desecration.
"Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" (Isaiah 22:13).
Now, believe it or not, the Bible actually shows a step-by-step advancement of the anti-Christ towards Jerusalem. This discovery came as a result of accepting Gog as the anti-Christ, for I could then see that he was also the "Assyria(n)" in some parts of Isaiah. While the Assyria in Isaiah 7 and 8 is clearly not the end-time kingdom, the one in chapter 10 is. You see, in the first 6 chapters of Isaiah, the end times are definitely central, and while chapter 7 and 8 then revert to ancient times, chapters 9 through to 35 once again focus on the end-times. See if you can you spot the end-time language in the following Isaiah-10 quote:
"And it will be, when the Lord has broken off all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will visit on the fruit of the proud heart of the king of Assyria, and on the glory of his lofty eyes."
If this were a reference to an ancient king of Assyria (Sargon or Sennacherib), then the phrase, "when the Lord has broken off all His work on Mount Zion," is not called for. The "work" refers to God's wrath upon Jerusalem using the king of Assyria as His hammer, but it must be end-time wrath because the Lord opposed the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, when he came against Jerusalem in ancient times, instantly turning the invasion into a dismal failure (see Isaiah 37:36). Therefore, as it was not God's will to punish Jerusalem at that time, nor during the earlier time of Sargon, it is unacceptable to say that the Lord did "work" against Jerusalem. And as the Assyrian empire came to an end not long afterward, the "Assyria" under discussion must be a code word for some entity that has not yet fulfilled the prophecy.
Take note of the term "visit." This too is end-time language, evoking Armageddon, when God shall visit mankind. For example: "You shall be visited by YHWH of hosts; with thunder and earthquake, and great noise, tempest and storm...and the multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel...shall be like a nightmare of the night vision"(Isaiah 29:6).
The next quote from chapter 10, in speaking of the same Assyrian king's destruction, speaks of Armageddon more acutely:
"Under his [the king of Assyria's] glory He will kindle a burning like the burning fire. And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One [Jesus] for a flame--and it shall burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day" (16-17).
The burning of the tares!! Selah. Not long after this fiery destruction is emphasized, the text reiterates:
"For the Lord YHWH of hosts is making a full end, even ordained, in the midst of all the land. Therefore, the Lord YHWH of hosts says this: 'O My people in Zion, do not fear Assyria. He shall strike you with the rod, and he shall lift up his staff against you in the way of Egypt. But yet a little while, and the fury is finished, and My anger shall be over their destruction" (vs 23-25).
The "full end...in the midst of all the land" refers to Israel's punishment; the phrase is also found in 28:22, where it is clearly associated with the punishment of Israel. Moreover, it is not the northern house of Samaria which we see being comforted, but "Zion," which is Jerusalem. However, in the time of the ancient kings of Assyria, when they invaded Israel, a full end of the land was not brought about, for Jerusalem was spared. On the other hand, the entire land of Israel will become fully desolate in the end times.
God says to Jerusalem, "But yet a little while, and the fury is finished, and My anger shall be over their destruction." There was no fury of God against Jerusalem under ancient Assyria/Sennacherib. Not that God was altogether pleased with His people then, but that there was certainly no Fury against king Hezekiah. But there will be a Fury against the end-time Jerusalem -- this we know.
No previous Assyrian king ever took the route described below. You can open another browser and follow along using the Google satellite imagery for the region; compare with other maps provided here to find the places named by Isaiah. When the page loads at the above link, you will be above Jerusalem; click the "Satellite" button and wait for the photographs to load. If you have a wheel on your mouse, you can use it to zoom in and out; you can move around on the images by keeping your mouse button depressed, and dragging. The Old City of Jerusalem is to the right of the white dotted line (that separates West from East Jerusalem); zoom in and you will see a large rectangular site with the gold-topped Dome of the Rock temple at the furthest east that the dotted line reaches in this image. Isaiah starts to track the anti-Christ's invasion to the north of the Old City, at Ai:
"He has come to Ai; he has passed Migron; he has left his baggage at Michmash. They have crossed the ford; they have bedded down at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul has fled. Daughter of desolation [Jerusalem], shriek with your voice. Hearken Laish, afflicted of Anathoth. Madmenah wanders; Gebim's inhabitants take refuge. Yet he remains in Nob this day; he will shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem" (28-32).
The route from Ai begins almost due north of the Old City. Ai was east of ancient Bethel. The webpage below asserts that Bethel was said to be 12 Roman miles stones north of Jerusalem, or roughly eleven of our miles, which is between modern Al Bira and Beitin. It would seem correct, therefore, where Et-Tell is said to be the location of Ai, between Beitin and Dayr Dibwan. Ai is therefore about 2.5 miles to the eastern edge of the major modern center of Ramallah. See modern map (requires Adobe).
It seems to me that if he were to be destined for Ramallah, the text would not have chosen Ai to depict it, since Bethel would have been the better choice due to a closer proximity to Ramallah. It seems that he is going in haste to Jerusalem. I would suggest that Ai refers to modern Dayr Dibwan on the east side of the highway.
Until he reaches the vicinity of the Old City, at Nob, the path is wholly in the West Bank (i.e. the west bank of the Jordan river), a territory now devoted to Palestinians and on the bargaining table for to become their own state. Then, while entering Nob, he is in East Jerusalem, the Arab side of town.
Isaiah had no way of knowing 2700 years ago that this route would skirt around Jewish areas of Jerusalem (in blue) and keep to Arab parts (in pink), but the fact that it does so supports the end-time nature of this prophecy. And we can now know the reason, as it makes absolute sense for the anti-Christ to stick to Arab territories for protection and assistance in his military invasion.
We can presume quite confidently from verses 7-11 that Gog will come from Samaria/Damascus to the north of Ai. Going south from Ai, he will keep away from the airport and come to the Arab town of Michmash (modern Mukhmas), just seven miles north of the city. Apparently, he takes the road from Beitin to Mukhmas.
The prophecy tells us that the anti-Christ will leave his baggage at Michmash (green #27 on this Google satellite image). There are two theories in my mind for this. One, the airport (#5) is just 3.5 miles due west at Atarot, meaning that he hopes to leave soon by air (i.e. after conquering the airport). Two, it's a putting off of everything that hinders so that he and his men can work their way on foot down the "ford," and then up the other side to the Arab town of Geba (modern Al-Jaba #18). Shown in the Zondervan Bible Atlas as a steep gorge, the ford is a ditch called the "pass of Michmash" (1 Samuel 13:23). It is also called a "rocky crag" in 13:4. In modern times, it's called, "Wadi es-Suweinit" (valley of the little thorn-tree).
But why would they take this difficult route when the main highway to Jerusalem is just to the west of them? As they are shown crossing a gorge instead, the idea coming to mind is that they are keeping low; there exists a threat along the highway; the Jewish military is still out there; Judah is not yet fully in the control of Gog. Likewise, the airport on that highway could at this time be filled with Israeli war planes and other military equipment, thus forcing the anti-Christ to skirt east of it through wilderness terrain? But do note that both Michmash and Geba are Arab towns today.
For some reason, "he" is taking the route from Ai to Michmash, while thereafter it is "they" who continue onward (see Hebrew manuscripts). Perhaps "he" begins in Samaria/Lebanon/Syria merely with protective vehicles escorting him down the Nablus highway, where he then veers away from the airport and joins a significant group of his fighters stationed at Michmash. Remember, northern Israel will become his conquered land prior to the fall of Jerusalem in the south, so that the Nablus highway will at that time be safe for him to journey upon north of Judah...i.e. north of Michmash. Thus, if Michmash does represent the end of his motor trip, this, too, would explain his baggage being left there.
From Michmash, "they" proceed together on foot toward the Old City, "the fortress," probably planning to tie in with allied fighters awaiting to its south. They take so long to scale the gorge in reaching Geba at the top, a mere 1.5 miles for the bird, that they bed down there, says Isaiah in the prophecy.
When the people of Ramah (modern Ar-Ram) see this crossing, they "are afraid," says Isaiah, suggesting that the army is considerable as well as determined. Furthermore, the heights of "Gibeah of Saul flees." The Jewish communities of Neve Ya'acov and Pisgat Ze've are on the Jerusalem border, on the west of the highway, with Gibeah on the east of the highway. It may be true to say that Gibeah flees while Ramah (green #34) does not because the latter (Ar-Ram) is an Arab community while the former (Neve Ya'acov/Pisgat Ze'ev) is a Jewish sitting duck, built in suburbs after 1967.
From Geba, where the anti-Christ and his invaders start their day, a straight line to the Old City is straight through Neve Ya'acov, and yet they circle around the Jewish neighborhood, perhaps because the Israeli defenses are formidable there. And so the intruders arrive to "Anathoth," now an elevation 900 yards southwest of the Arab locality of Anata, only three miles from the Temple site. Anata (green #2) can be seen to the east of Shu'fat (green #39) on this Google satellite image. Shu'fat is 2.25 miles north of the Old City.
You will see an apartment complex with a rounded end (on the left side) sitting on an elevation just off a corner of the white dotted line. This is Ramat Shu'fat (#64), an Israeli suburb (Israeli settlements are in blue, Arab in green). Use this moderm map to get your bearings if needed.
Gibeah of Saul (not shown with a number but south of #6) is the first hill you come to north-east of the apartment complex. I've marked it on this image...that also shows the path of invasion from Ai to nob.
The arrival to Anata represents the entry into the modern city limits (east side) so that it becomes appropriate for the text to say, "Daughter of desolation [i.e. Jerusalem], shriek with your voice!" God portrays himself as the enemy of Jerusalem by the tone of these words. The number of fighters must be many in order for them to get this far. They will hide out in the homes and apartments, and wonder whether it would be advantageous to stay among Arab homes for cover, but I think they will decide to evacuate Jewish apartments.
If Isaiah's Nob is Shu'fat, as a Wikipedia article suggests that it might be, the army ceases to move southward from Anata, and begins fully westward to Nob. Where the text says Anathoth is afflicted, it sounds as though residential homes along the way to Nob will be trampled. I imagine the army taking positions on the gorge and shooting across it to Israeli positions in Pisgat Ze'ev. Since Anata is an Arab development that the Israeli's won't mind firing on, it makes sense that the anti-Christ's fighters should take a Jewish apartment complex. I think the one at Ramot Shu'fat is the apartment complex of choice, having over 2100 apartments. Below it to the west, at Ramot, there is yet more Jewish territory to exploit and abuse.
In going west to Nob, the intruders appear to head toward the very highway that they didn't take previously. It could be that they go west due to being countered by Israeli troops to the south. There is a blue area on the modern map to the south of Anata, which can be seen on the satellite image as a long, baren mountain ridge on the south side of the Anata road. One can see that there isn't anything to speak of in terms of military protection here or at Az Za'im, so that the latter would not likely be his station of Nob. At-Tur across the road from Az Zai'm is more populated, but as it's on the mount of Olives, it's not likely called Nob by Isaiah. Therefore, Nob is best identified as Shu'fat. The Arab Shu'fat will be less protected by Israelis and therefore more easily entered than a Jewish neighborhood, and once there, access to the apartments at Ramat Shu'fat will be at hand.
The Jewish suburb of French Hill is an apartment-ridden elevation, the first hills north of the Old City...the only hills between the City and Gog when he is stationed at Nob. Nob is a half-mile from French Hill, easily within bullet distance. With Israeli guns stationed on the tops of French Hill apartments, and in the Old City area, it would be little wonder that "he remains in Nob this day," as though setting up headquarters from which to "shake his fist" at the "the mount...the hill of Jerusalem." The hill of Jerusalem implies the Old City because that city is situated on the edge of a plateau overlooking slopes that run steeply into the Kidron and Hinnom valleys. A shaking of a fist implies frustration and set-back, but also a determined promise to conquer. The greater the set back, the more abominable the invasion.
You can count on this prophecy being in the end times, for the ancient king of Assyria, Sennacherib, when attempting an invasion of Jerusalem, did not send his army from the north, but, as he was attacking Egyptian troops at the time, they came from Lachish towards the southwest!! This was near the height of the Assyrian empire, when it spread from Iran to Magog to Syria and down through Mediterranean Israel to Egypt--virtually the entire Middle-East...except Jerusalem! These geographical boundaries are a near-perfect copy of what the anti-Christ will soon control, in the first half of the Week, for which reason he can also be called a "king of Assyria."
Isaiah 36:2 tells us that the preoccupied Sennacherib sent his commanders from Lachish to Jerusalem with a "heavy force," and that his commanders "stood by the conduit of the Upper Pool" (2 Kings 18:17) as they spoke a surrender message to the nervous Jerusalem army upon the city walls. But the Upper Pool was on the west side of the city, which is to no one's surprise since the Assyrians were coming up to Jerusalem from Egypt to the west. Therefore, as the Assyrian king of Isaiah 10 comes instead from the north...from Ai to Nob, he is not Sennacherib nor affiliated with him, but must be another king of another time...and there is no other but the anti-Christ.
Historians will tell you that ancient Assyria did come from the north to attempt a Jerusalem invasion, but where do you think they take the idea if there is not a shred of archaeological, or any other historical, evidence? Only one place: Isaiah 10. And even Christian historians and Bible commentators view the Ai-to-Nob route as an ancient one, because they don't know their prophecy.
"And forces will stand from him, and they will profane the sanctuary, the fortress. And they shall remove the regular [offerings]; AND THEY SHALL PLACE THE ABOMINATION THAT DESOLATES. And he will ruin by flatteries those who do evil against the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will work" (31, 32).
Herein spells the "middle of the night," the Abomination which coincides closely with the enforcement of the False Prophet's skincode, the time for us to "trim our lamps" and to begin depending upon our jars of oil for the dark night ahead. But many Christians will arrive to this point totally unaware of the time. Don't be one of these "foolish virgins," but prepare some form of wilderness security beforehand at a location acceptable to God.
The "people who know their God," which cannot be mere Jews in the last days due to the word in italics, "will be strong and will work," meaning that deep-rooted (i.e. radical) Christians will be busy at that time, and will not faint:
"And those who understand among the people will teach many; yet they will stumble by the sword, and by flame; by exile and spoil, for days. And when they stumble, they shall be helped with a little help. But many will join them, with hypocrisy" (33, 34).
I can't say whether or not these Christians are local to Israel; many will go out to teach others the meaning of the times, though they will be caught in various traps. These are the great ones in God's kingdom, who refuse the mark till death if necessary, while offering their lives for fellow believers. At the head of their thrust will be the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 (Scripture does not say that they are Moses and Elijah), who will speak out against Gog and, apparently, cause him much grief. I don't know whether or not to suggest to you that we all take our cue from their bold method of speech at that time, to speak out as they speak out. It's an interesting thought. God may make all of us (or at least many) like the Two Witnesses.
Because sustenance to endure the tribulation will be located in sites prepared and managed by sheep, the goats will join them there and take up residence, grinding grain and working the gardens alongside the sheep. When Christians fall in the tribulation, they will get some help from other believers, but not much, because many goats will be present, whose concerns will be for their own needs. These are the hypocrites.
When the sheep out and about doing the work of God are caught in dire straits, robbed, jailed, burned or otherwise persecuted, they get little help from the worthless goats. The only thing they will offer is lip-service Christianity, for which reason the sheep will be Taken, and the goats will be left behind, on the day that Jesus returns. Alas, many of the goats are the foolish virgins, denied any sustenance at all, and asked to leave the camps altogether, lest insufficient supplies remain for the wise.
"And many of those who understand shall stumble, to refine and to purge them, and to make white, to the time of the end. For it is yet for the appointed time" (35).
The stumbling will be used for the good of those who stumble, to purge the bitter fluids within the human spirit. I am not the only one suggesting that American believers today are in need of much Heavenly bleach. But do make a distinction between the goats, and the sheep who fall. That is, do not suppose that those who fall or backslide temporarily are false believers or otherwise cursed of God, for what is a test from God if it doesn't reach deep with painful reflection and thereby cause some re-evaluation? The fallen sheep will, no matter what God permits to be thrown at them, stand up again upon their feet, and come back nearer to Jesus with more depth of character.
And if you should fear, fear being the hypocrite who prepares a site only for self. If you have means of making good money now, plan on using your "talents" for use in the tribulation. Don't "bury" your resources so that no one else gets anything from them. Sacrifice your present money and time for the great-tribulation Purpose, for by that effort you will sacrifice your worldly life now and be in less need of purification later. Yes, God may ask less of you in the great-tribulation testing.
As for the Beast's soldiers raising their guns victoriously to the sky in Jerusalem's holy site, they will soon after come to regrets, for God is in Zion! For a while, they will scatter throughout Israel, pillaging, raping, burning towns to the ground, hiding out in the choice valleys, and deporting the Jewish inhabitants. Many Jews in Palestine will "lean" on the "Assyrian" (Isaiah 10:20) out of sheer fear or need, as some did upon the Romans in 70 AD, but many Jews who are destined for redemption at the end of the tribulation will escape his death-blow, either by being deported to other countries, or via great tribulation on Israeli soil that does not lead to death.
The Westernization of Anti-Christ
The Middle-Eastern, war-loving, looting machine called "little horn,"
will be accepted by Europe due to the political strings and
military supremacy of the "Christian" False Prophet.
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