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Preparing the Way of the Lord!
How will Israel become educated in the truth?
September 20, 2007 - Audio, 15.00 MIN
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This is David Billington with you for this weeks Bible in the News. The song you just heard is about Elijah the prophet, the words are: Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Gileadite, may he come to us soon in our days with Messiah the son David. This week we will step back and consider in a little more detail some of the scriptures concerning the preparation of Israel for the Kingdom of God. As we watch events on the world scene, looking for signs that indicate that the return of the Messiah, King of Israel is near, we often consider events in Israel. We may often wonder how a modern nation like Israel can become the righteous nation that keepeth the truth--a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. How can a nation that is ignorant of the truth as it is in Jesus and for the most part the things concerning the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, under the son of David, understand these ideas?
The only Jesus known by the modern Jew is the Jesus of Christendom, the Jesus of the Catholic Church who they were forced to worship under pain of death during the inquisition. If Jesus with hands pierced by the cruel Roman nails were to appear to the nation today as their deliverer, after a cataclysmic event such as the invasion by the king of the north and the Jews were to meet him, they may think the evangelical churches were right after all and the personage they were looking upon was God himself. This would be very confusing to a Jew. Fire from heaven is not enough as the past work of Elijah has shown, the still small voice of the truth must be employed to set the heart on fire with the truth. It would therefore seem necessary for someone to prepare the Jew for an audience with the king. Even on a worldly basic level, before a diplomat were to have an audience before Queen Elizabeth he would be aware of the required protocol and procedure of coming before this worldly queen. In like manner a Jew would need to be educated in the truth, so that when he were to be given an audience before Jesus the Messiah, the King of Israel, he would at least understand what the law and the prophets have written concerning the Messiah, so that when he were to gaze upon his personage the final piece of the puzzle would click into place and he would understand the truth about the royal majesty upon the throne before him. They would understand that he was the royal son of David and son of God, that he was the way, the truth and the life.

We live in the time period of the sixth vial which has been pouring out now for sometime. It is during the period of the sixth vial that Jesus comes as a thief. The world will not be aware that he has entered the world stage, as he enters a door into the political heavens performing a coup d'etat and establishing the little stone kingdom of Judah. Much has to be prepared before this act can be accomplished and the covenant rainbowed throne of David reestablished in the political heavens.  The great Turkish Euphrates river has been almost completely dried up by the work of the angels in the sixth vial. This work was done so that the "way of the kings of the east might be prepared." (Revelation 16:12) Rotherham in his translation--and others--bring out the full sense of the Greek, translating the phrase: "...that the way might be prepared, of the kings who were from the rising of the sun." Who are these kings from the rising of the sun?

We must interpret the phrase biblically. The prophet Malachi helps out in chapter 4 and verse 2, where he wrote: "But unto you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings..." As a sun arises it beams cause seeds to germinate and spring forth from the earth, just as when Jesus returns as the sun of righteousness his first act will be to raise the dead--the bringing forth of the good seed, the children of the kingdom, the kings and priests of the age to come. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Matthew 13:43 These are the kings out of the rising of the sun of righteousness.

Jesus in the Revelation is telling us that the way for these kings has to be prepared, it does not tell as what point within the sixth vial this way is prepared. However, we know that it is prepared within the sixth vial before the voice of the seventh vial declares that "it is done." What is involved in the preparing of this way?

The prophet Isaiah helps us to understand the preparing of the way, because he also speaks of preparing the way. In Isaiah chapter 62 verses 10 to 12 we read: "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." Preparing the way has to do with casting up the highway. The idea is raising up the way, building up the highway. Gathering the stones out of the way involves moving stumbling blocks out of the path of travelers. Raising an ensign would be a rallying point for the scattered troops of an army so they could rally to their banner. This highway will obviously be a literal way for those going up to Zion in the kingdom age and is mentioned in many places. Symbolically the way represents the way of the truth, the way to the tree of life, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life--the way to the kingdom. Those wishing to be in the kingdom must walk in this way.

Today we could say that an ensign has been raised on the mountains of Israel and Jews from all over the world have rallied around it. This is part of the preparation of the kingdom. Yet the way of truth lies in ruins as says the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 18 verse 15: "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up." Isaiah says in chapter 57:14: "Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people." The way must be prepared and the stumbling block removed. There is a "stone of stumbling...a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel...a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Isaiah 8:14) This stone of stumbling must be removed out of the way and the only way to do this is by instruction from God's word. This is part of preparing the way of the kings of the suns rising.

A still small voice is needed, crying out: "Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it ." Notice, preparing the way has to do with preparing the people--the crooked shall be made straight. Also note that this voice is crying to the Jews in Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. Although Isaiah 40 had a application to the work of John the Baptist, Isaiah goes on to say: "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand , and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." This applies to the coming with "strong hand", when his arm--the Lord Jesus Christ--will rule for him. When the messenger of the covenant appears to Israel, a messenger always prepares the way before him. (Malachi 3)

After speaking of preparing the way at the end of Isaiah 62 which we already quoted, the very next event the prophet speaks of is an unknown personage emerging victoriously from the desert, none of the people of Israel are with him as he makes his march northward: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." He is coming from a geographical location, not just identified as Edom, but also Bozrah. After coming from the south he will enter the promised land taking the same route as Joshua, approaching Jerusalem from the East.

Today Israel is rebellious, their government wants to give away the land that God has brought them back to. They trust in the king of the south--the USA and Britain for help and largely not in God. The words of Isaiah in chapter 30 verses 1 and 2 sum up the situation: "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!" This was written at a time when the Assyrians were threatening Judah and there were those in power with Hezekiah who wanted to go to Egypt for help. There was the Hezekiah, "strengthened by Yah" party and the arm of the flesh party in Israel. There was the Assyrian king of the north and the Egyptian king of the south. This is how it will be when Gog comes down upon the land.

In Isaiah 30:8 we are instructed that this prophecy is actually for the "time to come". The Hebrew is "L'Yom Acharon" or "for the latter-day"--you may also find this in your margin. Isaiah chapter 30 is a prophecy for the latter day. In verses 19 to 21 we read: "For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." Isaiah is actually describing the preparation of the way of the kings of the suns rising. There will be a regathering of Jews to Jerusalem. They will receive bread of adversity and will cry to God. This may cause us to think of the pullout from Gaza and the destruction of many Jewish homes, synagogues and communities accompanied by many prayers to God--the massive prayer rallies we witnessed at the time. But in spite of all this the prophet Isaiah says that: "yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it..." This is the preparing of the way. The Jews in the land need instruction for walking in the way and there will be teachers who will provide that. Then verse 27: "Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:" From far, is from the desert and upon his emergence the Jews will ask: "Who is this?" Due to the work of their teachers directing them in the way they will recognize the real Jesus the king of the Jews. So in this way the tents of Judah will be saved first. Salvation can only come through a knowledge of the truth.

At the time of Christ the scribes taught: "...that Elias must first come." As you heard at the beginning of the program the Jews still believe and teach this today. That the same Elijah will come to Israel--to them--in the land--before the Messiah. This is what they believed at the time of Christ and that is what they believe today. "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." Jesus admitted that the scribes were right on this aspect. He also added that Elijah would restore all things. We cannot limit this work. Elijah will be involved in the restoration of all things. When Elijah rebuilt the altar on mount Carmel, "Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name". So Elijah will work in the restoration of the 12 tribes of Israel. After his work with those in the land he will work in gathering the remaining tribes from their various locations across the globe and bringing them to the way of life, the way to Zion.

To miss this preparation of the way: the return of the Jew to the land, the blooming of the land, the restoration of the Hebrew language and the preparing of the Jewish people to meet their Messiah is to miss a notable sign of the times. Which is why we at the Bible in the News are watching the Jewish people in the land and the growth of the religious Zionist community on the mountains of Israel, a people focused on the promises to Abraham and the law of Moses. A people being prepared for the Lord--the way of the kings of the east.

Come back next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com




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