Thursday, August 11, 2005

Holy Scriptures

EZEKIEL 381-3) God’s Word came to me: Mortal, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief leader of Meshekh and Tubal, and prophesy concerning him. Say:“Thus says God: I am on to you, Gog, chief leader of Meshekh and Tubal. 4) I will entice you, and put hooks in your cheeks. I will bring you with your entire army, horses and horsemen, all of them fully outfitted, in huge numbers of troops, all of them with shields, holding swords. 5-6) Among them will be Persia, Ethiopia and Put, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its divisions; Beit Togarmah from the most distant parts of the north, with all its divisions; and the many nations with you.7) Get ready and prepare yourself, you and all your troops gathered around you, and you will lead the way. 8) You will pay now for ages of guilt. In the distant future, you will march against a people who survived the massacre, who have been gathered from many nations. [You will march] against the mountains of Israel which have been long desolate, now liberated from the nations. Now resting securely. 9) You will come up, approaching like a roaring storm, like a cloud covering the earth - you, all your divisions, and many peoples with you.10-12) God says: You will have made an evil plan on that day... to pass your hand over rebuilt ruins and a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and possessions, [a people] inhabiting the navel of the earth. 14-16) Therefore, Mortal, prophesy and say to Gog, The Lord God says: On that day when My people Israel lives in security, you will understand [My Word].

You will come from your place, from the most distant parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all riding horses, with many troops and a great army. In the distant future you will march against My people, Israel, like a cloud covering God's land. Gog, I will bring you to My land so the nations will know Me, when I become sanctified through you as they watch.17) God says: It is about you that I spoke long ago through My servants, the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against [Israel]. 18-20) On that day when Gog enters the land of Israel, says the Lord God, My anger will blaze.

I have declared in My zeal and in My fiery anger that there will be a great earthquake throughout the land of Israel on that day. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the ground and all the men on the face of the earth will tremble before Me. The mountains will be destroyed, cliffs will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21-23) I will summon the sword against [Gog] on all My mountains, says the Lord God. Men will turn their swords against one another, and I will punish them with plague and blood, torrents of rain and hailstones, and with fire and brimstone, which I will rain down on them, on their divisions, and on the many peoples that are with them.

I will be exalted and sanctified, and I will make Myself known to many nations, so they will know that I am God.

JOEL 3, 4Chapter 31) {In the days of the Messiah} I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions...2) I will set signs in the heavens and on earth: blood, fire, and pillars of smoke. Before the great and awesome Day of God arrives, the sun will turn into darkness and the moon into blood. 3)

Yet everyone who calls out in the Name of God will escape. As God has said: There will be a remnant on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. The survivors will be those who call out to God. Chapter 41-3) Now, in those days and at that time when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

I will dispute with them there over My people and My inheritance ─ for scattering Israel among the nations, for dividing My land, and for casting lots over My people. They exchanged a boy for a prostitute. They sold a girl for wine, which they drank.4-6) And what have you to do with Me, O Tyre, Sidon, and all the districts of Philistia? Are you avenging yourselves against Me?Or if you are initiating aggression against Me, I will very swiftly punish you for what you've done.

You took My silver and gold, and carried off My precious treasures to your temples. You sold the children of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to distance them from their homeland.But I will rouse them out of the place to which you sold them, and I will punish you in kind...9-11) Proclaim this among the nations: Declare war! Rouse the mighty! Let all the warriors come up and draw near! Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.

Let the weak say, “I am mighty!” Gather yourselves! Come from all directions, all you nations, and join together. God will bring down your mighty men there. 12-13) Let the nations awake and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There, 1 will sit in judgment over all the surrounding nations. Wield the sickle, because the crop is ripe. Come tread, because the winepress is full, the vats overflow ─ for their wickedness is great.14-17) Many multitudes [will perish] in the Valley of Verdict. The Day of God is close in the Valley of Verdict.

The sun and the moon will turn dark, and the stars will conceal their brightness. God will roar from Zion and shout out from Jerusalem, causing heaven and earth to tremble. But God will be a shield for His people and a stronghold for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, God your Lord, dwells in Zion, My holy mountain. Jerusalem will then be sacred, and strangers will never again pass through her...20-21)

Egypt will become a devastation, and Edom a devastated wasteland, because they afflicted the Judeans, whose innocent blood they shed in their land. But Judah will endure forever, and Jerusalem for all generations. “Will I forgive them? No! I will not forgive them!” when God dwells in Zion!

OBADIAH1) The vision of Obadiah. This is what God the Lord said concerning Edom. We heard a report from God. A messenger was sent to the nations. “Get up! Let us wage war against her!”2-5) See how I've made you small among the nations. You are thoroughly despised. Your heart's conceit seduced you. You who makes the mountain caves your lofty abode, you say to yourself, “Who can bring me down to earth?” Even if you raise your nest as high as the eagle's, even if you establish it among the stars, I will bring you down from there! ─ declares God.5) How is it that you've been so destroyed?

If thieves and robbers in the night came to you, wouldn't they have stolen only their fill? If grape gatherers came to you, wouldn't they have left behind gleanings?6-7) How is it, then, that they ransacked Esau and uncovered his hidden treasures? All your allies accompanied you only to the border. Your comrades duped you.

They got the better of you. Your friends set a trap under you. You lacked understanding [to realize it].8-9) On that day ─ God declares ─ I will surely make the wise men disappear from Edom, and understanding from Mount Esau. Your warriors will be broken, Teman, so that the slaughter will wipe out every last man from Mount Esau.10-11) Because you robbed your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame and cut off for all eternity.

When you stood aside on the day foreigners seized his possessions and strangers invaded his cities and cast lots for Jerusalem ─ you, too, were like one of them.12-14) You should not have looked on during your brother's day, on the day he was taken captive. You should not have gloated over the people of Judah on the day they were destroyed, or jeered on the day of affliction. You should not have come to My people's gate on the day of their adversity. On their day of adversity, you should not have been among those who came to see their distress or seize their possessions. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, or turned in their survivors on the day of affliction.15-16) For God's Day against the nations is near.

What you did will be done to you. You will be punished in kind for your deeds. Just as you drank on My Holy Mount, so will all the nations drink always. They will drink and go mad. They will be as if they never were.17) But on Mount Zion there will be deliverance. It will become holy. And the House of Jacob will possess their inheritance. 18) Then, the House of Jacob will be fire, the House of Joseph a flame, and the House of Esau will be straw. They will set them alight and consume them. There will be no survivors from the House of Esau, for God has spoken. 19-20) The Negev will possess Mount Esau, the Shephela will possess the Philistines.

They will possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria, and Benjamin will possess the Gilead. The exiled community of Israelites that are [with the exiled] Canaanites until France, and the exiled Jerusalemites in Spain, will inherit the towns of the Negev.21) The saviors will ascend Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau. Then, the kingdom will be God's!

ZECHARIAH 12 -14Chapter 121-2) A prophecy: the Word of God concerning Israel. Thus declares God, Who extends the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth, and Who creates the spirit of man within him: Behold, I will make Jerusalem into a cup of poison for all the surrounding nations. And Judah will also attack Jerusalem. 3-4) On that day, I will make Jerusalem into a burdensome stone for all the nations. All those who lift it will be severely injured.

Yet all the nations on earth will gather against her. On that day ─ declares God ─ I will afflict every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. But I will watch over the House of Judah, while I smite all the nations' horses with blindness. 5) The chiefs of Judah will say to themselves, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strengthened me through the God of Hosts their Lord.”6) On that day, I will make the chiefs of Judah like a bonfire among trees, like a flaming torch among sheaves.

They will consume all the surrounding nations, to the right and left; and Jerusalem will remain on its site - in Jerusalem...Chapter 138-9) Throughout the world ─ declares God ─ two-thirds will be cut off and die, but the third will remain. I will bring that third into fire and refine them as one refines metal, examine them as one examines gold.

He will call in My Name, and I will answer him. I will say, “You are My people.” And he will say, “God is my Lord”...Chapter 142-3) I will gather all the peoples to Jerusalem for war. The city will be captured, the houses pillaged, the women raped, and half the city will go into exile. But the rest of the population will not be uprooted from the city.

God will then come forth and fight against those peoples as when He fought on the day of battle {when He split the Red Sea after the Exodus from Egypt} ...And God will be King of all the earth. On that day, God will be one and His Name one...12) This will be the plague with which God will smite all the nations that warred against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot away even as they stand on their feet. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouths.13) On that day, there will be a great confusion from God in their midst.

They will grab hold of each other's hand, with each one's hand raised against the other’s. 14) Judah, too, will battle against Jerusalem...16-17) Whoever survives of all those peoples that come against Jerusalem will make a yearly pilgrimage to bow down to the King, the God of Hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot. And when any of the nations of the world fail to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, the God of Hosts, rain will not fall for them.

PSALMSPsalm 2Why do nations convene, and peoples utter absurdities? Kings of the earth take their stand and ministers conspire together against God and against His anointed: “Let us tear off the cords of their yoke and throw off their ropes from us!”He Who sits in heaven laughs; God scoffs at them. Then He speaks to them in His anger and terrifies them with His wrath: “It is I Who appointed My king over Zion, My holy mountain!”I will recount what has been ordained: God said to me, “You are My son; today I have begotten you.

Ask of Me and I will give it; nations as your inheritance, your domain [reaching to] the ends of the earth. Break them with an iron rod. Shatter them like a potter's vessel.”So now, O kings, consider; accept discipline, O judges of the earth. Worship God with fear, that you may rejoice when trembling [besets the wicked]. Crave a pure [heart] lest He vent His wrath, and your way be doomed when His anger momentarily flares. Happy are all who take refuge in Him!Psalm 20A psalm of David. May God answer you in time of trouble, may the Name of Jacob's God fortify you.

May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion. May He remember all your meal-offerings and turn your burnt-offerings into ash. May He grant you your desires, and fulfill your every plan.We will sing joyously at Your salvation, and raise a banner in the Name of our God! May God fulfill your every request. Now I know that God saves His anointed one; He answers him from the heavens [of] His holiness, through the mighty salvation of His right hand. These [trust] in their chariots, and these in their steeds, but we call on the Name of God our Lord.

They slump and stay fallen, but we rise and gather strength. Save, O God! May the King answer us on the day we call. Psalm 46God is our refuge and strength, a most ready help in distress. Therefore we will not be afraid when the earth is transformed and the mountains collapse into the depths of the seas; when its waters rage and become muddled, and the mountains quake at His majesty.There is a river whose streams bring joy to the city of God, the sacred dwelling place of the Most High. God is in her midst, she will not collapse. God will come to her aid at the approach of dawn. Peoples clamor, kingdoms topple, when He raises His voice the earth['s inhabitants] melt away. The God of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our bastion.Come and see the works of God, Who has wrought desolation in the land.

To the end of the earth He puts a stop to wars. He breaks the bow, snaps the spear, and sets fire to the wagons. Desist! Know that I am God! I will be exalted among peoples, exalted upon the earth. The God of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our bastion.Psalm 48A song, a psalm of the sons of Korach. God is great and much acclaimed in the city of our God, His holy mountain. Fairest district, joy of all the earth, is Mount Zion, to the northern side of the city of the great king.

In her citadels God is known as The Bastion. See how the kings assembled, [how] they advanced together. They looked and were indeed astounded, they were terrified, they were in a panic. Trembling seized them there; pangs, like a woman giving birth; [blows, like one caught] in the east wind that wrecks the ships of Tarshish.Just as we heard, we saw in the city of the God of Hosts, in the city of our Lord.

May God preserve it forever – O God, inside Your Sanctuary we meditate upon Your loving-kindness. Your praise, like Your Name, O God, is to the ends of the earth. Righteousness fills Your right hand. Mount Zion rejoices; the Judean towns delight over Your judgments. Walk around Zion and circle her. Count her towers, take note of her ramparts and her mountainous citadels ─ that you may recount it to a future generation. For this is God, our Lord, forever.

He guides us as when we were children. Psalm 83God, do not be silent! Do not be still; do not be quiet, 0 God! For, see, Your enemies are all in an uproar, and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They plot deviously against Your people and take counsel against those You shelter. They say, “Come, let us eliminate them as a nation, so that the name ‘Israel’ will never again be mentioned.”For they are unanimous in their counsel. They have made a pact against You ─ [those who dwell in] the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre. Assyria, too, has joined with them.

They have become the strength of the sons of Lot.Do to them as [You did to] the Midianites, to Sisera, to Yavin, at the brook of Kishon ─ Who were destroyed at En Dor, who were as dung for the soil. Treat their nobles like Orev and Zeev, all their princes like Zevach and Zalmunna, who said, “Let us possess the abodes of God for ourselves.”My God, make them like thistledown, like stubble before the wind. As a fire consumes the forest, and a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm. Cover their faces with disgrace, so that they seek Your Name, O God. Let them be shamed and terrified forever.

Let them be so mortified that they perish. Then they will know that You alone, Whose Name is God, are the Most High over all the earth.For His lovingkindness toward us has intensified, and God's truth is eternal. Halleluyah!Psalm 118 Give thanks to God for He is good. His lovingkindness endures forever. Let Israel say: “His lovingkindness endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His lovingkindness endures forever.” Let those who fear God say: "His lovingkindness endures forever."In distress I called upon God; God answered me with relief. God is with me, I am unafraid. What can a human being do to me? With God as my ally, I will see [the downfall] of my foes. It is better to seek refuge in God than to trust in human beings.

It is better to seek refuge in God than to trust in men of importance. All the nations have surrounded me; in the Name of God I will cut them down. They have indeed beset and surrounded me; in the Name of God I will cut them down. [Though] they have beset me like bees, they will be extinguished like a fire of thorns; in the Name of God I will cut them down.You pushed me hard to make me fall, but God helped me. God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.

The sound of joyous song and salvation is in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of God performs valiantly! The right hand of God is exalted! The right hand of God performs valiantly!”I will not die, but will live and relate the deeds of God. God has afflicted me severely, but He has not handed me over to death. Open the Gates of Righteousness for me, that I might enter them to give thanks to God. This is the gateway to God, the righteous will enter through it.

I will thank You for answering me, and for becoming my salvation. That stone which the builders rejected has become the main cornerstone. This is God's doing. It is astonishing in our eyes. This is the day that God has made. Let us be glad and rejoice on it.O God, please save us! O God, please make us prosper!Blessed is he who comes in the Name of God. We will bless you from the House of God. The Lord is God. He has given us light.

Bind the festival offering with thick cords [and bring it] to the corners of the altar.You are my Lord and I will thank You. You are my Lord and I will exalt You. Give thanks to God for He is good, for His lovingkindness endures forever.

DANIEL 11,12Chapter 1140-43) At the time of the end, the king of the south will engage [the forces of the north]. But the king of the north will storm him with chariots and cavalry and many ships. He will invade lands, sweeping through them and moving on. He will also invade the desirable land, and many will fall. Yet these will escape his grasp: Edom, Moab, and the prominent Ammonites.

He will stretch out his hand against the lands; not [even] the land of Egypt will be spared. He will gain control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. The Libyans and Ethiopians, too, [will follow] at his heel.44-45) But tidings out of the east and the north will alarm him. He will sally forth with great fury to destroy and decimate multitudes, pitching his royal tents between the sea and the desirable holy mountain.

Then he will meet his end with no one to assist him.Chapter 121) At that time, the great prince Michael, who stands over your people, will arise. It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since they became a nation. At that time, your people will be spared - all who are found written in the book. 2-3) Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to disgrace, to eternal degradation.

The knowledgeable will shine like the radiance of the sky, and those who turn the many to righteousness will be like stars forever and ever.4) But you, Daniel, must conceal these matters and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will speculate, and the [pursuit of this] knowledge will increase.5-6) Then I, Daniel, saw two others standing [there], one on this bank of the river, and the other on that bank of the river. One of them said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river: “How long until the end of these mysteries?”7-8)

Then I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he raised his right hand and his left hand to heaven and swore by the Life of the Universe, “It will be after a time, times, and a half. When the shattering of the holy people's strength is complete, then all these things will cease. I heard but did not understand, so I said, “My master, what will be the outcome of these things?”10-11) “Go, Daniel,” he answered, “for these matters are to be hidden and sealed until the time of the end.

They will be clarified and elucidated, and many will be refined. The wicked will be vicious, and none of the wicked will understand; but the knowledgeable will understand.13-14) From the time the daily offering is abolished until a lifeless abomination is installed, there will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Happy is the one who waits and reaches one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. Now you must go on to the end. You will rest, and then you will arise to your fate at the end of days.

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