Another Unusual Introduction
Beginning with an excerpt from an article posted on 5-26-18, entitled: Shameful Saga of the Great City (Revelation 17), which began with: An Unusual Introduction to This Week’s Article. Followed by:
Once before it was necessary to repost a prior Eye of Prophecy article, due to the sudden demise of my laptop hard drive. The time it took to start all over again that week with a brand new engine prevented writing of a new article. Still, the repost included pictures and captions not part of the original article.
Well, it has happened again. Not because my computer hard drive dropped dead, but because my left eye began flashing little bolts of light, surrounded by mysterious shadows. This is not metaphorical!
I went on to say (in quotation marks below):
“These were the opening lines of Eye of Prophecy article, To Be or Not to Be in Heaven (A Revisit), posted 5-6-17.
“(My eyesight has stabilized, and the articles have continued … thank you, Lord!)
“The first repost referenced above was: Why the Rapture? (A Revisit), posted 11-5-16. Of the 253 Eye of Prophecy articles to date (one each Saturday), those are the only two published a second time, albeit with some modifications.
“Although there is no emergency reason, this week’s article plus the next two are reproductions of sorts. But with substantially revised form and content of the original six-series Eye of Prophecy entitled, The Woman and the Beast, posted 10-12-13 through 11-16-13.
“Reasons for reopening this six-article set: Visitors during the first year or so of Eye of Prophecy were significantly fewer than those of subsequent articles (to be expected for any new website). However, readership was disproportionately low, for that very reason—six parts … too many!
A Third Emergency (thus a reposted article this week, but with a modified title)
“Another day in paradise,” is a saying often heard in what we call, The Valley—Phoenix, Arizona area. Maybe, but not entirely. We, too, have our bad days along with good days.
Good News: It’s (comfortably) warm in the winter.
Bad News: It’s (uncomfortably … make that brutally) hot in the summer.
Good News: No volcanic eruptions, blizzards, avalanches, hurricanes, typhoons, or even destructive tornadoes as such.
Bad News: Monsoon storms that fully get your attention. With split power poles, downed power lines, loss of life-sustaining air conditioning (!), uprooted trees, detached roofs, and flash flooding. Plus, (flat, not funnel-like) surges of air that slam straight down to the ground wreaking havoc … called microbursts.
(Usually Beginning as a Huge Dust Cloud, Monsoon Storms Can Bring Strong Winds and Sheets of Rain)
Our first summer Monsoon storm struck this past Monday. Unlike previous tempests over the past 23 years of my Valley residence, this time my house was not spared. Sparing you all the dramatic details, suffice to say that between the emergency restoration crew, the insurance adjuster, temporary clean-up, water extraction and drying machines, on-going repairs, and numerous phone calls, there were too many interruptions to compose, edit, and post an entirely new article this week.
(Photo From the July 9, 2018 Monsoon Storm in the Greater Phoenix Area … Fortunately, this Tree Fell on the Street, Not the House!)
Back to some Good News … As Further Introduction to This Week’s Article
An Eye of Prophecy article written over four years ago is a perfect replacement.
Reason: This past May 14th marked the 70th anniversary of Israel’s remarkable rebirth as a sovereign nation in 1948. Delegates from the United States attended this joyous occasion with a bonus to the celebration: opening of the U.S. Embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem, having been moved from Tel Aviv. And, just a few days ago, Israel welcomed national leaders from 32 countries to the inaugural “Thank You,” conference at the Knesset—Israel’s Parliamentary Seat of Government in Jerusalem.
Despite the insidious reemergence of Anti-Semitism (especially in some western European countries) among certain global population groups, many national governments are warming up to Israel. With recognition of Israel’s democracy that has facilitated remarkable progress in such areas as agriculture, conservation, medicine, computer/cell phone technology, new business start-up. And the fact that, despite it’s tiny size and population compared to most nations, Israel’s military is ranked 8th most powerful in the world.
The following is an excerpt from a recent article posted in the online news source, United with Israel concerning this conference: “The guests are meeting with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and members of Knesset and are focusing on: promoting Israel’s status in the international arena, the joint fight against the anti-Israel BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), the war on global terrorism, Israel’s image in the world, environment and sustainability, and the hi-tech industry, among other issues.”
Some of the participating countries were: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. (Note: It was unnecessary for a U.S. delegate to be there, as the United States is, by far, the strongest ally/friend of Israel, and vice versa.
(Israel’s Knesset, Displaying Some of the Flags of the 32 Countries Attending the First “Thank You” Conference in Jerusalem)
On another personal note: this week’s article is number 260—one posted each Saturday since this labor of love began in July 2013. Which marks the five-year anniversary (52 articles for five years) of the birth of Eye of Prophecy website. If there was to be a third (republished article) emergency, I suppose it couldn’t have come at a better time than to do so with a previous post entitled: The Birth of a Nation.
The core content of that article will remain intact, with some modifications, e.g. photos added, paragraph or headings restructured, and minor changes in semantics. New commentary will be identified as such by italics, preceded by an asterisk. Also, these changes and the fresh material merited a revised title for this week’s article.
Here it is; along with some additional content.
The Birth of a Nation (Originally posted 2-22-14):
I don’t suppose too many of us have ever watched D.W. Griffith’s blockbuster silent film, The Birth of a Nation. Every now and then you might catch it on TCM or some other golden oldies television station. Upon its release in 1915 and for several years thereafter, it was considered one of the greatest movies ever made, even though its portrayal of African-Americans was considered derogatory … at the very least, controversial.
The movie depicted pre-civil and post-civil war America; with an underlying implication that the real birth of our nation took place after the Union defeated the Confederacy and abolished slavery. Some believe that’s when the United States truly became united, via a birth or rebirth of a Union that all states eventually recognized and supported. American history up to that point was more of a gestation period that consisted of two wars with England, the granting of statehood to more territories, and the westward pioneer pilgrimages.
*During America’s Civil War, there were 20 Union States and 11 Confederate States. Three were neutral border states. The other 16 states subsequently added to the Union were part of designated “territories” until the United States Federal Government approved their statehood. For example, my state of Arizona became the 48th Continental state on February 14, 1912 (Valentine’s Day; Despite all the Wild West ruffians at the time, Arizona must have had some sweethearts!). Alaska and Hawaii came on board January 3, 1959 and August 21st, 1959, respectively.
Whether the United States was born at the signing of the Declaration of Independence or reborn when General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox is a matter for the historians to debate. Either way, the formation of the United States of America was by all accounts an extraordinarily rapid phenomenon in contrast to the much-more gradual development of virtually all other nations up to that point in history.
But there is the dawn of another country that, beyond debate, beyond speculation, beyond doubt, constitutes the swiftest and most significant national birth in the annals of human history. It was truly a nation born in one-day: the nation of Israel. Even more astounding … this birth was predicted some 2,700 years before it took place! Not just the fact that it would happen, but exactly HOW it would occur. It would be unlike any ever experienced: (1) the national birth would take place in one day, and (2) the birth would precede the labor pains!
Isn’t that exactly backwards? Regarding point #2 for you men: If you missed it or have forgotten how much to appreciate it, just ask your wife who gave birth to that beautiful daughter or handsome son. Or, ask your mother who brought you into this world. First came the contractions. Then, “Hello, I’m here. Give me a name and give me something to eat!”
Let’s read this phenomenal prophetic proclamation from God himself:
“Before the birth pains even begin, Jerusalem gives birth to a son. Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born. Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? asks the Lord. No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God” (Isaiah 66:7-9).
Normal Birth of a Nation
Nations do not typically arrive on the scene of history through a birth process, analogous to a woman giving birth. Rather, they gradually develop into a political, social, and national identity through decades of homogenized language, geography, culture, government, and interactive economy. Examples that come to mind are the four superpowers prophetically identified in the book of Daniel, subsequently confirmed by both Biblical and secular records … Babylon, Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire.
For other nations who were seemingly birthed into existence, the pattern does reflect the metaphor of a woman giving birth. Beginning with conception, then birth pains, then deliverance into a brave new world of freedom and autonomy. The United States of America comes to mind.
This great country began with a concept (conception) of individual and corporate freedom from tyranny (such as taxation without representation), then painful contractions through resistance to oppression, and finally a liberating birth as a self-governing, self-determining republic of the people, by the people and for the people. Albeit one that acknowledged Creator God as America’s sovereign benefactor and source of moral and spiritual excellence.
Which makes the birth of Israel all the more unique and miraculous.
*The Lord also likens the rebirth of Israel and return of his people to their Promised Land to a resurrection from the dead. Which perfectly parallels the extraordinary modern-day State of Israel.
*Listen to this amazing announcement of the Lord to Ezekiel as the prophet was staring at a vast valley of dry, lifeless bones—a prophecy that came to pass on May 14th, 1948:
*Said the Lord to Ezekiel: “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord’” (Ezekiel 37:4-6).
*Then a few verses later, we read: “…This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again” (Verse 9; Note: Jews have come to Israel from the four corners of the earth, from over 100 nations).
*Ezekiel’s response: “So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel… I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel’” (Ezekiel 37:10 & 12).
The Reverse Birth of Israel
For those who have read Eye of Prophecy on a somewhat regular basis, you have seen several articles that, in varying degrees, touch on the intriguing introduction of Israel to the family of nations that took place in 1948. This birth of a nation; the stunning triumphs over enemies far superior in number and weapons; the striking agricultural, technological, cultural, political, and military growth of a people who turned swampland into gardens, desert into oasis, hamlets into hubs of commerce, diversity into unity, and defeat into victories; has been nothing short of astonishing … a miracle that only the true and living God could supernaturally perform.
It is one thing to predict the rebirth or revival of a nation from the dead (Valley of Dry Bones). I suppose an argument could be made that this kind of prophecy has a 50% chance of coming to pass. Either the nation will return, or it won’t. Considering, however, the Roman Empire’s utter destruction of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple in 70 AD, followed by exiled eviction of all but a few Jews from Israel—with centuries of subjugation in/by nations all over the world—I think the odds might take a nosedive to a miniscule probability of less than 1%.
*Since it’s never occurred with any other people or nation on earth, we can reduce those odds to nil, nada, zero—it just doesn’t happen naturally.
But it’s quite another thing to predict the sequential details concerning the resurrected birth of a nation, particularly one that suffered a violent, seemingly irreversible, demise some 2000 years ago.
*Which was still hundreds of years in the future, as Israel was a vibrant, powerful nation (albeit divided into two kingdoms) during Isaiah’s time.
Our passage in Isaiah does both. It tells us that this would happen and then tells us how it would take place; that it would be unimaginable, inconceivable, unheard of … unlike anything experienced in the annals of human history. No matter where you rank the likelihood of the Jews ever returning to their land, let alone the improbability that they could restore and speak their ancient, near-extinct Hebrew language; what makes the rebirth of Israel so unfathomable is HOW it happened. Moreover, it catapults the prophecy of Isaiah Chapter 66 into a stratosphere that is breath-taking and mind-boggling. What am I referring to?
Looking again at the text: “Before the birth pains even begin, Jerusalem gives birth to a son” (Isaiah 66:7).
Do you know of any woman who gave birth to a child, then went into labor after her child was born? Of course, not … it doesn’t work that way. Unless, that is: you were a Jew born in, or through (because of) Israel.
On May 14, 1948, seemingly out of nowhere Israel became a nation literally overnight. By the end of World War II, some two-thirds of the Jews in Europe had been murdered by Hitler’s Third Reich.
*(See Eye of Prophecy article, Two-Thirds of the Jews Killed … Past or Future? Posted 9-19-15).
The Jewish survivors continued to be dispossessed, without any semblance of community or identity, let alone the hope of national unity. Yet, in less than three years after WWII, the earth gave birth to Israel! Her children were born as naturally birthed Israeli citizens (Sabra) or through the exponential increase of Jewish emigrants from many nations of the world to Israel. Only after the birth of the State of Israel did the labor pains really begin. Strange? Unusual? Exceptional? I would think so.
This was also part of the amazing prophecy. “Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? By the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born” (Isaiah 66:8).
This is precisely what happened when Israel was birthed as a nation in 1948.
First, the Jews had no more to say about the matter than does a baby whose delivery is completely dependent on others. Although a handful of Jewish visionaries and Gentile supporters of Zionism had conceived the improbable birth of a new Israel, they had no idea how or when this would happen. They had no real say in the manipulation of nations to achieve this seemingly unattainable goal. Instead, it took the absolute sovereignty of God to deliver the Jews from the birth canal of Gentile oppression and horror which reached its ugly zenith during the Holocaust.
“Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? asks the Lord. No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God” (Isaiah 66:9).
Second, cruel contractions did follow the birth of Israel—in the form of an immediate assault by five Arab nations against the tiny, virtually helpless and defenseless infant nation called Israel. And what happened then? Not only did God bring forth a newfound nation from the womb of exile, but he delivered the newborn children from total annihilation at the hands of ancient enemies.
Decades later, these birth pains would continue to strike Israel time and again: the Suez Canal Conflict (1956); the Six-Day War (1967); the Yom Kippur War (1973); three intifadas, deadly lone-wolf attacks, incessant launching of missiles from the Gaza Strip; perfidious anti-Semitic boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. The labor pains go on and on and on.
(Photo of Israeli Soldiers in Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence. With Many More Tanks, Airplanes, and Heavy Artillery, the Five Arab Armies Far Outgunned the Israelis, But Israel Still Won the War!)
In my generation, we are witnesses to the spectacular fulfillment of a 2,700-year-old prophecy: The nation of Israel would be literally born in a single day, in a mere moment (of history). This new creation of national life would be unlike any known to mankind. One that is not ordinary, but extraordinary; one that is not expected, but unexpected; one that is not natural, but supernatural. Children would be (immediately) born, then the excruciating pain (inflicted by Israel’s enemies) of delivery would follow the birth, not precede it. But like the arrival of any newborn baby, the family rejoices; not because of the pain that goes with childbirth, but because of the miracle of life itself.
In fact, that’s what comes next in our text: “Rejoice with Jerusalem! Be glad with her, all you who love her and all you who mourn for her. Drink deeply of her glory even as an infant drinks at its mother’s comforting breasts” (Isaiah 66:10-11).
Once again, we see the astounding accuracy of Biblical prophecy. Once again, we are reminded that we are living in the last days. We are very likely part of the generation that will experience the glorious return of our beloved Jewish Messiah.
Again, our vision is renewed, “…while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed” (Titus 2:13).
At one time or another, we marvel at God’s perfect timing regarding events or developments in our lives … individually, as a family, and as a nation. Although the United Nations is essentially a coalition of many ungodly countries the world over, God used this organization to approve a resolution that granted Israel statehood rights. Without the UN resolution of November 1947, it’s highly unlikely that Prime Minister David ben Gurion would have announced the Birth of a Nation (Israel) in 1948.
The Holocaust was NOT indicative or representative of labor pains. In fact, it cannot be analogous to childbirth (life) at all, as it was a horrendous time of persecution and death. The painful contractions of a woman about to give birth are not persecutory, nor are they a signal that something or someone is about to die. Rather it is a necessary time of struggle that yields to the miracle of birth, then rejoicing and celebration over a new life given to us by an awesome God.
A God who gives us life, then gives us life (eternal) again, through His Son.
*Note: In the original post of today’s article, the content under the above heading of Summary was in the final portion of that article, Things to Ponder … which is the final heading of every Eye of Prophecy article.
*As with today’s introduction, the finale of this week’s article will be one of a personal nature.
Things to Ponder
Like the United Nations, the Lord also has used mass media including the Internet (despite all its undesirable features) to accomplish what Jesus said would be the final sign of his return … precipitated by the Rapture seven years before: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Though a relatively small ministry, Eye of Prophecy website has been visited by people from 178 nations. I am grateful that this website can contribute even a little to global proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Word of God. As is said: Real History is His Story.
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
As found on the Home Page where each new article is posted, the predominant purpose of this website is: “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus…” (Revelation 19:10). In fact, Messiah Jesus IS the essence of prophecy. And on the About page, that of: “defending and confirming the truth of the Good News” (Philippians 1:7).
The four main Eye of Prophecy categories of Current Events, Prophecy in General, The Antichrist, and The Rapture contain a variety of sub-topics. Each with a Biblical world view, designed to provide counsel, correlation, clarification, and (when necessary) correction toward understanding of some of the more difficult, least understood, or misapplied passages of Scripture—particularly prophecy.
As well as sharing more insight on some of the most well-known portions of Scripture. Such as the article, The Incomparable Power and Authority of Jesus Christ. Posted 5-28-16.
It has been and, the Lord willing, will continue to be my privilege and joy to research, write, edit, and post Eye of Prophecy articles—despite the sometimes-laborious contractions that precede the final creation. No complaints! The hard work and creative concentration are worth it. Each article is a new birth for that week. Often, the articles begin in a cocoon, with a caterpillar-like progression; yet the Lord somehow turns them into a butterfly!
This is certainly not a self-serving boast as to the finished product; rather, a comparison between the stages of labor and the delivery of a new article. Were it not for the Lord’s sovereign supervision and providential purview, there’s no way an article could have been posted consecutively every week for five years; without missing a few weeks for all the unforeseen reasons that our agendas, activities, and even health are interrupted.
It’s called, LIFE!
However, for more than one reason, there will be a couple of adjustments to future Eye of Prophecy postings.
For the next (last) two Saturdays this month, I’ll be on a posting vacation from the website!
Beginning in August (2018) and every month thereafter, my goal is to publish at least two articles each month, perhaps more. When published, they will continue to be on Saturdays.
If it happens to be a week with no article, there’s still 260 (at the current time … the number will increase) articles to choose from, in case you missed a few!
In closing, I want to so very sincerely extend my deep appreciation for all those who visit Eye of Prophecy website, whether occasionally or frequently.
Repeating the admonition of the Apostle Peter:
Echoing the Apostle Paul’s closing words in his first letter to the church at Corinth: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 15:23-24).