by haRold Smith
from Jerusalem, Israel
"Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem ; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south�
"Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." Zechariah 14:1-9
What a wonderful, incredibly awesome time in which to be living! We have the privilege of being a witness to what all of creation has been groaning and reaching for - hastening the Day of the Appearing of this Grand and Glorious, Resurrected and Living, King of Kings who is soon to emerge in and through the Righteousness of His Saints - those who have been proven and fashioned into His Image, who have been awaiting the Day of His Calling. (Romans 8:20-23 - click on highlighted references to view scripture).
Not only - not only - are we privileged to be witnesses to the events unfolding around us that are proclaiming His Entry, but, for we who are His and have been called according to His Purpose, we have actually been given the Authority to be participants with Him in this awakening the likes of which has never been seen since the foundational creation of the earth (Mark 13:19-20). It is through His Righteousness in which we have chosen to be clothed that the unequaled Light of His Splendor will be made manifest into this earthly realm for all to see.
Scripture says His Coming will be sudden (Malachi 3:1-3), and as He fills His Temple (1Corinthians 3:16), only those who have been fashioned in the refiner's fire will be able to endure His Emergence. We, who have been waiting, arrayed in His Righteousness will magnify His Presence as a multi-faceted diamond, exhibiting His Brilliance before all of mankind. While there be many who will look at these events and become dismayed, Yeshua said when you see these things begin to happen - REJOICE! For your redemption is very near! (Luke 21:28). What a glorious time to be in!
Scripture also makes the heart of the Lord very clear to us on one point concerning His Emergence. There is only one nation on this planet, ever, that God has said He will defend - that is the nation of Israel. He is not coming to defend Israel based on her merit. Rather, He is upholding a covenant He made with Himself over this people, the only people on the planet, ever, that He has said are 'His people'. He made this covenant with Himself so that it could not be broken, ever (Genesis 22:16), because He cannot deny Himself - He will keep His covenant (2Timothy 2:13).
Zechariah 14:2-4 (above) makes it plain when His Coming will be - when 'all nations' have been gathered against Jerusalem; verse 4 tells us where that Coming will happen - the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Haggai 2:6-7 says He will 'shake all nations' to fill His House (Israel) with glory. The 'shaking' the world is experiencing today will culminate in events that will leave Israel in a place of prominence before all the nations of the world. Isaiah 40:17 says 'all nations' are counted to Him as nothing but vanity. 'All nations' does not mean, say or imply 'except for the United States of America.' To be vain means to 'appropriate for selfish purposes'. In the New Covenant, Yeshua says very plainly His Kingdom is 'not of this world'. He went on to say that, if it were, He would instruct His disciples (us) to fight for it - He did not (John 18:36). He says in John 17:9-21 that He does 'not pray for the world'. He prays for those whom the Father has given Him - we who are His. Now, if He who lived as our example to follow prays that way - why shouldn't we?
Many in the USA have been erroneously led to believe that their faith and their patriotism are somehow intermingled - they are not. If His Kingdom is 'not of this world' then belonging to Him means neither is our Kingdom - and that means any part of the world. Scripture says for us to pray for those who are in authority over us that we might live in peace - not to make them righteous (1Timothy 2:1-2). That all men would come into knowledge of the Truth is what He desires, but that happens on an individual level born out of a personal relationship - not a corporate experience. We forget that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us (Luke 17:20-21), not scattered abroad and not something that is used to govern (Romans 14:17, 1Peter 5:2-4), Righteousness emanates from the hearts of individuals - not nations. If it did, then Yeshua would have dealt with and spoken to nations, incorporating them into the gospel while He was here. He could have, but He did not.
Many have been led to believe that America is a 'Christian' nation - it is not. That the United States has been a bastion of freedom to the rest of the world which is at the core of the heart of God is unmistakable, but that freedom came as a result of individuals aligning themselves with the precepts of the Lord - not God aligning Himself with a nation. That America has been a haven for saints to be nourished by the Lord to accomplish His Plans and Purposes around the globe in the past is undeniable (Revelation 12:13-14), but, that was for a time - today we are in the time of times. With each passing day, the mandates and precepts of America, as with every other nation, are becoming indelibly forged in opposition to the Nature and Character of this One True God. Those mandates and precepts are the expression of the heart and choice of individuals constituting the population of a nation who tolerate such principles. Those mandates and precepts embraced by a nation set it in alignment with the rest of the nations of the world on a collision course with Israel.
The forces that have been loosed upon the globe are non-discriminatory in nature. There is no more 'hope' that America can escape the entanglements those forces bring, to align her against Israel, than there is for any other nation. No government edict, no elected official, no world mandate will stem the tide of this tsunami that has been unleashed upon mankind (Revelation 12:15-17). Yeshua said when you see these things begin to happen, take notice (Mark 13:28), but, He also prefaced that statement when He said that all these things 'must needs be' to set the stage for His Return (Mark 13:7).
One of the first edicts given by God is found in the Ten Commandments. "Do not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain" (Exodus 20:7). When we pray for the Lord to spare America, we are praying in vain for something we have come to enjoy and want to further in our own interests (remember that vanity means to 'appropriate for selfish purposes'). By praying vainly, we can actually find ourselves praying in opposition to His Plans and Purposes - at which point we will not be held guiltless, meaning that we place ourselves in a position to become subject to the very spirit of deception that has been loosed upon the earth.
When we pray contrary to the stated Plans and Purposes of God, we are praying selfishly - what WE would like to see happen as opposed to what HE wants. What He wants has been made very clear in the Book, from cover to cover - He wants a bride arrayed in fine linen (Revelation 19:7-9). That linen is the righteousness the saints have chosen to clothe Israel in - not any other nation. He is coming for that Bride and Israel is to be the instrument, the nation, through which that coming will be unveiled - none other. (see the Children of the Bridechamber).
There are those who have written Israel and the Jews off as having had their shot at redemption and blew the opportunity. Consequently, as this theory purports, God has cast them aside and put 'Christians' in as their 'replacements' to inherit the Kingdom of God. Those who would embrace such theology only see scripture from the letter of legality and do not know Him well enough to balance scripture with the contrasting heart of God shown in the same Book toward these whom He has called the 'Apple of His Eye' (Deuteronomy 32:10, Zechariah 2:8), Plus, they disregard scripture from the New Testament itself which validates the fact that God has not divorced Himself from the Jew (Romans 11:1), that He Himself has caused blindness to come to them for a time so that we Gentiles might share in this inheritance that belongs to them. If He blinded them, then He is also responsible for their salvation as a result of that blindness, which is why Romans 11:26 contains the proclamation, 'all Israel shall be saved' in the day that blindness is removed. As a matter of technicality and a lot of ignorance, these 'replacement theologists' lump the Jews in with all the other religions of the world - Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. - and it is just not the case (Romans 10:11-13).
If you want to pray in alignment with God's Purpose for a nation, pray for Israel. If you want to support and be involved in a nation that finds a future in the Eternal Plan of the Lord, become involved with Israel. It is still a place, despite all its complexity, where Jewish women walk alone at night without fear of being accosted from other Jews, where Jewish children play freely in the streets unafraid of being abducted at the hands of other Jews while others watch for their safety, a place where people leave their bags on the floor in the middle of a crowded, kosher marketplace and expect them to be there when they return. There is a saying here in the Land that Israelis do not believe in miracles - they depend on them. They have an understanding that their very existence is mandated by God and is wholly dependent on Him. It is not a perfect place, it is even misguided in many aspects - but it is built of a people whose moral fiber has not been eroded by cynicism and a distain for what is Holy.
If what I am hearing in the Spirit is truly of God, then I believe the die has been cast - not against any nation, but in favor of the Lord returning. The election we have just witnessed in America is simply another affirmation of that reality - not alone for President, which is consequential, but also for all the presumed justifications that accompany that election. Again, our Kingdom is not of this earth. For us to pray on the one hand, 'Come now, Lord' and on the other hand, 'Wait for this nation' actually nullifies either prayer, they become of no consequence, of 'none effect' (Mark 7:13). For me, and I can only speak for myself, my prayer is 'Come' - whatever it takes for that to happen, understanding that turmoil will accompany His Coming, understanding there will be those who won't endure it - nevertheless, 'Come'.
But, it is within that turmoil that the Righteousness of the Saints will shine. For as many as have embraced 'change', there are many more individuals who are and will become disillusioned with promises that can only remain unfulfilled in this time of global upheaval. To them, we appear as a beacon of light set upon a hill in the individual relationships we can build with them because they have now become seekers of Truth (Matthew 5:14). Start looking, they are all around us. They have need of knowing the assurance of the Refiner's Fire being at their doorstep. This outpouring will be great, but it will not come by observation - it will not come as an 'event'. Only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will even know of its existence in the hearts of men.
The time for prayer and repentance for the nations has come to its natural conclusion. The time of the Gentiles has ended and the time for Israel to rise to a position of prominence among the nations has come. It is now time for the Lord God of all Creation to arise and to be exalted over all the earth. It is time. Maranatha.