This is where we see WHAT Ezekiel’s Fire is.
In this chapter, we’ll see:
- The day of the great slaughter
- The greatest earthquake since The Great Flood
- A moon as bright as the sun
- A sun that is seven times brighter than normal
- The day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound
That last one should look awfully familiar, since we have clearly seen it several times already. Binding up the bruise and healing wounds is the kind of wording that is central to salvation.
We’ve also seen the other four points, but not quite like this. Isaiah 30 gives us a snapshot of something global and earth shattering. This planet-wide catastrophe will leave no one unaffected and knock everything down.
However, this passage sits in the middle of a prophecy that is 11 chapters long. It starts with Isaiah 24 and ends with Isaiah 35. And, the chapter divisions in between are – at best – mere suggestions. This long vision that is full of the same kind of imagery that we see in Revelation is undoubtedly part of the reason why many commentators have claimed that the salvation of Israel occurs during the Great Tribulation of Revelation.
At the time that most of these men wrote, this was an entirely logical explanation. No one could foresee the recreation of the nation of Israel. Few would have foreseen the fall of the Ottoman Empire. And the fantastic imagery of Isaiah 24-35 would have led most to conclude that this was an Old Testament version of John’s Apocalypse.
However, we stand on the other side of history. We’ve seen the recreation of Israel, and we’ve seen the Hand of God in Israel’s miraculous transformation. Even better, a true, Bible-believing Christianity is growing in that land, right this very moment. This should make it a lot easier to see what the Bible actually says:
The Return of Jacob is happening right now – and will happen – BEFORE the Antichrist
Unfortunately, those who do not see this and do not prepare for it, will suffer greatly – assuming that they survive. There will literally be a global earthquake that will knock down every building of any size. And, those inside such buildings will not have anyone to dig them out.
You do NOT want to be in a big building, or living in a big city – anywhere on planet Earth – when Ezekiel’s Fire happens.
The irony is that I am concerned for your physical safety, while the Bible is speaking of a deeply spiritual transformation. As Christians, our physical safety should be far, far less important than our spiritual well-being. So, as we look at this catastrophe, let’s not forget the spiritual lesson that we need to learn.
Getting The Timing Correct
So, let’s get into the timing of this event. You have seen that the Return of Jacob to God happens before the Antichrist comes. You have also seen that the coming of Gog and Magog is the catalyst for the spiritual restoration of Israel. And you know that some pretty incredible catastrophes happen around the world at that time. This means going through the verses leading up to our key passage, and those following it.
Part of what we will look for is patterns. Just as there are patterns to human history, there are patterns to mankind’s rejection of God. When God blesses His people, it usually takes only a few short years before they look at God’s blessing as the result of their own efforts. This invariably leads to a spiral downwards into sin and rebellion against God. We see this throughout the Bible, and we experience it right now in our own churches.
This is laid out in the first seventeen verses of Isaiah 30. So, I invite you to read Isaiah 30:1-17 on your own, and see if your own church, community and nation are following this same path.
Are you and your church looking to God for a solution?
We MUST repent of our sins so that God will return His hand of protection to us.
And, if your church is in the midst of a struggle, maybe it’s time for your church to pray that God will reveal the sin in your midst. I was in a church once, that did that. We came together to pray that God would reveal the sin in our church, and days later, we found that the assistant pastor had been committing adultery. But, moving on…
God Waits To Bless Israel
So, up to verse 17, Isaiah 30 was talking about the past – for Israel. But, God does not leave His people in the past without a promise. And that is what happens in verse 18:
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
– Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)
Isaiah lived at the time of the beginning of God’s judgment upon Israel.
So, when God spoke of the beginning of that judgment, through Isaiah, who was He speaking about?
Was He speaking about Christians?
I know. Silly question. But, there are lots and lots of Christians who believe that this isn’t so silly. They think that the promises that God made to the Children of Jacob are no longer for the physical descendants of Israel.
Does God abandon His promises, after He has made them?
Of course not.
When we become rebellious, God reaches out and gives us a thump – to teach us that our rebellion is futile. God has done that with Israel. For two thousand years – and more – the Lord has demonstrated to the children of Jacob that they could not save themselves by their own might and power – that they needed the Lord. And, the only way that you can have the Lord is by faith and obedience.
God promised that He would ‘wait’. The fact that this period of time is two thousand years longer than we would like, means nothing. When the time is right, it will happen.
Physical Jacob Blessed At A Physical Jerusalem
Again, this is a physical people, at a physical place, at a specific point in time.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.
– Isaiah 30:19 (NKJV)
Just to hammer the point home:
When God said ‘Zion at Jerusalem’, was He using allegory, here?
OF COURSE NOT!!!
When God speaks about a specific geographical point on Earth, God really is talking about a definite and distinct location. If you think otherwise, then I’m not sure how you can continue to believe that the Bible is true.
Who were the people that God was referring to?
The children of Jacob… Israel!
And, who will God respond to and hear?
The people at Jerusalem. A time will come when God will pay extra attention to them.
The Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit Upon Those At Jerusalem
And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
– Isaiah 30:20 (NKJV)
TRANSLATION NOTE: The words ‘though’ and ‘yet’ are NOT in the original Hebrew.
Since verse 19 signifies the transformation that verse 18 speaks of, we must assume that verse 19 is speaking of the Return of Jacob to God. And, verse 20 reinforces this point by saying that your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore and that your eyes will see your teachers. This is important because God will give the residents of Jerusalem something that no one would look forward to:
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction
And, I believe that this points to what God said in Zechariah 13:
I will bring the one-third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”
– Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV)
It appears that – when God refines the Children of Jacob – that He will cause them to suffer greatly. Jerusalem and the rest of Israel will be devastated. All transportation networks will be destroyed. All the power will be out. No cars or trucks will run. Buildings will have been turned into rubble. If any buildings survive, the plumbing won’t work. If any refrigeration units survive, there will be no electricity to keep them running.
Food will spoil extremely quickly. What doesn’t spoil will be eaten up, and then people will be left with… Well, it would be bad, at least for a while. And, it would take months – if not years – for Jerusalem to recover to a point where it could become a city that thrives. The suffering would be terrible. But, that suffering will have a purpose that the next verse describes eloquently:
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
– Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV)
THAT is the Holy Spirit.
There is nothing in this world that is more precious than eternal salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is worth any amount of suffering. But, my heart is heavy at the thought of what those who live in the disaster zone will go through.
And, how will God grant them eternal salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
When Peter spoke of Jesus to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4, he said this:
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
– Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
There is literally no other way to salvation and to having the Holy Spirit, except through Christ. And, there is no other way to Christ, except through faith. And, faith is…
…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
– Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
You should read all of Hebrews 11. It’s the most powerful chapter on faith in the Bible. It demonstrates conclusively that salvation is impossible without faith.
THINKING ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM AGAIN
But, that leads me to a question about the Millennium:
With God physically ruling from Jerusalem…
…will faith even be possible?
You and I accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, through faith. But, with Jesus ruling the world from Jerusalem, everyone will actually see Him with their eyes. They will know His power and understand that His promises are real. It would seem to make faith impossible.
How could anyone attain salvation after Jesus Returns?
I have pondered this mystery for more years than some of you have been alive, and I am no closer to an answer now, than I was then. Whatever that process of salvation is – or is not – one thing is completely and absolutely clear:
The foundation of salvation is eternal – ONLY THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS
The ONLY way that ANYONE in the Millennium will have salvation, is through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Their sins will ONLY be paid for by His death on the cross. They will ONLY be cleansed of sin by His blood.
This is part of the reason why rejecting the idea of Jacob’s Return before the Antichrist is such a problem. It is actually an attack upon the principle of salvation through faith. But, let’s continue to look at Israel’s restoration.
Israel Turns Away From Idolatry
In the next verse, we see the result of their changed heart:
You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
You will say to them, “Get away!”
– Isaiah 30:22 (NKJV)
These new Christians in Israel will no longer study the Talmud. They will no longer worship their rabbis, or their gold and silver plated Torah scrolls. They will no longer look to their traditions and their customs as their source of purity and righteousness. They will no longer wrestle with God, but will submit to Him.
And no, this will NOT be a return to the Torah. The New Testament is very, very clear that the Law was ONLY a foreshadow of Jesus Christ. Those who claim that the Millennium will mark the return of the observance of the 613 laws of Moses, are deeply, deeply in error.
In fact, those who persist in making those claims are – by implication – denying Christ.
It’s one of many reasons why this book is so important. We need to stop this blasphemous attack upon the principle of salvation through faith. But, let’s move on to the next two verses that describe the blessing that Israel will receive after this time of suffering is over:
23 Then He will give the rain for your seed
With which you sow the ground,
And bread of the increase of the earth;
It will be fat and plentiful.
In that day your cattle will feed
In large pastures.
24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
Will eat cured fodder,
Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
– Isaiah 30:23-24 (NKJV)
Notice how this parallels exactly what God promised to do for Israel in Ezekiel 36 and Ezekiel 37. And, in one sense, this blessing has already begun in the Land of Israel. Before the Jews came, it was a barren, disease-ridden land. After the Jews took possession of their land, it became a lush, productive paradise. But, as good as it is now, it will be even better.
Israel Saved In The Day Of Ezekiel’s Fire
Now, these next two verses demonstrate that prophecies flip back and forth between the event being prophesied and the results of that event. Verses 23 and 24 describe the end result of verses 18 to 22. And, the next to verses flip back to the catastrophe that brings the children of Jacob back to God:
25 There will be on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,
In the day of the great slaughter,
When the towers fall.
26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
As the light of seven days,
In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.
– Isaiah 30:25-26 (NKJV)
In the day of great slaughter?
Who is being slaughtered?
Well, we know, from Ezekiel that the army of Gog and Magog gets slaughtered. In fact, they will turn on each other as they run away. But, Zechariah also speaks of a terrible number of people dying in the Land of Israel. Two thirds of will die. Close to ten million people will die.
However, it sounds to me like a lot of them die from the earthquake – when the towers fall – and not because they were killed by this invading army. This is why I believe that it will be our job, as Christians, to warn everyone to get out of their buildings when Gog and Magog comes.
By the way, those of us who understand the connection between seismic activity and solar events will definitely understand why the world will suffer catastrophic earthquakes when the micronova of Isaiah 30:26 happens. But, I’ve gotten ahead of myself.
This book is about timing, and it is the second half of verse 26 that gives us what we need to see:
In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.
THAT is salvation. You cannot interpret that phrase in any other way, unless you twist the context of the chapter, itself. Therefore, every passage in the Bible that talks about the salvation of Israel… must also be directly talking about the same moment in time. And, it is this salvation narrative that links the core prophecies together.
This allows us to collect each description of the salvation of Israel and combine them together. When we do that, it becomes clear that a micronova (or superflare) is coming. Again, here is where Isaiah 30 describes this solar event:
Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
As the light of seven days,
That is the first part of Isaiah 30:26, and the implications are truly horrifying. For a moment in time, the Sun expands in brightness by seven times. That is exactly what a micronova would do, and it will do tremendous damage and bring our civilization to its knees.
What do OTHER passages say about this moment in time?
Well, Ezekiel says this:
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
– Ezekiel 39:6 (ASV)
And THAT is why I wrote the book Ezekiel’s Fire – and why you should read it!
THIS IS NOT REVELATION 16
Of course, there is another ‘fire’ from the sun, in the Bible, and we find it in the Book of Revelation:
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
– Revelation 16:8-9 (NKJV)
I would LOVE for that passage in Revelation to be Ezekiel’s Fire. If anyone could prove that this passage encompasses all the terrible events that we have described so far, I would be truly overjoyed – since it would mean that we were not around to see them.
The problem is that no one can make that proof, since it just does not fit the pattern laid out for us in the Old Testament. You cannot connect Revelation 16 with Ezekiel 38 and 39. The timing is all wrong.
When does God send fire upon Magog and the other nations in Ezekiel 39?
AFTER the invasion of Gog and Magog.
When does the fourth angel pour out his bowl upon the Sun?
BEFORE the invasion of The Kings of the East.
This is in addition to all the other problems with trying to force Revelation 16 and Ezekiel 38 and 39 to be about the same moment in time. You cannot get around this timing problem. Having said all that, I would LOVE to be proven wrong.
The Day Of Slaughter And Great Earthquakes
I do NOT want to actually see the second half of Isaiah 30:25. I want to place this with all the other terrible times described in Revelation that happen after the Resurrection. Here again is that part of the verse that I dread so much:
In the day of the great slaughter,
When the towers fall.
If you remember what we talked about in the previous chapter, you see the connection with this verse:
And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:
– Zechariah 13:8 (NKJV)
The death of two thirds of those in the Land of Israel.
This is the ‘great slaughter’ that Isaiah 30:25 is talking about. And, it represents another confirmation that Isaiah 30 and Zechariah 12-13 speak of the same moment in time.
But wait, this great slaughter is connected to the last four words of Isaiah 30:25:
When towers will fall.
What could those words refer to?
Well, Ezekiel 38 has something to say about this, here:
19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, 20 so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ 21 I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’
– Ezekiel 38:19-23 (NKJV)
Now THAT is an earthquake. In fact, it will be so big that it will awaken the sleeping volcanoes up on the Golan Heights. That’s the ‘brimstone’ that the passage above refers to. You don’t get ‘brimstone’ any other way.
And yes, there are volcanoes in Israel – up on the Golan Heights.
In fact, the Golan is chock full of dormant volcanoes. But, not the Jerusalem mountain range. If you walk around the Golan and places nearby, you’ll see lots of dark, volcanic rock, and many of the ancient buildings that archeologists have uncovered were made with it.
So, not only do we have the biggest solar flare in the history of the world, but we also have the coming of Gog and Magog, the destruction of that army, the death of two thirds of all in Israel and a massive earthquake.
However, I said ‘earthquake’, as if there is just one. But, I’m afraid that these gigantic earthquakes will be all over the world. This will be a truly global destruction, and we see it in the next two verses of Isaiah 30:
27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream,
Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err.
– Isaiah 30:27-28 (NKJV)
Okay, this describes why this is so important. God is going to do something terrible to the world, and You do NOT want to be unprepared for what is coming. So, let’s talk a bit about what God is going to do, in terms of this passage.
First of all, verses 27 and 28 speak of nations and peoples, so this is not about what happens just within the land of Israel. This is about what God does to the rest of the world, those nations OUTSIDE of Israel. Here is what will happen:
- Thick rising smoke – while there are lots of things that can cause such smoke, we do know that other passages refer to ‘brimstone’. This means volcanoes, lots of them – across the world.
- Devouring fire – the micronova – Ezekiel’s Fire – could certainly do all that. Since we’ve never seen that before, here on Earth, I’m not sure what to say. A micronova or solar flare that big could do quite a bit of devouring. However, we also have volcanoes to deal with. Volcanoes have done quite a bit of ‘devouring’ in the past.
- Sifting the Nations – this micronova will destroy – at a very minimum – the power grids of every country that didn’t protect their electric infrastructure from the effects of Electromagnetic Pulse. But, I’m not sure that ANYTHING can protect a power grid from something this size.
- Sieve of futility – when a power grid goes down in a developed country, most of the population in that developed country will die – unless they have easy access to food and water that are not dependent upon electricity, in some form. Some studies on this topic have shown that 90% of a population could die, if the electric infrastructure dies and stays dead for more than 18 months.
- Bridle that causeth to err – you’ve noticed, by now, how foolish we and our leaders have become. Well, in Ezekiel 38, God said that He would put hooks in the jaws of Gog and Magog. He said much the same thing, as well, in Ezekiel 39.
Are the hooks in the Jaws of Gog like a bridle?
The point is that God is going to cause a massive amount of destruction in the world. It is going to be a horrific time for almost everyone, which is the reason why I am writing this. I do NOT want you to be caught by what is going to happen.
And for those of you who think that this passage speaks of another time… well …I have only one thing to say:
Your theories won’t protect you.
The Rest of Isaiah 30
Now, I could go on. But, since the chapter divisions were NOT God-inspired, this is a good place to stop. Stephen Langton, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was the one who set the chapter divisions for the Bible, and we should not feel bound by them – especially since we have no proof that Stephen was a Christian.
Having said that, someone probably needed to divide up the end times vision that begins in Isaiah 24 and ends at chapter 35. That’s a lot of text to try and keep track of, so I understand the need to do what he did. Just understand that chapter divisions should always be treated with suspicion.
And, as you read through Isaiah 24 through 35, remember that the Return of Jacob is a part of end times prophecy.
Comparing The Armies
So, Isaiah 30 gives us more insight into the events surrounding the events of Gog and Magog, but not so much about the army of Gog and Magog or even the army of the Antichrist. Having said that, it looks like there are both in the eleven chapters of this prophecy.
But, we aren’t done. We have one more thing to talk about before we can get to the conclusion of the core chapters.
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