Torah Portion

Dear Torah Portion Reader...

I am very excited that the Spring Feast is just around the corner! We are now in the final preparation count-down, which for us at Lighted Way Ministries is an "all-hands-on-deck" scenario. In the next few weeks and days, I will be finishing the book "God's Amazing Star Secret" (which I pray to have fresh from the press at Passover, on April 1, 2018), I will be writing the sermons, putting together the children's program, cooking (and freezing) the casseroles to serve during the Retreat week, and more...

In order to accomplish all of this, I will not be taking time to write the Torah portion commentaries during this period of time. However, that does not mean that anyone need to get behind. The following is the Torah reading and study schedule for the next few weeks. As you keep up with this schedule, you will be on track to complete all 613 Statutes this year. So, from now to April 14, the Torah portions will be posted without comment. Commentary and the usual Torah portions will resume on April 15. Thank you for your patience! And happy studying in the meantime :-)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - December 18, 2017

Today's Reading:

Colossians 1:24-2:19

Ezekiel 27-28

Isaiah 54

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Both yesterday and today, in Ezekiel, we read about an entity called "Tyrus". In fact, in Ezekiel 28, he is called the king of Tyrus. Just who is "Tyrus"? In my Decoding Ezekiel series (which is a 17-part series of DVD's), I did a talk about Tyrus, some of which I would like to share now to enhance what we've been reading. The king of Tyrus is the devil himself, the fallen one who formerly was a covering cherub at the very Throne of Yah, but chose to become the instigator of sin:
Ezekiel 27:2-3-28:12-15 "Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus; And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith Yahweh God; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty...  
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith Yahweh God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.  
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
In Ezekiel 28:19, the eternal end of Satan is also foretold:
Ezekiel 28:17-19 "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
This is why Scripture tells us that the enemy of souls is very motivated to do all that he can to destroy without delay. He knows that his judgment day is coming - and that his time to destroy and deceive is short.
Revelation 12:12 "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."   
Amid excavations at four different ancient sites in the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat at the Büyük Taşlık village in Turkey there laid a cuneiform tablet unearthed after laying there for 4000 years (2,000 B.C.). 

The cuneiform tablet in the Sorgun district of Yozgat shows symbols of Ishtar, known as the Hittite goddess of love, war, fertility and sexuality. Ishtar or “the queen of harlots” goddess was found mentioned more clearly in this cuneiform than those on any other unearthed tablets.

By linking Ishtar to other archaeological relics, also written in the same cuneiform is the Epic of Atrahasis (dating to the same period of 1700-1800 B.C.), we find that this ancient deity known as Ishtar was the female version of the snake-beast-god, known as Ishtaran. Archaeologists also discovered that Ishtaran is just another name for “Allah” who is literally mentioned in the epic by name and had a dual male and female nature, in ancient, pagan writings.

The Epic of Atrahasis is the Mesopotamian account of the Great Flood, which was a corruption of the Biblical account in Genesis where Satan rebelled against Yahweh. The amazing epic translated by archeologists who did not cover up the name “Allah” at the beginning of the epic all of the gods are laboring in slavery for the head deity, Enlil. One rebellious deity, named “Allah”, then revolted against Enlil. But Enlil crushed the rebellion and defeated Allah in Sumerian mythology.

Allah, Allat… these were different names to the same deity, who in the Epic is referred to as Ishtaran. Significantly, according to archaeology, Ishtaran is referred to as “the beast". It's symbol is represented on kudurrus, is a serpent. Biblically, the Genesis “serpent” is also known as the dragon in Revelation 12:9. Thus, we find that in the ancient Mesopotamian records of Ishtaran, the evidence to connect the pre-Islamic serpent of Ishtaran with the moon god, Allah - and to Lucifer himself.

The Islamic religion claims “Allah” as their principle deity. As Lew White, in Fossilized Customs, states plainly,  “Allah was a pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god…  and the stars were his daughters.”

In Old Testament times, Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.E.), the last king of Babylon, built Tayma, Arabia as a center of Moon-god worship. (Nabonidus is pictured on the Babylonian carving. Notice the crescent moon shape on his staff and in front of him) …South Arabia's stellar religion has always been dominated by the moon-god in various variations.

 Many scholars have also noticed that the moon-god's name "Sin" is a part of such Arabic words as "Sinai," the "wilderness of Sin." When the popularity of the moon-god waned elsewhere, the Arabs remained true to their conviction that the Moon-god was the greatest of all gods. While they anciently worshiped 360 gods at the Kabah in Mecca, the moon-god was the chief deity. Mecca was in fact built as a shrine for the moon-god.

Moon worship spread throughout the ancient region of Mesopotamia. Depending on where this false god was honored, there were a variety of names for him. The moon-god was also called: Nanna, Suen and Asimbabbar

“The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Akkadians took the word Suen and transformed it into the word Sin as their favorite name for the Moon-god. "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites." (Lew White, Fossilized Customs)

But, where ever he was worshiped throughout the pre-Islamic world, his symbol never changed. Always the moon-god was represented by the crescent moon. Today, awareness has been lost of the connection between Allah and the ancient moon-serpent-god of ancient Mesopotamia. Well-known and much-trusted Christian leaders, proclaim that Islam and Christians worship the same god.

But what does all this have to do with the end-time Ezekiel prophecies about Tyre? We're getting there... 

After Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC, the city alternated between Seleucid (Syrian Greek) and Ptolemaic (Egyptian Greek) rule. Tyre was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century. The Crusaders conquered Tyre, which acted as the capital until this kingdom's fall in 1291. Tyre became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire was an empire founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia. After conquests in the Balkans by Murad I between 1362 and 1389, the Ottoman sultanate was transformed into a transcontinental empire and claimant to the caliphate. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

As Wikipedia reports, the Hebrew Bible makes several references to Tyre, mentioning that King Hiram I was a contemporary of David and Solomon in 2 Samuel 5:11, 1 Kings 5:1, and 1 Chronicles 14:1. Tyre is mentioned in Isaiah 23, Jeremiah 25:22 and 47:4, Ezekiel 26-28, Joel 3:4-8, Amos 1:9-10, and Zechariah 9:3-4. In each of these prophecies, the total destruction of Tyre is foretold - which is yet future.

Tyre was indeed attacked by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar who left the mainland city in ruins, and later by Alexander the Great, who destroyed the island city. Alexander constructed a half-mile-long causeway from the mainland to the island, using the wood and stones from the ruins of old Tyre. That, too, was foretold by Ezekiel 26:4, 12. In Ezekiel 26:17, the lament for Tyre recognizes it as a city of renown.

Tyre is also mentioned in the New Testament in Matthew 11:21-22 and 15:21, Mark 3:8 and 7:24, 31, Luke 6:17 and 10:13-14, and Acts 12:20 and 21:3,7.

The Bible's prophecy in Ezekiel 26:21, has not yet been fulfilled - for the city of Tyre still remains today. Tyre is located in the southern tip of Lebanon (see below).

Ezekiel 26:21 - "I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Yahweh."

Isaiah 23:15-17 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that Yahweh will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.” 
Tyre was significant in that it once was at the heart of the Ottoman empire. Thus, the Bible prophecies of Tyre are deeply tied with this empired. History tells us that Ottoman empire began to collapse at the end of WWI with the armistice of October 31, 1918. But it didn’t fully fall until 1920. On 23 April 1920 the nationalists convened a Grand National Assembly in Ankara, deep in central Anatolia. They elected Mustafa Kemal as its first president, effectively establishing an alternative government.

So if the Ottoman empire fell in 1920, when did it begin rising again? The first act which marked the resurrection of the fallen Ottoman empire was the invasion of Kuwait, which took place in 1990.

Robert E. Kaplan has written an incredibly salient and dead-on-target article about the coming resurrection of the Ottoman Empire, as well as America’s complicity in it. An interesting starting point for when Kaplan says this movement started in the United States was smack dab in the middle of the Bill Clinton administration.
Via Gatestone Institute:

“Since the 1990s the United States has intervened militarily in several internal armed conflicts in Europe and the Middle East: bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of Izetbegovic’s Moslem Regime in Bosnia in 1995, bombing Serbs and Serbia in support of KLA Moslems of Kosovo in 1999, bombing Libya’s Gaddafi regime in support of rebels in 2010. Each intervention was justified to Americans as motivated by humanitarian concerns: to protect Bosnian Moslems from genocidal Serbs, to protect Kosovo Moslems from genocidal Serbs, and to protect Libyans from their murderous dictator Muammar Gaddafi…

Each of these United States military interventions occurred in an area that had been part of the Ottoman Empire. In each, a secular regime was ultimately replaced by an Islamist one favoring sharia law and the creation of a world-wide Caliphate. The countries (could not have) experienced the “Arab Spring” of the 2010s without the help of American military intervention, Tunisia and Egypt, had also been part of the Ottoman Empire, and also ended up with Islamist regimes.”

So the Ottamans and the Germans were in league with each other during WWI and the early successors to the Ottomans – the Muslim Brotherhood – was allied with Hitler in WWII.
Beginning with the Clinton administration, it seems that the U.S. has been following a similar pattern.

Incidentally, Turkey’s Islamist Imam, Fethullah Gulen, fled Turkey for the U.S. in 1998 – during the Clinton administration. In 2000, he was indicted by the pre-Islamist Turkish Government for promoting insurrection and convicted in absentia. Gulen was then acquitted in Turkey in 2008 – after the Islamist regime, led by Erdogan, came to power. Later that year, a U.S. judge ruled Gulen could remain in the U.S.

Gulen still resides in the U.S. and his charter schools in this country number in the hundreds.

In essence, the Clinton administration got the ball rolling when it comes to America’s involvement in resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, the Bush administration ultimately furthered the effort by not confronting the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., and the Obama administration  kicked the entire thing into overdrive.

"Just as the Balkan conflicts of the 1990's and the “Arab Spring” of the 2010's considered in historical perspective suggests that Turkey might be attempting to recreate its former empire, consideration of the Turkish Empire in historical perspective suggests the possible partnership of Germany with Turkey in the project given that, from its creation in 1870, Germany viewed Turkey with its empire as a most valuable client and ally. In the view of the leaders of Germany, Turkey was controllable through a combination of economic intercourse, gifts of educational opportunities, provision of technical expertise and administrative aid, as well as bribes to Turkish officials. Germany saw influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Muslims worldwide for its own interests. Thus as the German scholar Wolfgang Schwanitz has shown, during World War I Germany employed the Turkish Caliphate to promote jihad – riot and rebellion – in areas where Moslem populations were ruled by its enemies Russia, France, Britain and Serbia." (Walid Shoebat, The Case for Islamophobia: Jihad by the Word; America’s Final Warning)
In the future Lebanon will be involved with other Arab nations in a push to destroy Israel. Read Psalm 83:4,6-8–The prophecy reads, in part, 

“Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more…The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot” 

Lebanon (Gebal) and Tyre play a prominent role in Psalm 83. Why is Lebanon important (the country of Tyre)? It is the home of the terrorist regime Hezbollah. 

"Like in the 16th century, which saw the rise of the Ottoman Balkans as the center of world politics, we will make the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East, together with Turkey, the center of world politics in the future. This is the objective of Turkish foreign policy, and we will achieve this. We will reintegrate the Balkan region, the Middle East and the Caucasus, based on the principle of regional and global peace, for the future, not only for all of us but for all of humanity."
- Foreign Minster Ahmet Davutoglu

Having identified the king of Tyre (which is the devil himself), we must now turn our attention to the Ezekiel prophecy about its prince. The prince of Tyre (who is an underling of Tyre's king, but a ruler nonetheless) is the infamous final beast of Bible prophecy.

Ezekiel 28:2 “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Yahweh GOD; Because your heart is lifted up, and you hast said, I Am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you art a man, and not God, though thou set your heart as the heart of God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."   
Noting these Bible prophecies about Tyre, many students of Bible prophecy (such as Joel Richardson and others) have come to believe that the final beast power will be Muslim, of the New Ottoman Empire. 

Now, I know, having grown up in the SDA Church, the idea that the beast might be anyone other than the papal power sounds like heresy. But wait!...  There is a woman who rides the beast - which is most definitely the papal power...  So if the papal power is the entity represented by the woman who
rides the beast, why would it also be the beast? Two entities, who are on the same team are shown here. But the woman is not the beast...  and the beast is not the dragon...  The dragon gives power, seat and authority to the beast...  They are three separate entities, which are on the same side. 

False Messiah (this person, who will be a king from a land with a small army (future Lebanon) will eventually have great authority and power that Satan, the Dragon (Rev.12:9) gives him, along with the three empires mentioned and their interests and ideologies (communism/socialism/social democracy) are represented by him, and he will have a seat (place or kingdom  i.e. city and country, that he exercises that power from) which will be Jerusalem, Israel. The beast, will come from Tyre, Lebanon as a result of  the new Ottoman Empire (Turkey, Syria, Lebanon ) whose Prime Minister wants a New World Order will form out of World War III that is fast approaching!  And he will sit in Solomon's rebuilt Temple (also known as the temple of Ezekiel)!

I Kings 10:14  "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents." 666

Rev. 13:18   "Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man (Solomon) and his number is six hundred threescore and six.

Another argument to substantiate the Assyrian connection of the Antichrist is based on a passage in Revelation 17:9-11 where there is a reference to seven empires. Five are referred to as "fallen" (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece). The sixth is "the one that is" — namely, the one that existed at that time (Rome). The seventh is called the one that "has not yet come" (the empire that will give birth to the Antichrist). Revelation 13:1-3 also refers to these seven empires and states that the Antichrist will arise out of the one that comes back to life in the end times.

All of these ancient kingdoms continued to exist to one degree or another except the Assyrian.  It was the only one that totally ceased to exist and therefore, it is the one that will be resurrected from the dead in the end times. Daniel 7:12 where Daniel is told that "an extension of life" for "an appointed time" had been granted to the beasts that were symbolic of world empires.

Daniel 7:12  "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time."

For many years, the connection of the beast with Tyre has lain dormant - unknown. But the king of Tyre is plainly the devil. And the prince, mentioned in Ezekiel 28, is non other than the beast of Revelation, which Micah also foretold would be of Assyrian descent:

Micah 5:5 - “And this man (the true Messiah) shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.”