A winepress, and an ark
‘God is readying His winepress.’
As clear as a bell, the words dropped into my spirit as I heard the news that the P5+1 had concluded their Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPAI).
It is certain that the USA, Germany, France, China, Russia and the European Union, and all the nations that support this agreement – are going to pay.
They already are.
As He returns the Jews to their homeland, God is gently prising this nation’s pain-twisted fingers from the cup of suffering she has been drinking from for so long.
He is taking it from her and beginning to press it into the hands of those who have afflicted and are afflicting her; those who are playing Russian roulette with the security and lives of the barely-survived remnant* of the Jewish people.
The contents that are left in this cup will be force-fed to these nations; they will drink of God’s fury to its bitterest dregs:
Therefore please hear this, you afflicted, and drunk but not with wine. Thus says your Lord, the Lord and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it.
But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to you, ‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, and as the street, for those who walk over.” (Isaiah 51:21-23)
These last words should chill the spines of the P5+1 and their allies. By facilitating an agreement that leaves even the faintest possibility that Iran – whose leaders daily declare “death to Israel” – will develop nuclear weapons, these nations show their readiness to throw Israel under the bus.
That the anti-Semitic and Islamic regime in Tehran is determined to acquire such weapons is clear. Some believe they already have them.
If it comes to choosing between Barack Obama’s repeated assertion that the JCPAI will prevent that country from becoming nuclear weaponised, and will preclude a war, or Benjamin Netanyahu’s rock solid conviction that it will ensure Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and will guarantee a war – there is in my mind no question about who to believe.
It may well be that, in fulfillment of the prophecy of an increasingly incensed Obama, Israel will be left a lone voice against the agreement.
It may well be that – for all the outrage at the Democrats filibustering to stymie a vote, for all the rumours of a Congressional charge of presidential wrong doing, for all the rhetoric flying around on the steps of the Capitol, and for all of the purported public opposition to the deal – in the end nothing of any substance will happen to prevent the agreement being rendered a fait accompli on October 8.
Indeed – and I don’t say this lightly – it is increasingly apparent that – for all of their expressions of horror at what happened to the Jews in Nazi Europe and for all the decades-long pledges that such a thing will never be allowed to happen again – within the lifetime of some who survived, today’s world leaders are ready to not only gamble with the future survival of the nation of Israel but even in some instances to tolerate its destruction.
In this solemn light, US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s intimation, that by enabling Iran to go nuclear with this agreement Obama is leading Israel’s Jews to the doors of the oven, is not far fetched at all.
Neither, for that matter, is the apparently unrelated and possibly misreported recent statement by just-ousted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paralleling ISIS with the SS, the jihadists with the Nazis.
Most Jews frown on comparisons being made with the Holocaust, and understandably so. Insofar as it was a near-successful scheme to rid the world of the Jewish people – a state-driven institution of anti-Semitic genocide – it was and it remains unique.
At the same time, what is indisputable – in the light of both Scriptural evidence and the history of the last 4000 years – is this: the spirit behind the endless efforts to annihilate this nation is one and the same.
In this way, there is no variance between Pharaoh and Amalek, between the Romans and the Crusaders, and between the Nazis and Iran and ISIS and the PLO.
All have this in common: they want the world’s Jews dead and gone.
In the light of the whole of gentile history towards the nation of Israel, today’s perfidy by the world powers is plainly and wretchedly par for the course.
Led by an American administration wielding deception and abusing power, these nations are facilitating Iran’s development of weapons of mass destruction in the sure knowledge that Israel, and not they, will be first in the line of fire.
Even as they go this route, the LORD God of Israel speaks reassuringly to the perpetually-persecuted nation He calls His own:
While darkness and deepening distress have begun to fall on the gentile nations, the light of His countenance and blessing is rising over the land and the people of Zion. (See Isaiah 60:1-2)
Israel is being taken out of trouble and brought back to her land to enjoy prosperity and security, while the curses she has experienced are poured out upon all those who hated and persecuted her. (See Deuteronomy 30:3-9)
His people are being restored to the land and the land is being restored to the people through mighty deeds done by the Lord, to reveal Himself to Israel and the nations. (See Isaiah 11:11-12:6; Ezekiel 39:27-29; Zephaniah 3:20)
The land of Israel is to be an ark, a place of safety for the people of Israel, shelter under the wings of the God of Israel. (See Jeremiah 23:6; 32:37; Ezekiel 28:25-26; 34:28)
As for the nations – they are headed for the winepress of His wrath.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on nationwide television in the United States two years ago, warned the people of the world’s most powerful nation that Iran is not intent on producing one nuclear bomb. “They want to manufacture 200 nuclear weapons,” he said.
Nor were the mullahs developing the world’s most sophisticated ICBMs for use against Israel; Iran already has her in range.
No, ‘Bibi’ warned, these weapons and these delivery systems are intended for use against the United States.
Pondering recent global developments as I write – the Iranian agreement that has seen the USA give in to Iran on every one of its redlines, the harrowing scenes of hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees flooding into Europe – the thought comes to me:
“As the nations have done to Israel…” (Jeremiah 30:16, Obadiah 15)
For decades the world has been pressuring Israel relentlessly to capitulate to its nemesis – the PLO. Consider this – now the US administration and its international allies are capitulating to Iran on every side. Every single red line that had been drawn up as part of the pre-Iran deal conditions, the P5+1 have crossed.
For decades the international community has sought to draw moral equivalence between democratic, life-loving Israel and terrorist, life-destroying PLO; between the IDF whose battle doctrine embraces purity of arms, and the Hamas that uses its own civilian women and children as human shields.
Now consider the parallel that where the US has capitulated on spot inspections of Iranian nuclear installations, using the fatuous argument that the United States would never agree to random inspections of US military sites by Iran, it has absurdly drawn a moral equivalence between the Iranian & US governments.
For decades the world has allowed the PLO to insist on the ‘right of return’ of its ‘refugees.’ Now watch as the nations are being flooded with Muslim refugees. These ‘refugees’ are already beginning to cause enormous economic strain, social pressures and immediate and personal danger to women and girls in local populations and refugee centres. Add terrorist attacks into the mix, and we can start to actually see how these western nations could be in for a terrible time.
In his ‘End of Day’ newsletter this week, one time US presidential candidate Gary Bauer cites information passed on to British Prime Minister David Cameron during a recent visit the latter made to Lebanon: two out of every 100 Syrian ‘refugees’ are ISIS terrorists being sent undercover to attack the West.
“Let’s do the math,” says Bauer. “Cameron is willing to bring 20,000 refugees into England. If two out of every 100 are ISIS fighters, that’s 20 out of 1,000, 200 out of 10,000. So the prime minister, undoubtedly acting out of the goodness of his heart, could be importing 400 ISIS fighters into Great Britain.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced recently that her country would take 800,000 refugees. [T]hat means as many as 16,000 ISIS fighters could be coming into Germany.
“That may be the tip of the iceberg. A recent survey found that more than one-fifth of Syrians support ISIS.
“Something serious is happening.”
Bauer notes that in the past few days, “Germany abruptly reversed course, reimposing border controls. According to CNN, the German interior minister declared that the border controls were ‘urgently necessary for security reasons.’
“One German official said yesterday, ‘At least a quarter of those refugees allegedly coming from Syria are not from Syria, but from other Arab or African countries.’
“In addition, German authorities do know that radical Islamists already there are trying to recruit jihadists from the newly arrived refugees. Remember, we reported a few days ago that more than 70% of the refugees are men — not women and children.” (End of Day, September 16, 2015)
It certainly looks as if we are bearing witness to the work of a God Who does what He says He will do, Who is watching over His Word to perform it. As a fair and just God, so His responses are fair and just. And they are exacted with mercy in mind as they afford an opportunity for repentance.
It very much appears as though, as the nations have done and are doing to Israel, it is being done to them.
For at least a quarter of a century, the international community has sought to press Israel into a crushing surrender that, but for God, could have already meant their oblivion.
And so God, watching all this, is preparing to crush the nations in turn.
The weapons being formed against Israel – a State of Palestine established on Jewish soil that includes the ‘right of return’ and the surrender to the PLO of half of Jerusalem the capital, including the Temple Mount; a nuclear Iran embodying the spirit that has driven anti-Semitism since the beginning of the history of the Jews – these weapons the nations are pressing Israel so hard to accept may well be materializing as the very weapons God in turn uses to judge the nations.
If so, then the gentiles are fashioning the means of their own downfall.
They are headed into that winepress – and it is of their own making.
Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—
“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.
I looked, but there was no one to help,
And I wondered
That there was no one to uphold;
Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me;
And My own fury, it sustained Me.
I have trodden down the peoples in My anger,
Made them drunk in My fury,
And brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land. …
“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, go down;
For the winepress is full,
The vats overflow—
For their wickedness is great.”
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will grow dark,
And the stars will diminish their brightness.
The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:1-2, 12-16)
And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. (The Revelation 14:18-20)
* After 2000 years of history there are barely 13 million Jews in the world today. Hatred and persecution over the centuries wiped them out in droves. Had they been left to prosper in their own land down the ages, Israel would boast one the largest populations in the world today. All that’s left, however, is a remnant.
See also the September 19 blog entry ‘A line in the sand.’