Report From The Tower
I had spent a couple of hours doing some study regarding dreams, visions and God’s methods of warning His people. Then, I proceeded to prepare for sleep. I was in the bathroom, shaving my face with the razor when the Lord spoke to me.
He recalled the scripture from Luke 21:20 to my mind:
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.”
As I pondered on this, the Lord spoke to me: “If you had been there, and had waited until you saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies with your eyes, there would have been no escape, for the Romans did not let anybody escape from Jerusalem. You had to see this earlier, in a dream…in a night vision”.
I proceeded to look up the underlying Greek word for “see”: Strongs #1492-eido-to know, be aware, behold, look on, perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot. So, certainly, the rhema that had just entered my spirit could certainly be true, and it made a great deal of sense to me.
A siege, as I had studied Roman methods, involved a complete encircling of the city. This seemed to render escape as impossible once the circle around the city had been closed. Yet, Jesus told all who would hear that when they saw this encompassing of armies, then they must flee.
Further study on the issue yielded this from “The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia”: “The siege commenced on the 14th of Nisan (Passover week), and ended on the 8th day of Elul, a total of 134 days.” It is estimated that between 600,000 to 1.1 million people were slaughtered in Jerusalem during that time.
If you can picture this in your mind, you can see that on Nisan 14, the eve of Pesach, or passover, hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the known world had just arrived in Jerusalem. Every house was bulging: full with relatives, friends and acquaintances who had all come to share passover in Jerusalem. Suddenly, the Roman Legion came and tightened the noose around Jerusalem, and no one escaped. No one, that is, except the Christians. The early church tradition is that not one single Christian died in the siege of Jerusalem.
From “A History Of The Jews”, by Solomon Grayzell: p 170-“From the beginning of the siege Titus would not permit the civil population to leave the city, lest that relieve the pressure of hunger within. Such people would be crucified within sight of the defenders.”
1way2God.net reports in an article about “The Time Of Jesus and The Apostles”. The Holy City was destroyed, as was any mutual association between the Jews and the Christians, for the leaders of the Jerusalem Church had been warned in a vision to flee the city earlier and this flight guaranteed the break between the Jewish Church and the Christian one.”
There is a church tradition concerning this warning to flee. Latter-rain.com comments on this, and on the writings of historians Eusebius and Josephus. The tradition is that after the warning by vision to “approved men” in the church, the church fled to Pella, which was a city of the Decapolis (near Damascus). Eusebius records that “they left Jerusalem in response to a divine revelation, and the report doubtless represents their own belief. When Jerusalem was surrounded, the Christians were to think of their safety, and seize the first opportunity for flight. Jesus has warned them to flee into the mountains. Josephus tells us that all who believed Christ left Jerusalem in this hurry, and went to Pella and other places beyond the Jordan.”
It is interesting that Jesus had told the inhabitants to flee to the mountains, while Pella, a Greek City of the Decapolis, lay below sea level on the east side of the Jordan valley. Eusebius records that the word and vision; the oracle that was given before the war, telling them to depart, instructed them to head for Pella. This would seem to imply that the residents of Judaea await some later compassing of armies around Jerusalem, and that they will, at that time, flee to the mountains to fulfill the scripture in the fullest of detail.
So, it is quite clear to me that seeing with one’s eyes was insufficient to deliver one from the Roman siege. You had to see it, in a dream, or in a night vision, or in a vision, before the event occurred. You had to perceive the nearness of it's occurence. You then had to act by faith, ahead of seeing the event with your eyes. Such is the traditional history that surrounds the event. It seems that whatever the actual facts are surrounding the departure, the Jerusalem Christians left because they received revelation from the Lord to do so.
There were other signs given by God. The Jewish historian Josephus records some remarkable events that took place in the four years before the siege. These are found in “The Wars Of The Jews”, Book 6, Chapter 5, part 3. God was trying to communicate with everyone, but not very many people were listening. Josephus writes and recounts seven signs and warnings that:
1) “Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.”
2) “When the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Nisan, and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone around the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour.”
3) “At the same festival also, a heaifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.”
4) “The eastern gate of the inner court, a court of the temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night.”
5) “A few days after the feast, on the 21st day of Iyar, a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals, for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.”
6) “Moreover at that feast, which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, Let Us Remove Hence.”
7) “But what is still more terrible. There was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden cry aloud, A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people. This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city.”
It seems that once again, God is trying to communicate in various ways with his people. Those of us who live on the East and South Coasts of the USA, who pay heed to prophecy, have been warned of a tidal wave to come that will be caused by 3 Asteroids. We wait for some future revelation to flee, while most everyone around us blissfully continues along, haplessly ignoring the signs. Some of the warnings we have received rival those seven Jerusalem warnings that were recounted above. Just how much clearer does God have to be?
We have seen Columbia break up and burn over Palestine, Texas.
We have our prophets, receiving visions and dreams, and, for the most part, being ignored by the Church. We have young Christians, receiving dreams of the three Asteroids and the flooding, and invasions of the USA by armies.
We have just had a large comet pass extremely close to the Sun, and the Sun shot a huge flare out to meet it.
Our weather patterns are quite unusual.
Our land is suffering increasing drought.
We are involved in one dangerous war, while war with other parties threatens to break out at any time.
Our people are feeling the effects of escalating terror warnings and deteriorating freedoms.
It is quite clear to me that we are out of time. Repentance is the only thing that will save us, and the likely time for that to occur has passed. We wait now for what our dreams and visions portend. We need to live holy lives, watching and waiting attentively for our Lord to direct our steps, for our future steps will be perilous indeed.
I reflect now that this meeting with the Lord began while I was shaving my face. As I ponder that, Isaiah 18 is in view for me. It is personal. I am convinced that Isaiah was hearing a warning from the Lord for the American people. Isaiah saw a people scattered and peeled. Most likely, that means clean shaven. Many of Isaiah’s words are just about ripe and ready. We will see them soon in the land of the clean shaven; a land the rivers divide.
Stephen L. Bening
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