The Chrysalis Conjecture By George E. Schwalm In this commentary we will take a look…
A Man of War: The Lord is His Name – Part 3
By Randy Nettles
The Wars of the Kings of Judah
Asa was the third king of the kingdom of Judah. Once, the Ethiopian army of a million men and 300 chariots came against Judah. “So, Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” (2 Chronicles 14:10-11). God heard Asa’s prayer and responded.
“So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the Lord and His army. And they carried away very much spoil. Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them. They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem“ (2 Chronicles 14:12-15). This miraculous defeat of the Ethiopians was the work of the “Man of war,” known as the Angel of the Lord.
Asa was wise in that he did not depend on his military might and his army but instead depended on the Lord. Many true believers of Yahweh defected from Israel to Judah when they realized that God was with Asa. Because of Asa’s righteousness and mentoring of the people, God allowed Judah to be at peace for many decades. They even celebrated the feast of Pentecost (in the third month, in the 15th year of Asa’s rule), which hadn’t been done in a long time. They sacrificed 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep (seven being a perfect and complete number of God). They even entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their hearts and with all their souls. “They sought Him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about“ (2 Chronicles 15:12,15).
Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, faced a similar problem when the nations of Moab, Ammon, and others were marching toward Jerusalem. “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask the help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord“ (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, and spoke to the Lord, asking for his help. 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 is one of the greatest prayers recorded in the Old Testament. It was so righteous and aligned with God’s will, that God answered it right away.
After this petition to the Lord, Jahaziel, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came forward with the mighty Spirit of the Lord upon him and said, “Hearken you, all Judah and Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat, Thus says the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand you still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you“ (2 Chronicles 20:15-17). These words of Jahaziel from the Lord are some of the same words that were used by Moses during the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. Moses said, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever“ (Exodus 14:13).
Jehovah/Yahweh used one of his favorite methods to destroy the enemies of Judah. He got the different armies to fight against one another, just like He did earlier with Gideon’s enemies. It must have been sheer madness and carnage. He will also accomplish this same war tactic in the near future with Gog and his allies during the Gog/Magog war mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39. “And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped” (2 Chronicles 20:24). Just as Jahaziel had prophesied, the Lord, in the Person of the Angel of the Lord, had defeated the invading enemy armies all by Himself.
“Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around“ (2 Chronicles 20:25-30).
“Interestingly, Jahaziel, a Levite who prophesied Judah’s victory in that battle was a descendant of Asaph, who wrote Psalm 83 (a prayer to frustrate a conspiracy against Israel). But the Battle of 2 Chronicles 20 doesn’t fully meet the requirements of Psalm 83, having many fewer antagonists, so on that basis, we’ll assume its fulfillment is still in the future, perhaps the very near future. If so, it could be the bridge between the current state of affairs in Israel and the conditions necessary for the Battle of Ezekiel 38 to happen.” (1)
Asaph ended his prayer with the following: “Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth” (Psalm 83:9-18).
During the latter years of King Ahab’s rule in Israel, he invited King Jehoshaphat of Judah to visit and discuss the possibility of the two teaming up to fight against the Syrians. All of the (false) prophets of Israel, including Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, told their king what he wanted them to say, which was to attack Ramoth Gilead and the Lord (the false god Baal) would deliver it into the hand of the king. Jehoshaphat asked if there were still any prophets of the (true) Lord still in the land of Israel. Ahab said there was still one man, Micaiah, but he didn’t prophesy good concerning him, only evil. When king Ahab called for Micaiah to prophesy before them, this is what he said:
“Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you” (1 Kings 22:19-23).
“Upon hearing these words from the Lord, Zedekiah struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, ‘Which way did the spirit from the Lord go from me to speak to you?’ And Micaiah said, ‘Indeed, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide!’ For speaking the truth, Ahab had Micaiah put in prison” (1 Kings 22:24-25). It is believed the fulfillment of this prophecy is found in 2 Kings 10:25.
As Micaiah prophesied, the Israelites were defeated at Ramoth Gilead, and King Ahab was struck with an arrow and his blood spilled into the floor of his chariot. He died in battle and his body and chariot were brought back to Samaria. “Then someone washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood while the harlots bathed, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken” (1 Kings 22:38). This prophecy of Ahab’s death was given by Elijah after the king had killed Naboth and confiscated his vineyard, and is found in 1 Kings 21:19.
“Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; for he served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done” (1 Kings 22:51-53).
One incident Ahaziah did that really provoked the LORD God to anger is recorded in 2 Kings 1. Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and was wounded. He told his servants to go and inquire of Baalzebub (Beelzebub), the god of Ekron (in the land of the Philistines), whether he would recover from his injury and infection. “But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that you go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now, therefore, says the Lord, You shall not come down from that bed on which you are on, but you shall surely die.’ And Elijah departed” (2 Kings 1:3).
Elijah sends Fire from Heaven
When Ahaziah heard it was Elijah, the prophet of the Lord (Yahweh), that had given this message, he sent troops to bring him back to Samaria. He sent a captain of his army with fifty of his soldiers to arrest Elijah. When they found him sitting on top of a hill, the captain yelled at him from below and said, ‘You man of God, the king has said to come down.’ “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kings 1:10). Ahaziah then sent a second captain with his fifty and the exact same scenario occurred, with fire coming down from heaven and consuming all 51 of them. Well, you know what they say, the third time is a charm.
The third captain of fifty was sent and he was a little smarter than his two predecessors. “And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, ‘O man of God, I pray you, let my life, and the life of these fifty servants, be precious in your sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.’” (2 Kings 1:13-14). The Angel of the Lord told Elijah to go down with him and not to be afraid of him, so Elijah did so. (2 Kings 1:15).
Elijah told King Ahaziah, “Thus saith the Lord, For as much as you have sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore you shall not come down off that bed you are on, but you shall surely die. So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram, his younger brother, reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son” (2 Kings 1:16-17).
There were nine incidences in which God sent fire down from heaven in the Old Testament. 9 is the number for judgment in the Bible. 1) When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19:24. 2) To kill Nadab and Abihu – Leviticus 10:1-2. 3) When the Israelites complained – Numbers 11:1-3. 4) When 250 men were killed for rebelling against the God-given authority of Moses and Aaron – Numbers 16:35. 5) Consumed the sacrifice made by Elijah on Mount Carmel – 1 Kings 18:38. 6) Elijah called fire down on the captain and his fifty – 2 Kings 1:10. 7) Elijah called fire down on the second captain and his fifty – 2 Kings 1:11-12. 8) On the altar David made at the threshing floor of Ornan – 1 Chronicles 21:26. 9) Consumed the sacrifice on the altar when Solomon dedicated the Temple – 2 Chronicles 7:1.
A tenth occurrence is recorded in the New Testament when Satan is released from the bottomless pit after the 1000-year reign of Christ. He will lead a rebellion against the Lord’s people and Jerusalem and gather the nations to battle, “whose number is as the sand of the seas. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them” (Revelation 20:8-9).
Elijah was taken into heaven by a whirlwind shortly after Jehoram became king of Judah. Elijah and his protegee, Elisha were traveling from Gilgal to Bethel, and then they continued on to Jericho. The “schools of the prophets” were located in these three locations. Those who attended these schools were trained to be spokesmen for God. They were gatherings of disciples around certain leaders or prophets. Elijah and Elisha traveled from Jericho to the Jordan River, a distance of about seven miles, and crossed the river at this point. This was approximately the same location that the children of Israel passed over when they first entered the Promised Land approximately 554 years earlier. Joshua and the people of Israel crossed over the Jordan River and encamped at Gilgal, which is a few miles east of Jericho, on the 10th day of Nisan.
This could very well have been the same location where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that in the very location where the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, and God raptured Elijah into heaven, Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism and start of his ministry? The promises and blessings of God are truly amazing!
Fifty men of the sons of the prophets from Jericho stood at a distance to witness the supernatural “taken away” of Elijah. Elijah took his mantle and smote the waters of the Jordan and they were divided, and the two went over on dry ground. Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away. Elisha asked Elijah if he could have a double portion of Elijah’s spirit upon him. Elijah told him “If you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so unto you; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces” (2 Kings 2:10). Elijah was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, not a chariot of fire. The chariot and horses of fire only parted the two asunder. They were as divided as the waters of the Jordan had been earlier.
Elisha took the mantle that fell off Elijah when he was raptured and stood by the bank of the Jordan. He then smote the waters as Elijah had, and the waters parted, and he went over to the other side. The sons of the prophets acknowledged that Elisha had the spirit of Elijah and it now rested upon him. They came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him. The sons of the prophets thought maybe Elijah had just been carried away to a mountaintop or valley, so they decided to look for him. For three days they looked, but of course, they did not find him. It’s interesting that Elisha’s first miracle of his ministry after the Jordan River rapture incident involved water, as mentioned in 2 Kings 2:19-22. Jesus’ first miracle after his baptism in the Jordan River involved water also when he turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana.
A Righteous King and Prophet
After the evil King Ahaz died, his son, Hezekiah, became king of Judah in approximately 715 BC. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not” (2 Kings 18:3-7).
In the sixth year of Hezekiah, Shalmaneser V, king of Assyria, conquered Samaria and carried away Israel unto Assyria. “Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them” (2 Kings 18:12).
After Assyria had defeated and carried away the kingdom of Israel, they fixed their eyes on the southern kingdom of Judah. In 701 BC, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fenced cities of Judah and took them. Hezekiah had to pay tribute to them in the form of silver and gold to keep them at bay. This only worked for a little while until Sennacherib came again to destroy Judah for good this time. The Assyrians laid siege to Jerusalem and commanded the people there to surrender. They also blasphemed the God of Israel. Being a godly and righteous king, the first thing Hezekiah did was pray to the Lord for deliverance from the superior forces of Assyria. This prayer is recorded in 2 Kings 19:15-19.
Hezekiah sent for the prophet Isaiah, who had been working for the Lord since King Uzziah was on the throne. Isaiah told the king to not be afraid of Sennacherib’s words for the Lord had spoken to him concerning the king of Assyria, “He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it [build a siege ramp]. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, says the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake” (2 Kings 19:32-34).
The Man of War is Back
This was a short-lived prophecy by Isaiah, as that night “the Angel of the Lord went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh” (2 Kings 19:35-36). Now it came to pass, as he (Sennacherib) was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (Isaiah 37:38). The Man of war, known as the Angel of the Lord, had killed 185 times more of the enemy than Samson when he killed 1000 Philistines. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Here are a few descriptions of this mighty Man of war by some of the Lord’s prophets.
The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man;
He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.
He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
He shall prevail against His enemies. (Isaiah 42:13).
God is jealous, and the Lord avenges;
The Lord avenges and is furious.
The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked. (Nahum 1:2-3)
The Death Throes of Judah
After King Hezekiah died, there were seven kings who ruled in Judah before the Babylonian army under King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the southern kingdom and carried them away into captivity. Out of these seven kings, there was only one good king of Judah and that was Hezekiah’s great-grandson, Josiah. “Josiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2).
After King Josiah died in 609 BC, the people, priests, and kings of Judah sinned greatly against the Lord and would not listen to the word of God. “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 36:34). The Lord God sent many messengers and prophets to warn them of the judgment to come because he had compassion on his people, and on Jerusalem: “but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, until there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16).
In the 5th month (Av), on the 7th day of the month, in the year 586 BC, which is the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard of Babylon, to Jerusalem. He burnt the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem from the 7th day until the 10th day. The actual destruction of the Temple began on the 9th day of Av and continued until the 10th day. This day is now remembered as the fast (or curse) of Tisha B’Av. So Judah was carried away out of their land for the fullness of their sins against the Lord. Judah suffered the same judgment and fate as Israel had 136 years earlier.
The Visions of Zechariah and the Angel of the Lord
The Angel of the Lord is not mentioned again until the Book of Zechariah. Zechariah was an outstanding postexilic prophet and was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo, a priest. He was born in Babylon during the time of the Babylonian captivity. He was both a prophet and a priest. He was a contemporary of Haggai the prophet, Zerubbabel the governor, and Joshua the high priest.
Zechariah received his first prophetic message in 519 BC, which was directed toward the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem under Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the temple. The original work on the temple had begun in 536 BC, however, they stopped construction due to opposition from neighboring nations. The work did not resume until God used Haggai and Zechariah to influence the people to begin construction anew in 520 BC. Zechariah’s primary message was for the Jews to return to God so that He would return to them. He exhorted them to renew their covenant with God. Zechariah’s prophecies were filled with apocalyptic visions that include the declaration of the coming Day of the Lord as a time when God would remove all idols and false prophets from the land, when all those who war against Jerusalem would be defeated, and when the Lord alone would be worshiped in His house.
On February 15, 519 BC, Zechariah had eight prophetic dreams (visions) that occurred in one night. “Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show you what these are. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord has sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the Angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sits still, and is at rest” (Zechariah 1:7-10). This was the first vision, known as the vision of horses.
The man on the red horse was identified as the Angel of the Lord which was a theophany, or an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. The fact that the angel was the Angel of the Lord was indicated in Zechariah 3:1-2. The horses in the vision were messengers of God sent throughout the earth to find out what state the world was in. They reported to the Angel of the Lord that the whole world was at rest and in peace. “Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words” (Zechariah 1:12-13).
The Angel is asking Yahweh (the Father) this question. The Father answers the Angel, “I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,” declares the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 1:16). The vision indicated that God would restore Israel in the immediate future and the temple’s construction would be completed.
The second vision is referring to four horns (kingdoms), which were described as scattering Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Many scholars believe these horns refer to the four empires of Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and Medo-Persia. The four craftsmen could be referring to the four major judgments from God: the sword, famine, wild beasts, and the plague. God would ultimately judge those who judged Israel just as surely as He would restore Israel.
The third vision is in regard to the rebuilding of the second temple and the future temple in the millennial kingdom, where it will be a large city without walls as described in Zechariah 2. The last part is describing Israel’s regathering from her scattering all over the world to the holy land. It goes on to describe the blessings of Israel and other nations in the millennial kingdom, following the second advent of Christ.
The Angel of the Lord is mentioned again in the fourth vision regarding the High Priest. “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And to him He said, See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes. And I said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by” (Zechariah 3: 1-5).
In this vision, Joshua represents the spiritual situation of Israel. The Angel of the Lord commanded those who were standing before Joshua to take off his filthy clothes, representing the act of God in taking away the sin of Israel, and instead to clothe him in the righteousness of God. This cleansing and re-clothing of Joshua were symbolic of things to come. The ultimate restoration of Israel will result from God’s servant, the Branch, coming. This, of course, is a reference to the second coming of Christ to bring in His future kingdom and restore the people of Israel. The Branch is another name for Jesus indicating that He was a descendant of David and will sit on David’s throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was God’s servant in that he did everything the Father told him to do.
As the stone, He will bring purging judgment on the Gentiles, and to Israel, He will be a stone of stumbling in their time of unbelief. The seven eyes indicate the all-seeing God who has complete knowledge of what is going on in the world and will judge in the light of that infinite knowledge. The last verse promised the ultimate fulfillment of Israel’s restoration during the millennial kingdom of Christ.
This is not a complete review of the book of Zechariah (I recommend the book “Every Prophecy of the Bible” by John F. Walvoord). I only wanted to bring the Angel of the Lord into view as this is the last time that He is specifically mentioned as a Christophany of the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ in the Bible. Once Jesus is born as God incarnate, there is no mention of the Angel of the Lord in the Bible. There are many instances of angels or “an angel of the Lord” in the New Testament but “the Angel of the Lord” as a Christophany is never spoken of again. In the New Testament (not counting Revelation), the second Person of the Trinity, the Son, only makes His physical appearance in the world as a human being (man) known as Jesus, the son of Mary.
Israel Returns to the Land
Does the lack of the physical appearance (in one form or the other) of the Man of war on the earth mean that He has stopped fighting for his people, Israel? Of course not. God preserved Judah from annihilation by the Babylonians by preserving one-third of the population according to Ezekiel 5:12. Ezra said, “O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this” (Ezra 9:15). Likewise, Isaiah said, “Unless the Lord of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorra.” (Isaiah 1:9). Ever since the remnant of the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world after the failed Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 AD and throughout history until the present times, God has miraculously preserved His chosen people from extinction.
After World War II ended, on May 14, 1948, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed and Israel was reborn, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children” (Isaiah 66:8). Immediately following this great God-ordained event, Israel went to war with the surrounding nations, reminiscent of olden times. Since its Declaration of Independence, the State of Israel has fought eight recognized wars with its neighboring Arab states, two major Palestinian Arab uprisings known as the First Intifada and the Second Intifada (see Israeli–Palestinian conflict), and a broad series of other armed engagements rooted in the Arab–Israeli conflict.
Some of these wars, such as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1967 Six-Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, were truly miraculous victories for the nation of Israel. In many cases, Israel was outgunned, outmanned, and outmaneuvered, yet still won despite all the odds. How did this happen? Was the “Man of war” fighting behind the scenes, causing disruptions and confusion toward the enemy? I believe so. There are many accounts of strange and unexplained events occurring in these wars, which led to Israel defeating its hostile neighbors.
The Man of War Returns
One thing is certain. The Man of war/the Lord Jesus Christ/ the Son of God/ the Word of God will return physically to the earth to wage war one more time at the end of the age. This will occur after the end of Daniel’s 70th Week, otherwise known as the seven-year Tribulation when Jesus returns to the earth during the campaign of Armageddon (where the A.C. and the seven kings will gather their forces at Har-Mageddon). He will save the remnant Messianic Jews (and Gentile believers) from the human and demonic forces of Satan and the Antichrist.
“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: 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 13:8-9).
“It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah11:11-12).
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist. (Isaiah 11:4-5).
The Second Coming of the Messiah
Here is a description of John’s vision of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. This time He will not appear as a man, or an angel, but as the Word of God in His Shekinah Glory. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.”
“And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”
“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11-21).
The Lord of hosts will return to the earth with His armies of angels and redeemed (and translated) mankind. However, the armies will not take part in the battle. They will only be witnesses, as the Lord Jesus in all of His Godly Shekinah Glory fights by Himself. He needs no help from angels or mankind to defeat His foes. The land of Edom and the city of Bozrah (Petra in Greek) is the location of the Second Coming as confirmed by Habakkuk 3:3 and Micah 2:12-13. This is where the remnant of Israel will be located in the last days (1260 days). The forces of the Antichrist will be trying to destroy them at this time, however, King Yahweh returns at the last moment to save His people from annihilation.
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.”
The fighting starts at Bozrah and moves to Jerusalem where it ends at the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:12-13). When the fighting is over the Bible describes that blood will reach a depth of up to a horse’s bridle (5-6 feet deep) for 1600 furlongs (Revelation 14:20). The battle over Jerusalem commences next as described in Zechariah 14. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. ..and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.” (Zechariah 14:3-5).
Here is how the Bible describes this last great battle that the Man of War fights: “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor” (Zechariah 14:12-13). Besides annihilating the enemy with His supernatural powers, the Man of war uses one of his favorite war tactics as He did when he fought for Gideon and Jehoshaphat. He confuses the coalition of nations attacking Jerusalem and makes them fight against one another.
After this great slaughter by the One who sat upon the horse, with the sword (His word) that proceeded out of His mouth, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire. Then an angel will come down from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He will take hold of that old serpent, the Devil (Satan), and bound him for a thousand years.
The Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, God Himself, will rule and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years on the earth. The Man of war will no longer need to wage war in defense of his people as peace will rule under King Jesus. “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). However, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. “You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now, therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:9-12).
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:9-10).
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Image Credit: Pete Garcia