There is a specific prophecy in Isaiah 29 which correlates with the siege in Ezekiel 4 (verse 3). The whole chapter gives us an overview of how God is dealing with people inside His own Church who employ secret counsel from Him and what He shall do to correct them. It also gives us a wonderful conclusion on how God shall bring repentance toward Him even from those who got off track and from those Jacobite Laodiceans. To start with, here is what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote regarding Isaiah chapter 29:
Isaiah 29 has a definite end-time focus… We now get back to some temple language. “Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices” (verse 1). From year to year they killed sacrifices. The Hebrew can mean “let the feasts go around another year.” “Ariel” means Jerusalem …But it means more. Ariel also means hearth or altar of God (see The Critical, Experimental and Practical Commentary). It is the hearth of the great altar of God! It refers specifically to the highest tier of the altar, where the altar fire continually burned (see The Interpreter’s Bible commentary). Ariel also means the LION OF GOD.
This all refers to the temple service. The temple today is God’s own Church. But God is very angry with Ariel, or His own Laodicean Church today. …Then God describes how He will punish the Laodiceans and Israel. “Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire” (verse 6). God said they would be punished by storms, fires and EARTHQUAKES. (Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, p. 77)
But who could Ariel be referring to today? Is it really a name for the Laodiceans or the spiritual Israelites? For emphasis, let’s look closely on what Mr. Flurry said: “‘Ariel’ means Jerusalem …But it means more. Ariel also means hearth or altar of God …Ariel also means the LION OF GOD.” Here is what one commentary wrote about verse 1 of Isaiah 29:
Judah’s religious hypocrisy
Isaiah addressed this oracle to Ariel (lit. altar hearth, cf. Ezek. 43:15-16). …Isaiah described Ariel as the place where Israel’s religious festivals took place. Clearly Ariel refers to Jerusalem, the city where David set up his headquarters (2 Sam. 5:9), and Mount Zion (v. 8), the site of Judah’s worship. ‘Jerusalem prides itself as being God’s altar-hearth, the very heart of the only system of worship that pleases him. But, in fact, God is not pleased at all.’- Oswalt, p. 526. (pp. 121-122, Dr. Constable’s Notes)
Jerusalem was the city where David set up his headquarters and also the site of Judah’s worship, where God’s altar has been set up. Even until today, Jerusalem is still the Jew’s capital (or headquarters) and the spiritual center of the Jewish religion.
As discussed in previous chapters and according to what Mr. Flurry taught us, that the spiritual house of Judah refers to the PCG membership. Then it just follows that the PCG Headquarters in Edmond Oklahoma is the spiritual Jerusalem, so to speak, where the center of the PCG’s religion and ministry is located.
Looking at Isaiah 29:1, twice has the name “Ariel” been mentioned: Ariel then could refer to the Jerusalem in the Middle East, while the PCG Headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma could also be referred to here as Ariel. The name Ariel could both refer to the physical and spiritual Jerusalem. Even so, Bible commentaries are a bit puzzled as to its application:
Verse 1. “Ariel” – That Jerusalem is here called by this name is very certain: but the reason of this name, and the meaning of it as applied to Jerusalem, is very obscure and doubtful. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
In Isaiah 29:1, one might ask, “But which Ariel is which?” And why does God used the name Ariel here?
The key here to clearly understand the mystery behind the two utterances of the same name of Ariel is revealed through Ezekiel chapter 4: first, the prophet Ezekiel was to portray Jerusalem and its siege, and that portrayal shall be a sign for a future siege of the actual Jerusalem in that particular time. Yet since it is dual, so it is also a prophecy for our time now – spiritual Jerusalem (PCG) being besieged is a sign for a future siege of physical Jerusalem: In principle, the prophet Ezekiel has to resemble in his portrayal what shall come to pass to physical Jerusalem.
Therefore, the portrayal precedes the actual; the spiritual precedes the physical:
Thus, if we apply it to Isaiah 29:1, the resulting thought would be: “Woe to Ariel (spiritual Jerusalem – PCG HQ), to Ariel (physical Jerusalem of the Middle East), the city where David dwelt!”
“Yet I will distress Ariel (physical Jerusalem), and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel (spiritual Jerusalem).” – Note the context here that physical Ariel (Jerusalem in the Middle East) will be distressed yet in the very immediate future after a direct precursor has happened to its spiritual counterpart Ariel.
“I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.” (v. 3)
From Ezek. 43:15, we learn that Ari-el was the name of the altar of burnt-offerings, put here for the city itself in which that altar was. …But why is it said, “Ari-el shall be unto me as Ari-el?” As the altar of burnt offerings was surrounded daily by the victims which were offered: so the walls of Jerusalem shall be surrounded by the dead bodies of those who had rebelled against the Lord, and who should be victims to his justice. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Remember that the word “altar” in Bible prophecy refers to the “ministry” in this end time. Now considering what the commentary wrote: that whatsoever happens to the altar of burnt offerings (PCG ministry), the same shall be true to the Jerusalem of the Middle East. The spiritual precedes the physical. If there have been victims and casualties during the spiritual siege of spiritual Ariel (PCG HQ) perpetrated by the spiritual Assyrian terrorists; there shall also be victims and casualties in the physical siege of physical Ariel (Jerusalem of the Middle East) by the physical Assyrian terrorists.
Have you noticed? God specifically designed this prophecy in Isaiah 29 to be as a mirror effect – (“woe to Ariel, to Ariel…”; “I will distress Ariel …it shall be unto me as Ariel”). But what is a mirror effect? Here is what the experts say:
The mirror effect refers to the consistency of the recognition of the stimuli in memory. In other words, they are easier to remember when you have previously studied the stimuli i.e., old, and easier to reject when you have not seen them before, i.e. new… (Glanzer & Adams, 1985).
Source: Department of Psychology, New York University, New York 10003.
So a mirror effect has something to do with our MEMORY. God wrote Isaiah 29:1 and His other prophecies (such as the two olive trees, the two sons of oil, former and latter rain, the Ezekiel 4 siege, the 2,300 evenings and mornings, etc.) in a such profound way to have this mirror effect so that it will be easier for us to recognize what we have been taught through His signet – the end-time Zerubbabel, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong! Every doctrine has to mirror what the end-time Elijah has taught us or else, we have to reject the new doctrine altogether like the archeological dig in Ireland! This is the reason a BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE has to be written before God – to point us to back to Him!
From here on, you can see God’s mirror effect in action. In actual fact, this is the same as what Mr. Armstrong taught us about duality in Bible prophecy.
Again, why does God used the name Ariel instead of just using the name Jerusalem? To hide its true meaning until His appointed time of revealing it has come. And now, that time has already come.
ARIEL, THE LION OF GOD
All of the Bible commentaries unanimously agree that Ariel also means the “lion of God.” Remember the Jews of the Middle East and its lion-like characteristics?
What Happened to the Lion of Judah
Why has Israel’s fierce, lion-like roar been reduced to a harmless purr?
Even in modern times, God has roused the warrior spirit of the lion of Judah to secure its independence in 1948 and to prevent its destruction in 1967 and again in 1973. God has done this—not because the Jews are His favorites or because God takes sides in international disputes. God has helped them because of what He prophesied millennia ago!
The establishment of a Jewish state had to happen in our day because of what God said would occur in the latter days. The unification of Jerusalem under the lion of Judah in 1967 also had to happen because of what God has prophesied.
Yet there is another lion of God during the last end that we must also consider – the Philadelphia Church of God:
The Lion Has Roared
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (verses 7-8). The lion is a type of God—and when God roars, people must hear and respond, or pay a terrifying price! The Lion has roared—His loyal people must prophesy! …
The Lion has roared! And we must respond, just as we would to the roar of a wild lion we might face in Africa. Do you and I have the urgency necessary to deliver God’s message? God speaks through revelation. Then He uses His Church to deliver the secret given to His prophet. “[W]ho can but prophesy?”…
God has roared! Let the people beware! … How does God roar? As He always has—through His loyal people! That means the Church would split—at the very end. One group does God’s Work and “roars” for Him! … The Lion’s roar …symbolize this work of God’s Philadelphia Church! (pp. 3- 6, The Lion Has Roared – Prophecy for Today From the Book of Amos)
Do you now clearly understand beyond doubt and obscurity who the LION of God is in this end time? And what is the true identity of ARIEL being specifically referred to in Isaiah 29? They both refer to the two Judahs – the physical and spiritual Jews in this end time!
Now look closely on how the two Judahs’ (physical and spiritual) fierce lion-like character has been displayed for all to see. Can you see the striking parallelism between what they had both undergone and their present undertaking?
The Jews are currently being surrounded by envious and hateful Arab enemies who wanted the whole nation of Israel in the Middle East to be annihilated and be wiped off the map.
The same is true with the Philadelphia Church of God who is also surrounded with so many of its envious and bitter enemies which are mainly composed of WCG and PCG splinter groups whose main desire is for the PCG to be annihilated and be wiped off the spiritual map.
Look at the illustration; is this not a mirror effect or what? Again is this just another coincidence? Absolutely not! The Almighty God has carefully planned these things through time only to be revealed specifically on His appointed time at the last end – all we have to do is to remember. Ariel, the LION OF GOD: who dares try to tame this powerful beast? Only God alone can.
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