Recently I wrote a blog about the Passover Lamb. I hope you were able to glean the amazing symbolism that points to Jesus in this special feast. We know from the Passover Feast that Jesus came to Earth as the lamb. He was humble, merciful and full of grace. He did not come to overthrow the government. He came to save us from our sins. He died on the cross, rose from the dead, appeared to over 500 witnesses, and then ascended into heaven- later sending the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. But, that’s not the end of the story. He’s coming back for a second trip to planet earth! But, this time he is not coming back as a lamb. He returning as a lion with a ROD OF IRON.
Revelation 19:11-15, says, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule with an iron scepter.”
This verse is describing the Second Coming of Christ. If you read the description you can see Jesus is not riding on a humble donkey like he did when he entered Jerusalem before Passover! No, in this case he is seen as a warrior on a white horse and he is waging war. He is striking down the nations, and he has an iron scepter- a rod of iron.
So, what does this mean? Well, when most people think of iron they think of something strong and harsh. In my mind I picture someone wielding an ax or a large metal pole- something that could inflict serious damage. But, in this case, when we read that Christ is striking down the nations with a rod of iron it actually means he is striking them down with his power and supreme authority. He has the last word on everything- he has dominion over every human and animal. The iron rod, also seen as an iron scepter, is a symbol of his just and final judgment. He is King and ruler over all. There is no one who can challenge or defeat him. He will not be a tyrant wielding power, but rather, he will be firm and invincible.
Revelation 2:27 says, “And he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken to pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.”
This verse makes it clear that the rod of iron will be stronger than anything on earth and will break things into pieces. In ancient times, rods were used as a means of discipline. In the book of Exodus we see Moses and Aaron using a rod ( a staff) against Pharaoh. We see the rod used as a means to begin the plagues of Egypt. Moses even used the rod (the staff) to part the Red Sea.
Let’s look at Isaiah 11 for a moment. Keep in mind that this chapter is speaking about the coming Millennial Kingdom. This is when Christ will come to earth and rule for 1000 years.
“He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”
Notice where it says he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth – The Hebrew word here is שׁבט shêbet- it means a stick, or staff; a rod for chastisement or correction.
This time we see he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth. The breath of his lips will slay the wicked. This is a powerful statement. It is saying just one word from Jesus is all it will take to put the wicked in their place! Keep in mind that Jesus is the word of God. He is the living, breathing word. So, truthfully, it makes sense that whatever he says will be- whatever he declares will happen. Even the earth will obey him.
When Christ rules he will be fair and just. Note that Isaiah 11 says even the wolf will live with the lamb. Can you picture that? This is a dramatic idea and it’s meant to strike the reader with a sense of awe. The curse on the Earth will be removed through Christ’s rule. Remember, he became the curse on the cross for us. When he comes to rule he will strike down all the nations that were unfair and unjust- all those who were cruel and violent. You see, he’s not coming to scare the living daylights out of his followers! He’s coming to set things right. He’s coming to shepherd his people with his staff in hand (rod). He’s bringing judgment to the nations (people) who do not recognize his authority, and those who have trampled his people and his word.
When will Christ come and rule with a rod/staff of iron? That’s the million dollar question. We certainly do not know the day or hour, but we are seeing some clues that it could be on the horizon. Let me share a few things the Lord has shown me in the last six months.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. In fact, Harvey made landfall three times in six days. It hit Houston on September 1, and left one third of the city underwater. More than 40,000 people were flooded out of their homes. With Houston being the United States’ fourth largest city, you can imagine what an impact the storm made! I’m sure you saw the devastating footage on the news! Approximately 200,000 homes were damaged and at least 12,000 completely destroyed. As of now, it is ranked as the second most costly natural disaster in U.S. history. Hurricane Katrina is number one, but not by much.
Now, what does a hurricane have to do with a rod of iron? Well, the day before Hurricane Harvey hit, I was just standing in my son’s room and not really thinking about anything. I knew the hurricane was coming, but I wasn’t concerned at the moment because I was in Florida and it wasn’t headed there. I just remember sitting down and out of nowhere the words ROD OF IRON popped in my head. I thought it was strange because I hadn’t read or seen anything to make me think of that. So, I shook the thought off. But, then I kept hearing those exact words in my head over and over- ROD OF IRON. I really didn’t know what it meant so I just made a mental note of it and went about my day. Later on, I was getting ready for bed and checked the news. I was reading an article about Hurricane Harvey and then I suddenly felt like I should look up what the name Harvey meant. I was shocked when I found out Harvey means IRON. It also means strong and worthy. Immediately I prayed to the Lord about what this meant. What did a rod of iron have to do with the hurricane? That’s when I felt the nudging to look up Isaiah 11. I felt the prompt of the Holy Spirit. I did not remember what Isaiah 11 was about at the time. I hadn’t read it recently so I had no idea what information it contained. I just kept feeling like I should read it. So, I looked it up. That’s when I saw the part that says when Christ rules during the Millennial kingdom he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth- this is the iron rod. I was pretty amazed when I read that! As I read Isaiah 11, I was particularly drawn to the part which said the wolf will live with the lamb. It reminded me of the peace Christ will bring to earth.
But, now I’m going to get to the real zinger- the kicker. The next day, I went into my son’s bedroom again. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. But, my eyes scanned the room and that’s when I noticed something interesting. There, on his bed, was a stuffed lamb, and a stuffed wolf ( toy stuffed animals). They were placed on the bed next to each other! Just so you know, I had given my son a stuffed lamb many years back when he was sick. I told him Jesus always takes care of his lambs. My son has a special attachment to the lamb because it reminded him of when he was very sick, but God got him through it. But, he had put the lamb away because he was getting older and older boys do not need stuffed animals. Anyway, for some reason, there was the lamb on his bed. Now, as far as the wolf, that is interesting too. That actually belonged to my older son who was away at school. I had bought it for him because the name of his squadron at military school is called the Wolf Pack. He had left the stuffed wolf in his room. But, for some reason, here it was on my other son’s bed, next to the lamb. Now keep in mind the night before I had read Isaiah 11, which said when Christ comes to rule with the rod of iron the wolf will live with the lamb. I had paid close attention to the part about the wolf living with the lamb.
I could not get over the timing of the wolf and the lamb being on the bed the day after I looked up Isaiah 11, and how it lined up with the timing of the hurricane. I asked my son, “Why did you put the wolf and lamb on the bed together?” He said, “I don’t know. I just wanted to do it.” Keep in mind I had not told him about Isaiah 11 or any wolf or lamb, or anything! I questioned him again and he said, “I don’t know why Mom. I just felt like putting the wolf next to the lamb.”
I knew none of this could be coincidence. The question was, what did it mean? I prayed about it and several things were quickened in my spirit. What I gleaned is that the Lord’s return is sooner than we may think. I’m not predicting any times or dates!!! What I’m saying is that he is going to return at some point and we need to be ready. The Bible says there will be natural disasters and “shakings” of all kinds before his return. This should wake up all believers and remind them to look up!
I believe the United States has a lot of repenting to do before the Lord returns. As a nation we need to recognize that Jesus is the ruler of the universe and we must shatter the idols that have taken his place. If not, the iron rod will do it for us. Hurricane Harvey, which means IRON, should get people thinking and praying. It should remind us that “things”- money- power- greed- cannot become our God.
A total solar eclipse hit the United States on August 21. Hurricane Harvey began as a tropical wave on August 13, near the Cape Verde Islands, just eight days before the eclipse. ( And by the way, the total solar eclipse path of totality ended just southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.) By August 25, four days after the eclipse, Harvey had become a category 4 hurricane and made landfall. On August 26, it made a second landfall as a Category 3. By August 27, Harvey brought heavy rain to the Houston area. Rain and flooding continued on up through August 29, with Harvey making its third landfall on August 30.
Now, why am I tying the hurricane in with the U.S. total solar eclipse on August 21? Well, just so you know, solar eclipses are generally not considered “good news”. Solar eclipses are signs for the nations. The nations follow a sun calendar, not a lunar calendar. Solar eclipses are associated with “warnings”. This particular solar eclipse occurred on the first day of the biblical month known as ELUL. (This comes from the Hebrew calendar, or God’s calendar.) The month of Elul is known as the month of repentance. During this time, the Lord’s people are to search their hearts and repent of sins. They are to take this month to cleanse themselves of sin by asking for forgiveness, and deciding to turn from those sins. At the end of the month of Elul will come the biblical holiday known as the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). This will usher in the new biblical year, and lead up to Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is when God judges the nations. Are you getting my point here? All this occurred near the timing of the eclipse and the storm. Also, two more storms came after Harvey. Hurricane Irma hit the United States on September 10 and is the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. As a category 5 hurricane, I can tell you Irma scared the you know what out of me. All 67 counties of Florida were affected by this hurricane, including mine! Luckily it did not hit my area as a category 5 !!! It hit my area on 9-11 (September 11) of all days! On the heels of Irma came Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico. This storm formed on September 16, making landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20th, the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just trying to get people to see that God is calling out to us as a people, and as a nation. His son, Jesus, is the atonement for our sins. The month of Elul, which usually occurs in September or October each year, is a time of repentance. It is a time to reflect on how we have responded to God- to his son, Jesus. It is a time to reflect on our relationship with him. While we are here on Earth, we have unjust rulers and life is a mess. But, we have him. He died for our sins. But, being a follower of Jesus requires more than just saying a prayer and being done with it. It requires action that comes from our hearts. Do you know that the paths of the two solar eclipses form the ancient Hebrew letter known as the TAV? (See picture above- note the “X” path) This is significant because the Hebrew letter TAV is a cross. This letter means a mark, a sign, a seal and a covenant. The first eclipse was on August 21, 2017 on the first day of Elul. But, another one is coming in 2024. When both paths are placed on a map, you have the TAV – the mark of Christ (Read my blog Total solar eclipse for more info on the eclipse). https://67owls.com/2017/08/19/total-solar-eclipse/
In the last six months we have seen not only hurricanes, but shootings and rampant division. We are witnessing the splitting of the Titanic before our very eyes. We are seeing the shadows of Civil War through riots, violence, uprisings and by the division that’s growing in Americans’ hearts.
God is a just God. He always calls nations to repentance before acting. Look at what happened when God sent Jonah to warn Nineveh. By the way, this took place during the month of Elul !!! The good thing is that Nineveh repented and they were spared.
Another area of I want to address when it comes to the rod of iron is Israel, and the enemies of Israel. Below is Psalm 2, which speaks about what God will do to the enemies of Israel. Keep in mind, at this very moment, the enemies of Israel make plans to destroy her. During this season of Passover, the Palestinian government has incited riots and violence at Israel’s border. Tens of thousands of Palestinians converged at the Gaza border where they threw firebombs, rocks and even burning tires at Israeli soldiers. This was all staged and planned by Hamas. Months prior to these riots, Hamas declared that the gates of Hell would be opened because the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. They were mad as Hell about this declaration. It’s no wonder why because the manifesto of Hamas says to destroy Israel. The name Hamas actually means violence! The government eggs on its citizens to come after the promised land of God- Jerusalem. They demand the right to return to a land that does not belong to them! The Bible is crystal clear about who the land belongs to- the nation of Israel. But, we know God himself will defend Israel, and so will the Bride of Christ. Jesus himself said to Peter regarding the evil of this world, “Blessed are you, Peter…………….. I tell you, on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
Yet, we see the nations (particularly the United Nations) asking, and even trying to force Israel to give the land to a terrorist regime. Here is what God has to say about that: PSALM 2, NIV
Why do the nations conspire,and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger, and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Did you see the part about the rod of iron? It says God will break the nations and rulers who go against his people and his plan for Jerusalem like pottery! It also says God laughs at the nations who think they will succeed in their evil plans. God has the last and final word. When Psalm 2 says, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill,” he is referring to Jesus- who is the King of the world, and King over Zion (Jerusalem). Jesus is returning to Jerusalem to rule and reign. He is coming for his true Bride- all those who believe in him, and truly love him. He is coming to save a lost world, and to save the remnant of Israel. He is coming to redeem the people and the land. He has the rod of iron- the full authority and power to do it. As believers, and as a nation, we need to remember that Jerusalem is God’s property. The Bible says he gave it to the nation of Israel as an everlasting covenant. He did not say to divide it and give it away! He did not say to barter a peace deal. What he did say is that his SON- Jesus Christ, will set his feet on the Mount of Olives and set up his kingdom in Jerusalem.
Hopefully you see that as a people we must stand with the word of God, and his plan for the redemption of this broken world. Did you know a rod is often referred to as a shepherd’s staff in the Bible? Staffs were used for correcting sheep, and for guiding them. Who is our shepherd? Who carries the staff? Jesus of course.
It is going to take something more than saying a few prayers to fix our nation. After 911 there was a short period of repentance but it didn’t last. It’s been 17 years since 911 and I would say our attitude toward God as a nation is not one of complete repentance. Babylon is alive and well in our nation. Immorality, greed, selfish ambition, pride, love of money, idolatry—– shall I go on? Since Roe vs Wade, we have killed millions of babies. Just so you know, in the Bible, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were instrumental in promoting child sacrifice, and rampant idolatry, or Baal worship. Jezebel made it her mission to rid Israel of the one true holy God. Ahab, who ruled a nation set apart by God, turned his back on God’s laws and on God himself. This made the Lord very grieved and upset. Ahab and Jezebel were dealt with harshly by God, as well as their families. Ahab’s entire family line was wiped out. As a Christian nation, we cannot promote idolatry and the killing of innocent children.
There are those who stand with God, and those who don’t. To stand with God you have to know the word. You can’t just use your own truth and opinions. Consult the word of God and see what he says!
In a nation full of idolatry and darkness, we have to be the light. We have to be the “Elijahs” of our day. Elijah was a prophet who was bold and outspoken. He warned King Ahab that his defiance against God would not be tolerated. At one point King Ahab said to Elijah, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” Elijah said, “I have not made trouble for Israel. But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and followed the Baals.” Elijah risked life and limb by speaking out against the darkness. He was an undivided man. His allegiance lay with God, not with the idols of the present world. He lived in a world where evil was seen as good, and good as evil. Yet, Elijah knew he was right because he was following God. Elijah was greatly rewarded for his faithfulness. He was taken to heaven in a whirlwind- raptured by the one, true holy God. He literally escaped death!
Have we become a nation consumed with selfies and lattes? Have we become a nation divided against God? I suppose I sound harsh, but I think it’s important we realize Jesus is looking for a true and holy Bride when he returns. I’m not talking about sinless people! We all have problems with sin. I’m talking about a Bride that is waiting for him and wanting him to come back. I’m talking about a Bride who isn’t sold out to the world. I know there are multitudes are followers of Jesus out there and I am certainly not pointing fingers at anyone. I’ve got my own repenting to do like everyone else. I am trying to say that we must start looking upward for our Groom. His return could very well be in our lifetime. I personally believe it is in my lifetime! If you don’t believe me, take a look at events in Israel. That is the time piece. The clock ticks as I write this.
The rod of iron is not a bad thing. Sure, it’s strong and powerful. But it will be wielded by a fair, loving and just ruler- Jesus Christ. But, you must yield to the King. He wants to rule your heart. One day it says Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. He has the staff- (the rod)- the authority- to do it. The sheep are placed on his right and they know his voice. They follow him. The goats are placed on his left. The goats are stubborn and go their own way. They do not follow the shepherd. I don’t know about you but I follow the lamb who is coming back as a lion. I will gladly be a sheep following the shepherd with a rod of iron.
Hurricane Names and meanings:
Katrina means to purge, or to cleanse – Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and hit after the United States helped broker a deal with Israel’s land (Gaza). It was a “land for peace” deal- no peace has come from that deal !!!
Harvey means iron and strength- Harvey hit during the biblical month of Elul
Irma means war goddess, or world- Hurricane Irma hit during the biblical month known as Elul, or the month of repentance.
Maria– the Latin form of Mary (Mary was the mother of Jesus)- This was the third in a series of intense hurricanes, hitting at Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets.
Holy Bible (NIV translation)
Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and Maria info compiled from several articles and websites: Houston Chronicle, USNews.com, weather.gov , weathernetwork.com
The Times of Israel
Blog post copyright: Angela Rodriguez