July 19, 2009
I greet you once gain in the Name of Jesus!
One of the characteristics of the time period known as the Last Days can be found in the words of Jesus in His Olivet Discourse; recorded in the synoptic gospels in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. There Jesus said, in the words of Matthew’s account, And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [Matt. 24:6 NKJV] Wars and rumors of wars have been a part of world culture and politics for almost 2,000 years now since Jesus uttered these words.
Three wars of prophecy stand out and have been the subject of much discussion, and in some cases debate, among prophecy students and scholars alike. These are the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38, 39 and someplace in the mix we have the prophesied destruction of Damascus, which has not yet occurred, in Isaiah 17. In Psalm 83 we see a confederacy of Nations coming against Israel to “cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” [Ps. 83:4 NKJV] We see the alliance of Nations listed in this prophetic Psalm, ten in all, all identified by their ancient names. The Nations listed in this prophecy are all Arab nations, coming against Israel to “cut them off from being a Nation.”
When will these events occur? What will be the final end-time scenario that plays out? No one knows. There are differences of opinion as to the timing of these wars. Some say that the war of Psalm 83 will occur first, causing Israel to expand setting the stage for the destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17. In this scenario the war of Ezekiel 38, 39 would occur sometime after the catching away of the Church during the Great Tribulation period.
I along with many others, see the Psalm 83 war as having occurred back in 1967 at what has become known as the Six Day War, or the Yom Kippur war. It has also been referred to as the Arab-Israeli war. I personally believe that this was the war that fulfilled Psalm 83. I am not certain when we will see the utter destruction of Damascus, fulfilling Isaiah 17. This is an event yet to occur. I do not rejoice over this, I just know on the authority of the prophetic Word that it will occur.
What is the next event on the world scene? Please notice the terminology I am using. I am speaking of the next major event on the world scene. Remember, as we have stated in a previous edition of THE WEEKLY WORD, God sees three groups of people in the earth. He sees the Jews, the Goyim (Nations), and the Church [See 1 Cor. 10:32]. He has plans and purposes for all three groups. He has destinies for all three groups. He has made prophetic declarations for all three. With that in mind, we are speaking about the next event on the horizon for the second group, the Nations.
For the Nations, at least a group of Nations, I see the next event being the war of Ezekiel 38, 39. This will be again a confederacy of Nations gathered against the tiny State of Israel. Throughout their history, the Jewish people have had to deal with a series of Nations who were all bent on their destruction. Some of these Nations came against them as a result of direct divine judgment, others just to take a spoil. It is interesting, but it would appear that history is repeating itself.
Ancient Israel dealt with six major world empires, and since their reformation as a nation, we are seeing the same leading nations battle the new Jewish State in modern time. In their past, Israel has dealt with Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Since Israel reformed as a Nation in 1948, it has entered conflicts with the first three prophetic nations from the past. If this pattern holds true, and I believe it will, the next war will be with Iran, ancient Persia. The saber rattling and vitriol continue to come out of Iran with the newly “re-elected” Mahmoud Ahmandinejan continuing to call for the death of Israel and the United States.
This time however Iran will not be alone. They will join a confederation of Nations led by none other than Russia. The Iranian dictator and the Russian leadership have done something in modern years unprecedented in recent history, namely they have formed diplomatic and trade ties. There is now a steady flow of Russian arms and weapons into Iran. This move has surprised some commentators and politicians, but it should not come as a surprise to the student of the prophetic Word. Thousands of years ago the Prophet Ezekiel, having received the Word of the Lord, warned of these things. He said,
1 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. [Ezekiel 38:1 – 6 NKJV]
In this list Persia is Iran. Interestingly, up until 1939 Iranians were still known as Persians. In fact, some hard liners today still insist on being called Persians. Ethiopia and Libya still retain there ancient names to this day.
In the map here you can see the ancient names of the nations who will join with Magog (Russia).
What exactly is Magog? Who is Gog? We will look at these and other interesting points next time.
The Weekly Word is found in Matthew 24:6 – 8. Here the Bible says,
6″You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
7″For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
8″But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. [Matt. 24:6 – 8 NASB]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson