Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Epilogue: The Prophetic Road to Revelation

Updated 01 December 2013: The image above of a blood-red moon rising behind Smolny Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia is an Associated Press photograph taken in the early morning of 19 May 2009 by Dmitry Lovetsky. This image certainly appears to bode ill for Russia, and increasingly reminds many eschatology students of the imagery evoked within the text of Revelation 6:12.

Indeed, as an epilogue to Eschatology Today's four-part series 'The Prophetic Road to Revelation" this imagery is an appropriate visual harbinger for the events we know to be imminent. In both chapters of Ezekiel's prophetic description of the War of Gog/Magog we clearly can see the destruction which will soon be visited upon the hordes of the Gog/Magog alliance. The specific nations identified are Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya and the Sudan. The total population of these nations is a little more than 330 million people. So when the Lord declares in verse 2 of chapter 39 to "leave but the sixth part of thee" and in verse 6 declares He will send fire on the Magog horde homelands, the inference is to the destruction of several hundred million people, leaving only the sixth part, or a few tens of millions of people as survivors.

In verse 10 of the same chapter we read of the people of Israel going forth to "spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them." My question here would be to ask how much spoil and robbing of the burnt up and thoroughly annihilated hordes of Gog/Magog can there be aside from using the weapons as fuel for the subsequent seven years, and does this not speak more appropriately to Israel taking yet more spoil (recall the inferred spoils taken as a result of the preceding Psalm 83 war) from the nations of the Gog/Magog confederation?

And also in chapter 39 verses 21, 23 and 27 speak to the effect this destruction has upon the nations of the world. In our age of live image televised satellite coverage the nations of the whole world will see the punishment inflicted upon the Gog/Magog nations, that the nations will know it was the hand of God that was laid upon them.

And finally, in verse 29 ("Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."), we see what I believe is a grammatical past-tense confirmation that the promised saving of all Israel by the Old Testament prophets and by the Apostle Paul (see Romans 11) will have been accomplished no later than the conclusion of the War of Gog/Magog, thereby and according to Dispensationalists, such as myself, the Harpazo (the Rapture) of the Bride of Christ will have occurred and the Church age will have passed into history, and planet Earth will have arrived on the doorstep of Gabriel's prophecy to Daniel regarding Israel's 70th Week, also known as the 7-year Tribulation or the "time of Jacob's trouble", which concludes with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His millennial Kingdom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Prophetic Road to Revelation (Part IV):The War of Gog of Magog

Updated: 01 December 2013
There are innumerable commentators who have discussed at length the identification of the nations comprising the Gog/Magog confederation which comes against Israelin the “latter days.” I will simply cite the Table of Nations found in Genesis 10 and provide the reader with this incredible map which graphically illustrates the distribution of the descendants of Noah. Those nations and their modern equivalents can be quickly located on this map.

In the concluding paragraph in Part 3 of this series, it was stated that another result of the War of Psalm 83 will be to precipitate the subsequent War of Gog/Magog so chillingly detailed in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 attended by destruction of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Sudan and a host of smaller Caucasian and Central Asian nations who will be drawn to their fates along with the enigmatic “Gog.” In consideration of the “who” and “when” aspects having been fairly well identified by so many commentators, this section will look at some other specific details concerning the “what,” “where” and “why” aspects of Ezekiel’s 2600-year old Divinely inspired prophecy.

What Did Ezekiel Say?

First let us examine some of Ezekiel’s descriptive vocabulary with the understanding that he was describing events and physical items of at least two and one half millennia into the future. To put ourselves in Ezekiel’s sandals, just imagine the difficulty of accurately describing full-scale warfare and identifying the specific combatants some 2,600 years into the future. Such hypothesizing would be a daunting task to be sure and quite likely unachievable in the absence of demonstrated God-given prophetic accuracy within the Holy Bible and to which we all surely testify to in these ‘last days. We will also look at the very specific reason of why Ezekiel was made to impart such specificity in his description of this coming war.

In Ezekiel 38:8 the prophet says that Israel has been qabats (gathered, assembled) against the har (mountains, hill country) of Israel. Har is the same word used in Exodus 15:17, denoting the place God has made and established for Israel to dwell in, which have always been waste. Since ancient times what we consider as Israel ‘proper,’ that sliver of land along the Mediterranean coast and west of the River Jordan between Lebanon and Egypt has not always been chorbah (waste), so what part of Israel does this har that has always been chorbah refer to? I believe it is that part of Israel which was encompassed in the ancient Kingdom of Israel ruled by David and Solomon and which included large swaths of territory east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. This is the future Israel that will result from the literal, prophetic fulfillment of Psalm 83 as detailed in the portion of the map seen below.

I cite as further evidence of the not-so-distant future Israel expanding east of the Jordan River, and the specific location of the destruction of the Gog/Magog confederation armies, is identified in Ezekiel 39:11 where the prophecy states (emphasis added), “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the [noses] of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call [it] the valley of Hamongog.”

The reader will note that the “valley of the Passengers” is firmly identified in this verse as being in Israel. It is within this specific valley where God long ago determined that Israel would someday bury the enemy hordes of the Gog/Magog confederation. At the present the valley of the passengers is located in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but as a result of Psalm 83 will be located within the territorial boundaries of Israel. Ezekiel informs us that this valley of passengers is located “on the qidmah (east) of the yam (sea).” Since we’re in present day Jordan, then the sea referred to is the Dead Sea as seen on this next map.

“The valley of the Passengers” is bounded on the south by the 45-mile long Arnon River, strongly referenced in Numbers 21:14-15 and in Isaiah 16:2. The central town of this valley was known in ancient times as Dibon, or as the Israelite tribe of Gad called it Dibon-Gad. This town is currently known as Dhiban, and lies just north of ancient Aroer. (See Numbers 21:30, Numbers 32:34, and Numbers 33:45). In Joshua 13:17 this town was given to the tribe of Reuben. According to an entry at Biblos.com, "The form of the name, Dimon, in Isaiah 15 may have been given to make it resemble the Hebrew word dam, (blood) to support the play upon words in the verse." This is also consistent with the vivid description of the destruction God inflicts upon the Gog/Magog hordes. It does appear to this writer that modern Dhiban may well be officially renamed “Hamonah.” Indeed, if one executes a Google search today for “Hamonah” the first result will be a map identifying Dhiban, Jordan as Hamonah. Upon fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39 the valley of the Passengers will then henceforth be known as the valley of Hamongog.

Ezekiel Identifies Many Nations!

It is interesting to note that Ezekiel also mentions other nations besides those of the Gog/Magog confederation. In chapter 38 verse 13 we are informed by Ezekiel that Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish with all the kefer (young lions) thereof appear to question the motives of the invading Gog/Magog horde.
Of these nations Sheba and Dedan clearly represent the Arabs of the peninsula, Saudi Arabia and Yemen respectively, who along with their western Arab Muslim al-ikhwan (brothers) have just recently had their Islamic world rocked an enfeebled as a direct result of the final battle of the Psalm 83 War. The Islamic “Allah” was proven to be a powerless, false moon god in head-to-head confrontation with YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Again, Psalm 83 reveals that the IDF will go to war against the combined armies of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and possibly a token military force from Iraq like a galgal (whirlwind) and sweep these Arab armies before them like so much qash (chaff) in the wind, so that these armies are bä’ar (consumed whole) as esh (fire) consumes an entire yahar (forest).

Thus it will be that the God of Israel will make Himself known to the Arab Muslims as the true God (Psalm 83:16-18). It is this realization of the one, true God of these formerly Muslim Arabs which has them inquire of Gog/Magog if their intent is solely the spoils of war, and intimating that any power in direct military confrontation with Almighty God will suffer the same totally consumed and burnt up fate as the combined Arab armies were previously.
The other nations are represented as ‘merchants of Tarshish’ and their kefer (young lions weaned and ravening of their own accord). These are clearly the commercial and maritime nations of the Western (Mediterranean) Sea and their former colonies across the Atlantic Ocean. Here we see what I would consider the best Biblical prophetic reference yet to the emergent world power of the European Union and their former colonies of the Western Hemisphere, from Canada to Chile.

Skipping forward to our final destination in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, note that it is the continental and economic base of Europe which is the primary power that is backed by the equally immense population and resources of the former colonies in the Western Hemisphere. This is the global militarily peerless power of approximately of 1.6 billion people that will emerge under the sudden emergence of an incredibly charismatic and immensely popular peacemaker. This global peacemaker, whom we know from Daniel 9:27, will gabar (confirm and give strength to) a bĕriyth (treaty, alliance or Global Constitution) among many nations for 7-years duration. This period is also known as Daniel’s 70th Week (i.e. the Tribulation) destined to be disrupted at mid-point by the apparent assassination and seemingly miraculous recovery from a mortal head wound of the peacemaker. This man will be re-animated to life and totally indwelt by Satan himself.
Enter the Antichrist.

When God Goes To War

Again, to set the stage we’re returning briefly to Ezekiel 38:8. In this verse not only are we informed through Ezekiel that this impending invasion form the tsaphown (the obscure, dark northern nations) will occur in the achariyth shaneh (latter years) but that Israel will be a eretz shuwb chereb which means a country, territory returned or restored through the sword, (warfare) and populated by the returning descendants of those Jews dispersed worldwide by the Roman wars of total conquest between 66-70 A.D. This is precisely, exactingly descriptive of how the modern Eretz Israel was re-born as described previously in Part I from the winter and spring of 1947-48 to the present, and yet still in the immediate future as a result of the imminent fulfillment of Psalm 83. It is into this land, a territorially expanded Israel that the multinational military hordes and nations of origin of the Gog/Magog alliance will be brought to their destruction through chach lechiy, hooks placed into the jaws of these enemies by God.

I am compelled to make a specific note at this point that there is not just one hook or one jaw, but plural "hooks" and "jaws." There are more than one hook and more than one jaw, or many hooks and many jaws. Secondly, the "hook" is not necessarily a "fish hook" as we might imagine. The Hebrew word is chach can mean a ring, like a nose ring as found Ezekiel Ch 29:4, or a bracelet, and both of which were run through the nose of wild animals in order to tame them. Often in Old Testament times a rope was attached to the ring or the bracelet to lead the animal to where the trainer wanted it to go. The next Hebrew word to note is lechiy which is a reference to the cheek of a man, or the jawbone of an animal.

Read and compare Ezekiel's use of this word with the text found in Isaiah 37:29. The purposes are literally identical, to "turn thee back". Therefore, the "hook" is a metaphor which represents the vehicle of the judgment that God has declared upon ALL of the nations of the Gog/Magog confederation. God Almighty has determined that His judgment is due to these nations which He considers to be no better than animals. It is God who nathan (gave, put or set) these devices of His choosing and by His sovereign will so that 5/6ths of these nations military forces will be drawn to their deaths in the Valley of the Passengers in what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but in that near-future time will have been conquered to become the land of Israel. God has from ancient times made the determination to nathan chach (set rings, hooks) into Gog/Magog and ALL of those nations to execute His Divine judgment of near total destruction (5/6ths) upon the entirety of that confederation of nations.

Additionally, in Ezekiel 38:10 we are introduced by the prophet to ra machashabah which transliterates in English as “an evil thought or evil plan.” That ra machashabah is the shalal, the spoil of war and source of the resultant coveting by the Gog/Magog alliance of Israel's massive new territories, the sum of which contain newly acquired wealth which is the net result of the final fulfillment of Psalm 83 and/or other additional and as yet undiscovered vaults of oil, gas precious stones or mineral wealth within Eretz Israel’s expanded boundaries. The sum of all these things also result in the establishment of a new military reality and regional paradigm, first and foremost of which is that Israel will live in total security and fear no nation on this earth.

And So They Will Come Against Israel

At the appointed time when this northern horde is mobilized and moves against a physically larger and prosperous Israel, the very face of the Lord will display the chemah, a burning rage which is manifest in his sending ‘esh ebrah, a supernatural excess of consuming fire against them. Simultaneous with this is sent a great gadowl ra’ash, an earthquake of intense shaking and magnitude with the epicenter in Israel will radiate outwards across the entire planet. These things are prophetic and unmistakeable signs which all people and living creatures of the Earth will both feel or experience with their senses directly; there will be no question among the people of Israel, or of the world, or among the wild animals that YHWH is the source. The Lord will get the entire world’s attention in the most unambiguous fashion.

When God Goes To War.

The voice of God will call out to His chosen weapons of war and the hordes of Gog/Magog will begin to slay one another. He will cause them to turn loose their weapons of deber (pestilence, plague, WMD) in the manner of shataph geshem (an overflowing raining down) of the ‘elgabyish ‘esh gopiryth (fiery pearls and breath of God) against themselves. The prophetic picture painted by Ezekiel is one of truly Divine “Shock and Awe.”

The Aftermath

The death, destruction and carnage will be truly horrific, so much so that when it is finished all the people who are gainfully employed full-time to cleanse the land will find are bones and shards of bones. Gog/Magog’s weapons of war will be used for fuel for the subsequent seven years. All Israel then returns to their covenant of faith with and in the Lord, for we see in Ezekiel 39:29
Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”

It is at this point I would suggest the reader turn to Romans 11:25-32 where we read:

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written,

“There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

'As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.'

In comparing the text of Ezekiel 39:29 and that of Paul in Romans 11:25-32 does it appear to you, as it does to me, that at some point during this sequence of events the time of the Gentiles comes to its completion, and therefore the Church age, and thus the Harpazo and “catching up” of the Bride of Christ? Ezekiel 39:29 refers to the Lord pouring out His Spirit upon all Israel not in the past tense, but as something already accomplished. While no man can know for sure, surely the conclusion of this season, as these Spirit-filled writers attest, is surely at hand, even at the door.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Part III

Part II

Part I

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Christ in Prophecy TV hosted by Dr. David Reagan: Bill Salus, Psalm 83, Israelestine and the Final Arab-Israeli War

10 MAY 2009: Click on the image of Bill Salus' Israelestine bookcover to view the Christ in Prophecy Television program hosted by Lamb and Lion Ministries founder and director Dr. David R. Reagan. This program features Bill Salus and an indepth discussion on the next great prophetic military event to occur in the Middle East, the final Arab-Israeli War. The geo-political and military precursors or conditions for this imminent war are occurring in real-time in Washington D.C., Europe, Jerusalem, and the Arab captial cities of the Middle East. The outcome of this war will fundamentally and irrevocably change the balance of power and the map of the Middle East in ways not seen on this earth since the Kingdom of David and Solomon which existed over 3000 years ago.