|This ministry has a distinct kingdom, Messianic vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people and the church. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My calling is to share these great end-time dramas, to stand as a watchman and above all, to glorify my God.|
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Shabbat (Sabbath) begins on Fridays at 6pm and ends on Saturdays at 6pm. The purpose is to help the church and Israel become reconciled in Messiah and to identify the rift, and the needed restoration. There is much in the church that needs to change before it can be fully reconciled with the Jew. Likewise, changes in Jewish thinking are also needed.
Edition 19 November 27th 2009
In this edition:
●History is about to repeat itself.
●Dry bones live and bring World War Three
Ezekiel's amazing prophecies: Form resurrection to nuclear war!
Before we discuss Ezekiel lets have a look at some history. Whenever there are historic patterns that repeat themselves we need to sit up and take note! History repeats itself sometimes with deadly consequences. Imagine going into war and knowing the outcome beforehand. I think that's what may be called having an unfair advantage. Except in this case it's an advantage alright and is completely fair. God's word says; "He declares the end from the beginning"
In 1948 World War Two had been finished for a short while and The League of Nations had just become the United Nations. One of its early resolutions was to give statehood to Israel. On May14 1948 the nation of Israel was born, bringing about a very important milestone in prophetic fulfilment. This infuriated the surrounding Arab nations.
1948 war of independence
24 hours after independence Israel was attacked by Arab armies much larger than their rag tag, very small army. The odds against Israel were huge to say the least. But this was the first of six wars that all ended in Israeli victory.
Now history is about to repeat itself with the most dramatic and tragic consequences the world has yet seen.
Firstly, just a word of warning. It's difficult to put a time line on prophetic events if the Bible itself doesn't. That said, the Bible does offer many indications and by applying simple logic we can see pretty clearly what fits in where. We must be clear and dogmatic on what the Bible is clear on. At the end of the day we have the Author living in our hearts and He will guide us and show us things to come.
Ezekiel sees 'dry bones' coming to life!
A sculpture of the prophet Ezekiel:
If you read the book of Ezekiel from beginning to end you'll note that it's prophecies are continuous in time following one after the next. In Ezekiel 37 we have one of the most incredible prophecies of the Bible. It is called the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. It follows many of the prophecies of conflict with the Arab world which I've detailed in edition 16
Dry Bones is one of the most important prophecies of the spiritual new birth of the Jews at large. It is followed immediately by world war.
So, Israel's natural birth brought immediate war and now we see that Israel's spiritual new birth brings war again!
This is the amazing story of Dry Bones coming to life and then provoking the hatred of the world.
Ezekiel 37 outlines a vision given to him by God of a valley full of dry bones. God says to Ezekiel "Can these bones live?" He goes on to tell Ezekiel that He will cause breath to enter and then He will put sinews, flesh and skin on the bones. He will put breath into them and then they will "know that I am the Lord."
Ezekiel then hears the bones rattling and sees the bones coming together and as breath enters they live and stand on their feet "an exceedingly great army." Then God tells Ezekiel that these bones "are the whole house of Israel".
Verses 12 to 14 are amongst the most exciting in the Bible. "Thus says the Lord God, behold O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves and bring you into the land of Israel." Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves. I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live and I will place you in your land, then you shall know that I the Lord have spoken and performed it."
This is one of the clearest portions of scripture of the coming salvation to the Jews at large. It is directly associated with the return to the land of Israel as well. We are now at the start of this wonderful drama as more and more Jews are beginning to see that their Messiah is Yeshua / Jesus.
The Bible declares that God will bring the Jews back into their land in spiritual blindness and will then lift the veil, so to speak, and they will see and recognise who their Lord is. We are now at this point where these things are just getting started.
Ezekiel 38 and 39 comes right after 37!
Now that's not an unusual headline, but what is unusual is the content. Dry bones (chapter 37) coming to life speaks of a re-birth and new life. Well, now as the we see the incredible new birth of Israel on a spiritual level, we again see an almost immediate attack. The war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 takes place right after dry bones live. In fact it will most probably be while 'dry bones' are coming to life. Unlike the war of independence, this time it's a world war and the indications within Ezekiel are that it will be nuclear.
The odds stacked against Israel in this war are again monumental, but again Israel is victorious in the end. She does suffer great loss in the war. Israel has had the odds stacked against it in six major wars since independence and has won each time. What this actually means is that any nation coming against Israel really has the odds stacked against it and not the other way around.
After all these Messiah-less years and all the hardship and persecution, the Jews are now ready to complete and fulfil God's original calling on them to be a blessing and to bring salvation to the nations. This really is such wonderful drama!
The Ezekiel 38 and 39 war of Gog and Magog
Ezekiel identifies a number of time factors in this prophecy:
Ezekiel 38:7 says that it will be; "after many days and in the latter years, when you are brought back...from many peoples and are gathered on the mountains of Israel." This places the war in our day.
The nations mentioned in the Ezekiel prophecy which collectively come against Israel, come form the regions indicated in the map above. The exact modern locations might be a bit different, but this isn't important. What is important and without doubt is that the leader of this war will be modern day Russia, supported by many other Islamic nations. There is one important addition: Ezekiel says "and many peoples with you." This could refer to numerous other Arab Islamic states. I have indicated them as the "others" in the map above.
In modern day terms the nations who attack Israel are Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, Ethiopia, and various Islamic nations south of Israel. Some historians identify Gomer with Germany. We will see once the battle gets underway won't we!
One thing that is a certainty is that this will be an incredible and large mix of nations. The majority are Islamic.
This will be the war where God uses Israel to break the back of Islam.
Jeremiah 51:20 "You (Israel) are My battle axe and weapons of war, for with you I will break in pieces the nations and with you I will destroy kingdoms."
Note that the weapons spoken of by Ezekiel like swords etc are all he knew at the time. It does prophecy no harm to apply modern weaponry if the context and time places its fulfilment in modern times.
The attacking nations run headlong into the fury of God. He uses various supernatural 'weapons' as well like giant hailstones, and a massive earthquake.
The allies of Israel are mentioned in Ezekiel 38 : 13 These are "Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish and all their young lions." These are difficult to identify, but common interpretation says that the people of Tarshish originated from the Mediterranean sea area that is most probably around Spain today. They traded fine linen by sea with the people of what is today called Britain. The lion is a symbol of Britain and the 'young lions' would then be the main commonwealth powers.
Sheba and Dedan are now in the area of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kuwait. These nations may end up being allies of Israel. In fact they are kind of allies today.
This is not the war of Armageddon spoken of in The Revelation. That war is terminated by the return of our Messiah, while this one ends with Israeli victory. Armageddon is very short in time followed immediately with the commencement of the millennium. this one lasts seven years.
This war is commonly called the war of Gog and Magog. Ezekiel identifies Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Gog was the name of a prince who lived in the area today called Russia. Magog simply means the people of Gog and Rosh is current day Russia. The name Gog could also be a reference to the spiritual prince or power behind him. It is symbolic of the antichrist spirit behind the Russian leader.
The war (and any other in the Middle East) could have dramatic effects on the world economy. As much as 40% of the world's oil travels through the straights of Hormuz, which are controlled by Iran. (part of Persia in ancient times) That nation could easily cripple the world economy or do substantial damage to it by sending the oil price sky high as a result of closure.
War involving the Middle East will inevitably result in oil wars. This will be one of the factors that will cause another world economic melt down, setting the stage for the Satanic /antichrist world economy grab which will result in financial control and domination. The fact that so much of the world's oil lies in Arab / Islamic countries is not accidental. I see it like a giant play with the actors waiting in the wings, about to come onto the stage. They meet their match in the Middle East!
The language used by Ezekiel to describe aspects of this war indicate that it could be nuclear. We have not had a nuclear bomb dropped in hostile action since the close of World War Two. This will most likely be the next.
Ezekiel uses terms that imply great devastation which could be nuclear. "Fire and brimstone" and a "great shaking" are just two of them.
Military might will come from the air "like a storm covering the land, like a cloud covering the land" as well as by land and sea.
Ezekiel 39: 9 is remarkable and strange. It says that the weapons used will take seven years to destroy after the war. Verse 12 says that for "seven months the house of Israel will be burying the dead in order to cleanse the land." Verse 15 says that a "search party will mark the bones of the bodies, till the buriers come." These verses could be due to nuclear contamination.
Ezekiel 39:6 "I will send fire on Magog and those who live in security in the coastlands."
What sort of fire is this? It could be nuclear, but lets also bear in mind that God doesn't need the help of atom bombs, remember Sodom and Gomorrah!
The war of Isaiah 17 which sees the destruction of Damascus the capitol of Syria may be part of the Ezekiel war. Syria today was part of the much greater Assyria in Bible days. This Damascus war may also be nuclear. Personally I think it will be a separate war, but we will all find out soon, wont we!
We all know too well that the leader of Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map. We also know that he has nuclear aspirations. Iran will undoubtedly be one of the nations to meet its fate in Israel.
There are things in this war that we know for sure and other things that we can't be sure about.
We can't be sure about the exact timing of the war although it will most probably be just before the tribulation starts. We can't be sure if the USA will be involved, although it may classify as one of the 'young lions'. We cant be sure if it will be nuclear, although it may well be. We cant be sure who all the nations are today.
We can be absolutely sure it will be in our time. We can be sure it will involve Russia. We can be sure that it will be largely Muslim driven. We can be sure it will be one of the most devastating wars of all time. We can be sure that Israel wins and God defeats the enemies. We can be very sure that this war will confirm the spiritual rebirth of the Jews which started just before the war.
Israel's victory brings world peace:
Ezekiel 39 ends in a most wonderful way.
Verse 23 "The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity and because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of the enemy and they fell by the sword."
Verse 25 "Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel.
Verse 28 "Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God...and I will not hide My face from them anymore, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel."
Israel's long and hard fought road to survival and victory ends in natural and spiritual victory. These things will all transpire exactly the way God has spelt it out.
In the natural or physical, God will continue to use Israel to bring about the destruction of His enemies, ultimately resulting in world peace. On the spiritual side of things, God will continue to bring salvation to His people and only when this has all happened God's way, again peace will be the result.
Its not clear exactly when this war will take place. We do know that it is the latter years. We know that it is during the period of Israel's return to the land and spiritual awakening. We know that it takes seven years to clean up and we know that it results in Israeli victory.
Gog and Magog appear again in the Revelation, but this time they are used symbolically for Armageddon. The Bible often uses types and shadows as a double reference. The Revelation uses Gog and Magog because there will be many similarities. The two wars are not one and the same though.
The Ezekiel war sorts out once and for all who owns the land of Israel, Jerusalem and all its contents.
This war brings the world's 'roadmap to peace' to an abrupt halt in the most dramatic failure of all time. It sets Israel firmly in the land and in control.
Principle of attack:
There is a well established principle and pattern that has been evident throughout the scriptures.
It is that whenever God does something that is important, Satan attacks it. Where it relates to God's choice Satan always loses in the end. Its important for us to know that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the driving Satanic, demonic forces in the background.
If the church were to come into unity in favour of God's choice in many of these issues, the outcome may have been different. But prophecy spells out the fact that much of the church will side with the devil against God.
You new -age preachers, deceived adherents to, and promoters of replacement theology in the church take note of this: God will breathe new spiritual life into the Jews, He will give them their land, all of it and He will destroy all enemies that come against His plans.
Pastors, priests and very reverends who promote replacement theology, you're working with and for the devil himself and you will lose! You're on the losing side.
Let me just add that there is no such thing as neutrality. If you say you neutral on these issues, no you're not. Our Lord says that if you're not for Me you're against Me.
The purpose of prophecy:
At the end of the day, knowledge of Bible prophecy is not designed to amuse us or give us more knowledge so that we can be informed and impress our friends. It's primary overriding purpose is to draw us, heart, mind and soul closer to our great Messiah. Knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God's prophetic Word is a very powerful tool of evangelism as well, but don't ever lose sight of the fact that it is given to us to defeat our own wisdom and replace it with the glorious wisdom of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Prophecy, ultimately exalts and magnifies our Lord and His ways, purpose and plans. His ways are above ours and it is us not Him who need to make the adjustments.
The reason many people don't like Bible prophecy is that they have some sort of knowledge that it will interfere with their plans and life's goal.
So many times I have heard believers say; "No one knows the time, don't you know the Bible says nobody knows the time of the coming of the Lord." This isn't actually what they mean. What they really mean is; "Don't interfere with my happy life. Everything will carry on just as normal!
2 Peter 3:3 "Know that in the last days scoffers will come, walking according to their own lusts, saying where is the promise of His coming, all things will continue as they were."
No my friends, all things will not carry on as normal. God is about to intervene in the affairs of this world like never before. Prophecy, shows us things to come, giving us the grace of being well prepared and helping others to be prepared as well. Prophecy brings us face to face with a Holy, Righteous God, no arguments allowed.
In closing: Dry bones LIVE! This is a woodcut by Gustave Dore of one of the most powerful prophetic events of our time. (Thanks to the Adelaide University Library.)
Kind regards and many blessings...Shalom and grow in grace!