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Iran and Bible Prophecy
Iran and Bible Prophecy; Destruction of U.S. ; Ezekiel 38/39 War...........
Russia, Iran and Ezekiel 38
It is fascinating to watch Russia being slowly, inexorably drawn into the Middle East conflict, almost against its better judgment, and forced by its economic need and its competitive drive to outflank the US and the West for global dominance, into what could easily become a showdown of the nations in the Middle East. Russia has its own problems in the Caucasus region with Islamic terrorists, some of whom even have ties to Iran and Al Qaeda. Still Russia envisions a more sinister threat from the European theatre for control of the Mid-east oil reserves than it does from any other sphere. The current situation mirrors the precise imagery that Ezekiel conveyed with the 'hooks in the jaws' analogy, and the even more fascinating is the statement emanating from God himself. "I will bring thee forth". The key to Russia’s thrust into the Middle East quagmire rests with its major client partner and western agitator in the region, Iran.
Ezekiel foretells that the Russian invasion against Israel will come in the latter days, and intimates that it will be timed to be a post-event to the peace-and-safety covenant that the Antichrist makes with Israel and her Arab neighbors. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them." So now, with the history of Iran completed, lets take a trip into the book of Ezekiel and review the Russian-Iranian alliance prophecy of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Ezekiel 38:1-10 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
Ezekiel begins by making the startling announcement that the Lord himself is against the Prince of Gog. Gog is identified as the chief prince of Meschech and Tubal. It can be debated as to whether or not this “prince” is a man, or perhaps is a fallen angel, or ruler of darkness under the authority of Satan that manipulates the affairs of the geographical region around Magog. Ephesians 6:12 and Colossians 1:16conveys the fact that there are indeed “principalities” that act as Satan’s evil lords and magistrates over the nations, seeking to gain control over the affairs of nations for the purpose of enacting the conspiratorial scheme of Satan to counter God’s pledge of providence to establish Jesus Christ as King of Kings in this world. Therefore God is against these princes that incite the nations, and makes them to become insane! (see Revelation 11:18) (Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.) (Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:)
Gog is known to be "the prince of Rosh” (great empire of the north) as indicated by the proclamation that he is the chief over Meshech, and Tubal." Gog is further depicted as being over "of the land of Magog," or a "place out of the far north," and anytime a direction is utilized in the Bible it takes as its center point the nation of Israel. Mesheck, like the rest of Ezekiel’s Gog invasion alliance members were descendants of Japheth. The term Mesheck is translated as Moschi or Moschoi, which translates as Moscow. The term Tubal is also handed down from the table of nations in Genesis chapter 10, and refers to a northern city-state that traded in goods and developed military alliances with the ancient cities of Tyre and Tarshish. Although many of the names from Genesis ten have become lost in the shadows of history, Tubal is probably representative of the peoples that lived in the Cappadocian region north and east of the modern state of Turkey. Magog is referred to by the Jewish historian Josephus who identified them as the Scythians, or the people north of the Caucasus Mountains. The Scythians were well known for barbaric destructiveness in warfare. The term Magog is also a comprehensive term which means "the northern barbarians." The people of Magog were infamous for their technical skills in the art of warfare. The Scythians are the ancestors of modern Russia.
Another well known source is Josephus Flavius, who records that the Magogians were called "Scythians" by the Greeks. ("Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians.") Josephus Flavius, 1st century A.D.
In any event, God forecasts that the “prince” of Magog will become ensnarled in the Last Days troublesome conflict of the Middle East concerning Israel’s burdensome reemergence as a nation. The “hooks-in-the-jaws” depiction conveys the idea that Russia, being the strongest military bloc available to counter the strategic moves of the Western Antichrist into the Middle East, will be coerced by out of its position in the north by some mysterious element of association that it has with its allies. That element is likely to be the radical component of Islam and its terrorist infrastructure that is presently being shaped and fomented by the fundamentalist Mullahs of Iran.
The Prince of Russia is Waiting for the Opportune Time
Ezekiel’s Magog-Iran led scenario looms on the horizon. The principle players are all in place, and can quickly add the subordinate allies of Libya, Gomer and Togarmah. These members of the alliance will probably include Turkey and the Muslim republics that make up the southern border of Russia.
But there remains one giant stumbling block to the Moscow led invasion upon the mountains of Israel. And Russia is nobody’s fool, not even Iran’s. The great Russian bear wants no part of Iran’s nuclear exchange philosophy. Russia is and has always been a solid proponent of the theory of mutually assured destruction. (MAD) The Soviet Union and the USA mutually avoided the threat of during the Cold War because each side maintained a sense of rationality when it came to nuclear holocaust. Russia has also made strategic defense and support alliances with China (kings of the east) as a means for both of those nations to act as a counter to what they see as a transforming trans-Atlantic (US & EU/NATO) (and ultimately will become the empire of the Antichrist) superpower. Ironically, Russia, China, and the EU are all lying in wait anticipating the day when the US is dislodged from its prominent perch as the world’s premier force in geo-politics, and destablized internally to such an extent that it cannot utilize its great military machine. They all fully realize that the Middle East terrorist campaign of Holy Jihad is a war to bring down the United States, (to wound Israel’s Big friend) and thus they are waiting to see how the US fares in defending itself in the war on terror.
So, Ezekiel’s scenario of chapter 38-39 must be an event that comes after a fatal blow is struck against the United States, greatly diminishing the position of the US in the world. The fall of the US is likely a sequence of events relative to Bible prophecy in conjunction with the sudden disappearance of Christians from the world stage. (Rapture) It may well revolve around a nuclear, chemical or biological nightmare perpetrated by international terrorists. In any event, the rapture event itself would unquestionably render the US as an absolute dysfunctional state, with total chaos ensuing in the wake of its sudden demise.
This scenario paints a bad picture for America, but I think it is well within the scope of likelihood, both from a current-events perspective, and also from a perspective rooted in Bible prophecy. In any event, something of world significance must happen that removes any obstacles that would hinder Russia from making its calculated move to lead a coalition of nations, including Iran against Israel.
The Absence of Syria, Iran’s Present Axis of Evil Partner
Perhaps the most striking point when reading the listing of the Ezekiel 38 Magog invasion coalition strike-force upon Israel s the absence of Syria from the alliance membership. The Russian invasion is expressly asserted to be pinpointed towards the mountains of Israel, which probably would include the contested Golan Heights. Syria and Israel have been locked in total disagreement about the possession of this very area ever since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Russia has traditionally supported Syria’s claims to the Golan’s mountainous region. Yet, Syria is not mentioned by Ezekiel in the Magog scenario. The absence of Syria in this coalition begs for an answer.
Damascus, the capitol city of Syria, is the international headquarters for virtually every Middle East terrorist organization. The absence of Syria from the Magog coalition indicates that the prophesied burden of Damascus event is a sequence of events that prefigures in time the Magog invasion. It is highly likely, given the present geo-political world situation and the strategies involved in the American-led war on terror that Damascus will be devastated either by Israel, the US, or become victim to an international nuclear exchange, as the war on terror proceeds.
As described in: Isaiah chapter 17, Jeremiah 49:23-27 and elsewhere ...
"The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.... And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us." Isaiah 17:1, 14
"Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!" Jeremiah 49:24-25
Damascus, the capital of Syria, is known to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world! It has never yet been "taken away from being a city." Its destruction is therefore a future event, and is likely an event that is pre-tribulational.
Wars in the Heavens
Satan has a host of angels at his command. Among the ranks of his confederation of invisible agents are thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. The Bible is clear that there are wars continually going on in the unseen world. Most of those angelic confrontations involve the dominion and control of the nations of this world. It should never be lost on the mind of any Christian or prophecy student that Satan commands a host of demonic armies that tend to dominate international affairs, and seeks to dominate the affairs of every nation. In some nations, he has virtual control, while in other nations his control is limited due to the blessed perpetual fertilization of God’s word. This is just one reason that missionary endeavors around the world are so important. Most of us can recall the iron curtain that descended across the European continent. It symbolized the fact that there are barriers to freedom that can be erected anywhere. Likewise, there is an Islamic curtain that has been erected across much of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But there also exists barriers and buttresses in the spiritual world that work to obstruct the spirit of God’s truth, and the spreading of the seed of his Gospel. These unseen forces of evil battle daily with the holy angels of God. They also battle to manipulate the governments and leaders of nations. In fact, the day is coming when God will withdraw his restrainer and allow the agents of Satan to gather all nations into the Valley of Decision, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.)
The Prince of Gog?
The sudden appearance of "Gog" in Ezekiel’s text, without any apparent background from any other passages, has puzzled prophecy commentators for centuries. From the context, it is clearly the title of the “leader of the people of the land of Magog.” Still, it seems inconsistent with God's established style to have such a key figure emerge in the text without a linkage of some sort. There is, however, a provocative reference that has been widely overlooked in the Book of Amos. The traditional rendering of Amos 7:1 reads as follows: ("Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings." Amos 7:1
Our English Bible takes its translation from the Masoretic text, a 9th century source. However, an earlier translation of the Old Testament into Greek, known as the Septuagint, embodies a different rending of Amos 7:1: "Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King." Many eschatological writers assert that Gog is none other than the Antichrist. But the identification of Gog as the king of the locusts would have profound implications. Yet Proverbs 30:7 reveals that "the locusts have no king," implying that the "locusts" of Amos 7 are not intended to be natural locusts, but an idiom for something else. We encounter this theme when we read a similar passage in Revelation chapter nine where locusts are described as having a king, indicating that they are actually demons under the authority of Lucifer.
The passage in Amos 7:1 suggests that Gog is the king of the demon locusts, and this would put an entirely new light on the Gog scenario of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Let's remember that it is not the first time we have heard about demonic forces behind kings and kingdoms.
Consider Daniel chapter ten, where Daniel has prayed and fasted for 21 days, then an Angel appears to him. The Angel comes and tells Daniel that he had been dispatched by God 21 days earlier (when he began his prayer & fast) but was "withstood" by a demonic force that he refers to as, 'The Prince of Persia'. The prince of Persia, was the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world power, to which Israel was then subject. Daniel even goes on to say Michael (the Archangel /one of the Chief Princes) came to help him. He then gives Daniel the visions, and concluded by informing Daniel that he must continue on to contend with another “prince of the power of the air,” 'The Prince of Grecia' (Greece). The Greek empire was another world power that would rise after Persia, but it points out the reality of the fact that there are battles ensuing in the heavens over earthly events! Every nation on earth is involved in a supernatural struggle, and each nation has unseen agents from the angelic world assigned to it.
Daniel 10:10-14 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
The Prince of Persia
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
A principality is a powerful ruler, or the principal ruler of someone in absolute authority. The word may refer to human rulers, demonic spirits, angels and demons in general, or any type of ruler other than God Himself.
Daniel 10:15-21 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
So, Iran, or Persia, has been in the center of an unseen warfare from ancient times. Daniel, being highly favored of God was privileged to have God pull back the curtain of history and time and briefly expose Daniel to the wars that continue in Heaven, and that affect events on the Earth. Daniel prayed for Divine insight into the meaning of some prophecies God gave him about the future of his people Israel.
Daniel’s vision reveals the fact that there are mighty fallen angels called demons that influence earthly leaders. And under God's permission, they even control them. The true "Prince of Persia" was able to hinder God’s archangel Gabriel. It was only with the help of the archangel Michael that Gabriel was able to subdue his hindrances. Second, the archangel Michael is said to be the special guardian angel of Daniel and the Israeli people. As it is written, Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:
I realize for some of you this may sound a little spooky. But this is the Word of God and it is true. My point is this: Even though God has allowed Israel to be disciplined, their final fate always remains in His hands. God has promised that the nation of Israel will never be destroyed once they return from the worldwide dispersion that began with the Roman holocaust in AD70. And all the powers of darkness cannot change God's promise. Israel was officially reborn May 15, 1948. So even though the modern Persians think they will destroy Israel, God has another surprise in mind for them.
Prophetic scripture makes no mention of any overarching superpowers in the world resembling the United States, but it does depict one under the authority of the Antichrist based in Europe. Most of the EU lead-states are actually plotting and scheming for the downfall of the US as a superpower, so the EU can amalgamate America under the EU umbrella, and so the EU can emerge as the West’s superpower state to compete against Russia and China for world control. Who will be its leader? The leaders of the EU are already touting the office of the EU Presidency as a replacement for the command status of the American Presidency. We can look for the Antichrist to emerge in this arena, and perhaps very soon. Is it any wonder that the socialist democrats in the American political sphere are so eager to align themselves with supposed allies in Europe, and insist upon the US submitting its Presidential powers for the defense of America to a UN sanctioned litmus test? Why would any American political leader ever concede the power and prestige of the American Presidency? Well, everything in our world today revolves around Israel. Europe is not willing to fight a World War over the security and existence of Israel. Europe and the liberal political establishment will not condone America’s traditional support for Israel, (this is what the war on terror is all about) and they are working in league to change America’s political behavior in regard to the Middle East, to make it conform to a more European worldview, a worldview that does not recognize the Divine sanctity of Israel, (appease the Muslim world) and will therefore be willing to sacrifice Israel up on the alter of Global governance and world peace.
In the midst of all these world geo-political mechanisms stands the Axis of Evil. Iran and Syria stand poised to bring the entire world to the precipice of nuclear war. The prince of Persia is assisting all the other princes of darkness in many other nations within the Luciferic conspiracy to oppose the Prince of Peace.
Even so, Come Lord Jesus!
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
By: Darrell G. Young