What is Daniel 9 talking about?
What is Ezekiel 36-39 describing?
What do Daniel & Ezekiel Say about: Israel’s Rebirth, Russia’s Invasion, Islam’s Everlasting Enmity, and the End of Days?
Ezekiel was a classic Biblical prophet:
It was through Ezekiel, God communicated powerful truths:
- The truth that Jerusalem and Israel are the epicenter of God’s plan and purpose in the End Times.
- The truth of the rebirth of the State of Israel in the End Times.
- The truth of the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land in the End Times.
- The truth of a coming season of security and prosperity for Israel in the End Times.
- The truth of an apocalyptic showdown between Israel, Russia, Iran and a group of other nations in the epicenter in the End Times.
- The truth of the cataclysmic judgment of Israel’s enemies in the End Times.
- The truth of the supernatural rescue of Israel in the End Times.
- The truth of the salvation of the Jewish people in the End Times.
- And the truth of the building not just of a 3rd Temple in the End Times but a 4th Temple, too, from which the Messiah will reign.
These are vitally important truths for Christians, for Jews, indeed for all people in our time. Yet they are rarely taught.
Dr. Mark Hitchcock, author of an excellent resource book – The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days (over 500 pages) – notes that:
- 5% of the Old Testament are prophetic verses
- 5% of the New Testament are prophetic verses
- All told, some 27% of the Bible are prophetic verses
Without question, prophecy is central to the Holy Scriptures. Yet very few pastors, priests or ministry leaders are teaching Bible prophecy today.
First, to reveal that the God of Israel is all-mighty, all-seeing, all-knowing God of the universe.
- The Lord said through the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, ”Behold, the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” (Isaiah 42:9)
- The Lord also said through the prophet Isaiah, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.” (Isaiah 44:6-7)
- The Lord also said through the prophet Isaiah, “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
- The Apostle Peter wrote, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
- The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)
Second, to reveal that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and true in all its respects.
- There are about 1,000 specific prophecies in the Bible.
- More than half of them have already been fulfilled.
- Most of the remaining prophecies concern events that will happen between now and the Second Coming of Christ.
In the Old Testament, for example, we see hundreds of prophecies fulfilled.
For example, around 530 B.C., the Lord told the prophet Daniel that:
- the kingdom of Babylon would be taken over the kingdom of Media-Persia
- the Media-Persian kingdom would be taken over the kingdom of Greece
- the kingdom of Greece would be taken over by the kingdom of Rome
- and eventually all the kingdoms of the earth would be taken over by the Kingdom of God
This is exactly what has happened.
Here’s another example: Around 600 B.C., the Lord told the prophet Jeremiah that the Babylonians would come and take the Jewish people captive. He also told Jeremiah that after 70 years of captivity they would be released to come back to the land of Israel.
- Jeremiah 25:11-12 – “‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the Lord, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation.’”
- Jeremiah 29:10 – “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place [Israel].”
A hundred years earlier, the Lord even told the prophet Isaiah the exact name of the Persian king who would be instrumental in the Jewish people being set free from Babylonian captivity.
- Isaiah 44:28 – Thus says the Lord….“It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”
- Isaiah 45:1, 4, 13 – “Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed….‘For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me….he will build My city and will let My exiles go free, without any payment or reward,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Sure enough, just as Jeremiah prophesied, God brought the Jewish people home from exile back to Israel right on schedule. And just as Isaiah prophesied, Cyrus was precisely the name of the Persian king who helped the Jews go back home.
- 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 – “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia – in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah – the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”’”
- Repeated in Ezra chapter 1
Third, to require us to study God’s Word diligently and with humility, and to teach God’s Word with humility and great care.
In Matthew 24:15, Jesus described as Daniel a “prophet.” He certainly was. But that did not mean Daniel understood all things. It did even mean that Daniel understand all that he saw or was told to write down.
- Daniel 12:4 – “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
- Daniel 12:8-9 – “As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, ‘My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?’ He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed until the end of time. Many will be purged, purified, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”
- Daniel 9:1-6 – We find the prophet Daniel carefully studying the prophecies of Jeremiah, with prayer and fasting.
- I Peter 1:10-12 – “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things into which angels long to look.”
- 2 Peter 1:19-21 – “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s one interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
- 1 Timothy 4:1, 13, 15, 16 – “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons….Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching….Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
- 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
- Acts 20:20-31 – “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to houses, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ….I went about preaching the kingdom….I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose [counsel] of God” [for a period of three years].
Fourth, to point to the First Coming of the Messiah.
In the Old Testament, the Lord gave us dozens of clues about who the Messiah would be and what He would do. Here are a few of them:
- The prophet Micah told us the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2).
- The Hebrew prophet Isaiah told us that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
- The prophet Isaiah told us that the Messiah would be born as a human male child, a son, but would also be called “mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6).
- The prophet Isaiah told us that the Messiah would be a live and minister in the Galilee region of Israel (Isaiah 9:1-2)
- The prophet Zechariah told us the Messiah would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)
- The prophet Isaiah told us that the Messiah would heal people — “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases” (Isaiah 53:4)
- King David prophesied that the Messiah would be surrounded by an evil band of men who would beat and torture him, would divide his clothing and cast lots for them, and would pierce his hands and feet and leave him “in the dust of death,” that is, kill him (Psalm 22)
- The prophet Daniel made it clear that the Messiah would come to “finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for inquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness” but to do so he would need to be “cut off” [killed] before Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. (Daniel 9:24-26)
- The prophet Isaiah described the Messiah as a suffering Servant who would be beaten, tortured, mocked, pierced, and ultimately killed as a guilt offering for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53)
- The prophet Isaiah also made it clear that the Messiah would also rise from the dead — “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crusheed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed….His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death….But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” (Isaiah 53:5,9,10)
- Through the prophet Jonah and the prophet Hosea, we were told God would raise the Messiah after three days in the grave (Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days before he was returned to the earth; in Hosea 6:2 we read, “He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him.”)
Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all of these prophecies, proving Himself to be the Messiah.
In Luke 24:25-27 we read: And He [Jesus] said to them [several of His disciples whom He saw after His resurrection], ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Fifth, to point to the Second Coming of the Messiah.
Revelation 1:1-8 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 19:10 – “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Notes Dr. Mark Hitchcock in his book, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophesy and the End of Days
- “There are over 300 references to the Lord’s coming in the 260 chapters of the New Testament – one out of every 30 verses.”
- 23 of 27 NT books mention the Lord’s Second Coming
- “For every time the Bible mentions the first coming, the Second coming is mentioned eight times.”
- “People are exhorted to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ over fifty times.”
Sixth, to build up, challenge, encourage and comfort the Church to live holy and fruitful lives in the last days.
The study and teaching of prophecy isn’t supposed to be an intellectual pursuit of its own. The point isn’t to memorize all the seals and bowls and trumpets in the book of Revelation….or set dates and times regarding the Rapture…. or getting into pointless and contentious arguments over the timing and sequence of End Times events.
Rather, God gave us prophecy to motivate and mobilize the Church to live lives of holiness….and preach the Gospel to all nations before He comes…and make disciples of all nations before He returns.
Revelation 1:10-11 – “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, ‘Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches….’”
I Corinthians 14:3-4 – “But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.”
- Prophecy is supposed to build up our faith in God’s awesome power and total sovereignty.
- Prophecy is supposed to challenge us to repent from ungodly behavior.
- Prophecy is supposed to encourage us to be holy and walk more closely with the Lord in the time we have left.
- Prophecy is supposed to encourage us to serve Christ with humility and preach His Word with boldness and courage.
- Prophecy is supposed to encourage us to be prepared to stand before Him face to face in the not-too-distant future.
- Prophecy is supposed to encourage us to be ready to confront and refute false teachers in the last days.
- Prophecy is supposed to comforts from our fears and sorrows by reminding us that Jesus Christ is coming to rescue us, and that He will win over evil, and that He will reign forever, and that we will be with Him forever and ever.
Seventh, to warn unbelievers in Israel and in the nations to repent and turn to Jesus Christ before it is too late.
I Corinthians 14:22 – “Prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe….But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man [unversed in spiritual gifts] enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.”
Revelation 19:10 – “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Ultimately, all of prophecy is about Jesus Christ….it comes from Him….it points to Him.
Bible prophecy speaks to the general future of “all nations” in the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ.
- Example: Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22 – “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations….I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the earth.’
- Example: Joel 3:2 – “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.”
Bible prophecy speaks to the specific future of specific nations and regions in the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ.
- Included: Israel, Russia, Iran, Syria (Damascus), Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, a European (revived Roman) empire, etc
- Also included:
- the “king of the South” (Daniel 11:5)
- the “king of the North” (Daniel 11:6)
- the “queen of the South” (Matthew 12:42)
- the “kings from the east” (Revelation 16:12
- Not included: the United States of America (not even a king or queen of the west)
Dr. Charlie Dyer, professor at Moody Bible Institute: “God gave prophecy to change our hearts, not to fill our heads with knowledge. God never predicted the future events just to satisfy our curiosity about the future. Every time God announces events that are future, He includes with His predictions practical applications to life. God’s pronouncements about the future carry with them specific advice for the ‘here and now.’” (cited in Dr. Mark Hitchcock’s book)
Dr. Randall Price, professor of archaeology and Biblical studies at Liberty University: “What good is it to be able to understand the seven heads in Revelation 13:1 if we don’t use our own head? Of what profit is it to discern the ten toes of Daniel 2:41-44 if we don’t move our own two feet? And what value is it to know about the great mouth that speaks lies (Daniel 7:8, Revelation 13:5), unless we open our mouth and speak the truth? In every generation where prophecy has been properly proclaimed, the results have been a harvest of souls to the glory of God.” (cited in Dr. Mark Hitchcock’s book)
WHAT IS THE “WAR OF GOG AND MAGOG”? Part One. Also: This blog launches in Hebrew
In Uncategorized on May 9, 2011 at 4:32 am
Today, let’s start by defining who “Gog” and “Magog” are, when this prophecy will take place, and what countries will be participating in the coalition against Israel:
- The Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel lived in Babylon (Iraq) more than 2,500 years ago and the Lord gave him a vision of events that would take place in the future.
- Ezekiel 38:16 specifically tells us these events will take place in the “last days” — that is in the End Times before the Messiah comes to set up His kingdom on earth.
- Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 set the stage for the “War of Gog and Magog” by describing that Israel will be reborn as a country in the last days, the Jewish people will come back to the Holy Land from exile all over the world, the Jewish people will rebuild the ancient ruins and make the deserts bloom again. These things have all happened, and this suggests we are getting closer to the fulfillment of the next set of prophecies.
- Ezekiel 38:2 tells us that the war will be led be someone known as “Gog.” This is not a personal name. We’re not looking for someone named David Gog. Or Ahmed Gog. Or Dmitri Gog. Rather, “Gog” is a title, like a “Pharoah” or a “Czar.” Through the prophecy, this Gog is described as a military leader, a political leader, and a coalition builder. In Ezekiel 38:10 he is described as developing an “evil plan,” we know this is an evil man, a tyrant.
- The Hebrew prophet gives us more clues. This “Gog” is going to be from the “land of Magog.” One has to do some historical detective work to determine what Magog is, but it is possible. Flavius Josephus, the first century Roman historian, wrote in his famous book, The Antiquities of the Jews, that the people of Magog are the people whom the Greeks called “Scythians.” This is a critical clue because we know from history that the Scythians were a people group that migrated from the Middle East northward and settled north of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the region we know today as Russia and the former Soviet Republics.
- There are other interesting clues, as well. Ezekiel 38:15 says that Gog “will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north.” Ezekiel 39:2 says Gog will come “from the remotest parts of the north” and come “against the mountains of Israel.” The country that is farthest to the north in relation to Israel is Russia.
- Thus, we can determine that a Russian dictator will build a diplomatic and military coalition to surround and attack the State of Israel in the End Times.
The question then is what other countries will be part of the coalition?
- In Ezekiel 38:5, we learn that the first ally Russia will have is “Persia.” Until 1935, of course, Persia was the legal name of the country we know today as Iran. So we know that Russia and Iran will build an alliance in the last days to attack Israel.
- Ezekiel tells us that another country in the alliance will be what many English Bible translate as “Ethiopia.” The Hebrew word, however, is “Cush” and Cush is the upper Nile region that we now know as Sudan. While the current state of Ethiopia may also be involved in the war, the focus is really Sudan, which today, of course, is a radical Islamic Sunni state closely allied with Iran and Russia and deeply anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
- Next, Ezekiel says a nation called “Put” will be part of the alliance. Josephus identifies “Put” as “ancient Lybios” — the territory that today we call Libya and Algeria. Interestingly, both countries today are deeply hostile to Israel and closely allied with Russia.
- The next country mentioned is “Gomer.” When one does the historical detective work, one learns that Gomer is what we now call Turkey. For much of the past 80 years, it didn’t make sense that Turkey would turn against Israel. Why? Because Turkey was a NATO ally, and a friend of Israel, the U.S. and the European Union. But in the last few years, the Turkish government has swung dramatically away from the West, towards Russia and Iran, and become deeply hostile towards the State of Israel.
- The next country Ezekiel mentions is “Beth Togarmah.” This is the Turkic-speaking peoples that spread out from Turkey across the Causasus, and across Central Asia. We can’t be certain precisely which modern nation states from this area will join the anti-Israel alliance, because these are almost all Muslim countries with close links to Russia and Iran.
- Interestingly, Egypt is not mentioned by Ezekiel as part of the Russian-Iranian alliance against Israel. This is interesting because Egypt has been such an historic enemy of Israel and the Jewish people. That said, perhaps Egypt’s non-involvement in the War of Gog and Magog could be explained by the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979. This treaty is now in danger of unraveling, but at least for the near term Egypt is still unlikely to be in a position to strategically threaten Israel.
- Iraq — whether under its biblical names of Babel, Babylon, Babylonia, Shinar, or Mesopotamia — isn’t mentioned in the prophecy either, yet it, too, is an historic enemy of Israel. Still, given the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the subsequent violence, and the rebuilding now going on, Iraq is not likely to be a threat to Israel in the near term.
- Syria and Lebanon are not mentioned by named in the prophecy either. However, Ezekiel tells us repeatedly that the main military force that will be coming against Israel will be coming from the north, which means they will be coming through Lebanon and Syria.
WHAT IS THE WAR OF GOG AND MAGOG? Part Two. As we honor Israel’s 63rd modern Day of Independence, are there signs this prophetic war is close at hand?
In Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 at 8:06 am
The Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel describes a Russian dictator (Gog) who will form a military coalition with Iran, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Turkey and a group of other North African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries in “the last days” (Ezekiel 38:16). In the days of Ezekiel, of course, there was no Islam. Today we know that most of the nations Ezekiel mentions are majority Muslim countries, and Russia is about 20% Muslim and increasingly allied with Radicalized Islamic countries.
The Bible explains very clearly that the target of this military coalition in the End Times will be Israel.
Ezekiel 38:8 says “in the latter years, you [Gog and his coalition] will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations and they are living securely, all of them.”
Ezekiel 38:16 says that the coalition “will come up against My people Israel” and that “it shall come about in the last days that I will bring you [Gog] against My land.”
Ezekiel 39:2 says that Gog will come “from the remotest parts of the north…against the mountains of Israel.”
Clearly, then, the main pre-requisite for this prophecy regarding the “War of Gog and Magog” to come true is that the State of Israel has to be prophetically reborn in the last days. Indeed, this is what the prophecies of Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 describe in detail.
The Lord showed Ezekiel that Jews would living in exile, scattered throughout the world because of sin and disobedience to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Ezekiel 36:16-21).
But solely because of His grace and mercy, the Lord promised to regather the Jewish people to the land of Israel.
The Lord promised that “I will cause men — My people Israel — to walk on you and possess you” (Ezekiel 36:12).
The Lord said that the Jewish people would rebuild the ancient ruins and the ”waste places” (Ezekiel 36:10).
The Lord said that the land and “mountains of Israel” at that time would “put forth [their] branches” and bear fruit for “My people Israel.” (Ezekiel 36:8)
The Lord said that first the physical restoration of Israel and the Jewish return to the Land would be set into motion (Ezekiel 37:4-8)
After the physical restoration of the State of Israel began, then the spiritual restoration of the Jewish people would be set into motion (Ezekiel 37:9-14).
Then, once Israel was reestablished as a State, and the Jewish people were being regathered to the Land, and the Lord was drawing the Jewish people back into a relationship with Him, and Israel was living securely in the Land (Ezekiel 38:8) with a degree of prosperity even (Ezekiel 38:12), then — and only then — would the Russian-Iranian coalition be set into motion to rob, kill and destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
It should be noted that Ezekiel does not describe Israel having “peace.” Rather, twice Israel is described as “living securely” (Ezekiel 38:8 and 38:11).
I recognize that these verses can be difficult for some Palestinian Arabs and some Israeli Arabs to read, whether they are born again Christians or nominal Christians (raised in churches but without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ), and especially if they are Muslims. The Bible indicates that Jews will be a sinful people when they are brought back into the Land. Only after they return, the Bible teaches, will the Holy Spirit be poured out upon the Jewish people in an increasingly significant way (Ezekiel 39:29 and Joel 2:28-32 — or Joel chapter 3 in Hebrew Bibles). Then, a growing number of Jewish people will repent and return to a personal relationship with the Lord. Meanwhile, Jesus said in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 that there would be “wars and rumors of wars” and “revolutions” and “lawlessness” in the last days. Certainly, the rebirth of Israel — while prophetic and God-ordained — has come with wars, rumors of war, revolutions, sins, and even crimes committed by some Arabs as well as some Jews. The Bible doesn’t teach this period of the last days will be easy, and the Bible is right.
That said, we would be not be honest to the Word of God if we were to ignore, deny or try to explain away the plain meaning of these verses. The Bible told us well in advance that Israel would be reborn and the Jews would come back to the Land, and this has come to pass. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that the Lord will bless those who bless the children of Abraham, and He will curse those who curse the children of Abraham. Those who have cursed Israel have, sadly, found themselves facing great pain and suffering. Sometimes Bible truths are difficult to accept, but they are true nonetheless and we must accept them by faith.
Now, back to the prophecy and its analysis: It could be reasonably argued that Israel is living more securely today than at any other time in its 63 years. The Israeli Defense Forces are widely considered the strongest and most effective ground fighting force in the Middle East. The Israeli Air Force is widely considered dominant in the skies. Israel has peace treaties with two major neighbors, Egypt and Jordan (though the future of the treaty with Egypt is increasingly in question). Yasser Arafat is gone. Saddam Hussein is gone. Osama bin Laden is gone. Palestinian suicide bombings are not a daily part of Israeli life since 2004. Rockets are occassionally fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians living in the south, but this is not nearly as bad as it was prior to Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. Moreover, Israel has just deployed a short-range rocket defense system called “Iron Dome” that is very effective. Meanwhile, Israel has submarines, ballistic missiles, and first rate intelligence services in her defense. Israel has also enjoyed decades of a close strategic partnership with the United States, has a strong and vibrant economy, and is widely believed to have defensive nuclear weapons, though the government maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the subject, neither confirming nor denying the existence of those weapons.
Could Israel currently be secure enough to fulfill this prophetic prerequisite? Honestly, I am not sure. Perhaps events soon will lead Israelis to being and feeling even more secure. But there is no question that even with emerging new threats on the horizon, Israelis feel more secure today than ever before its their modern State’s existence.
Given the fact that the major End Times prophecies of Ezekiel 36 and 37 have essentially come true in our lifetime, does this mean that we will see Ezekiel 38 and 39 come true in our lifetime as well? To me, it is too soon to say so definitively. Certainly we are seeing geopolitical events unfold in recent decades and in recent years that are strikingly consistent with what the Bible describes as preparations essential for the “War of Gog and Magog.” So we should be ready. We should be prepared — not caught off guard — if events accelerate in the near future. But we must also remember that the Lord in His sovereignty could also decide to delay events for quite some time for His own purposes.
That said, it should be noted that when the Russian dictator finishes building his military coalition in Israel and begins to move his forces to surround Israel in the “last days,” Ezekiel gives us no indication that any country will come to Israel’s defense. There are not indications that the United Nations, or the European Union, or NATO will defend Israel. Nor is there any indication that the United States will defend Israel. Rather, Israel will be — and will feel — all alone in the world.
WHAT IS THE WAR OF GOG AND MAGOG? Part Three — the good news
In Uncategorized on May 12, 2011 at 7:11 am
As the forces of the Russian dictator (Gog) and his military coalition — including Iran, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey and other key Islamic nations — converges against the State of Israel in the last days, the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel tells us that at the last moment when there seems to be know hope for Israeli Jews the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is going to supernaturally intervene.
- Ezekiel 38:18-19 — “‘It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord God, ‘that My fury will mounty up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.”
Ezekiel tells us that this earthquake will shake the entire globe and “all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence” (38:20).
The enemy forces will become so frightened and disoriented that they will turn and starting fighting each other (38:21).
Terrible diseases (pestilence) will start to spread through the enemy forces (38:21).
As God judges these enemies of Israel, the text says He “will rain on him [Gog] and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (38:22)
The Lord also says “I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coast lands in safety.” (39:6) In other words, parts of Russia and other enemy countries will be devastated by fire from heaven.
The Bible does not tell us exactly how this will happen, but it clearly describes a supernatural judgment. This is not a war started by the Israeli Defense Forces. These are not missiles from the Israeli Air Force. There no evidence in the text of Israelis defending themselves. Perhaps they are engaging in diplomacy. Perhaps they are hoping for the U.S. or the U.N. other nations to intervene. Whatever the case, the God of Israel steps in and defends Israel Himself, raining fire and brimstone down on the enemy forces and utterly destroying them.
Why does the Lord act? The Lord tells us directly in 38:23, “I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord.” The nations have forgotten that God does love the Jewish people. He does love the nation of Israel. They are not perfect, but He loves them and has made promises to them and He intends to keep those promises. And He wants the rest of the world to know there is a God in Israel.
The devasation is so horrific that chapter 39 tells us it takes the Israelis seven months to bury all the bodies of the enemy forces (39:12-16).
Ezekiel tells us it would probably take longer than seven months but the birds of the air and the beasts of the field eat many of the bodies (39:17-20)
Sin has consequences. God said in Genesis 12:1-3 that those who bless the children of Abraham will be blessed, but those who curse them will be cursed. God is patient. He is slow to anger. But when pushed to far, He will act against those who hate the Jewish people and seek to rob, kill and destroy them. Let the nations be warned.
There is more to the story, however. Not only will the “War of Gog and Magog” be a day of great judgment; it will also be a day of great mercy. The Bible says that the militaries of these enemies will be destroyed. There are hints here and in other texts (Jeremiah 49, for example) that the governments of these countries will be judged, as well. But God is not going to wipe out all the people of these enemy countries. To the contrary, He wants them to see His glory and His mercy.
Ezekiel 39:21 — “I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.”
Did you catch that? “All” the nations will “see” God’s glory and judgment. Today, we are living in the first generation in human history where because of the miracle of global satellite television technology people in every country on the planet will be able to watch the prophecies of the Bible come true before their very eyes.
As a result, I believe Ezekiel 38-39 describes the end of Radical Islam — and effectively the end of all of Islam — as we have known it. When the God of Israel destroys the forces of Radical Islam supernaturally while Muslims watch on Al Jazeera, how will they wake up the day after and believe that the Qur’an is true and that Muhammad is a true prophet? The vast majority of Muslims will abandon Islam. Many will turn to faith in Jesus Christ. Not all, of course, but many will because they will have seen the Word of God come true right in front of them and the Word was God and the Word is God and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and His name is Jesus the Messiah. (John chapter 1)
Israelis will feel very afraid and very much alone right up until the Lord shows His mighty hand. But then even those who are secular will know their is a God in heaven.
- Ezekiel 39:22 — “And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward.”
- Ezekiel 39:25-26,28 — “Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. They will forget their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid….Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land and I will leave none of them there any longer.’”
- On top of all this, the Lord says He will no longer hide His face from the Jewish people and, in fact, will pour out His Holy Spirit upon them. “I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord.” (39:29)
- As a result, many Jews will come to faith in Jesus as Messiah, for that is the role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the true identity of Jesus to people. Jesus said in John 14:26, ”The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” Not all Jews will come to faith in Jesus at that time, but many will because the Father will pour out His Holy Spirit on the house of Israel.
- While we know these events will all happen in the “last days” (38:16), we cannot determine whether the “War of Gog and Magog” will happen before the Rapture (when the Lord suddenly snatches born again believers in Jesus off of the earth, prior to the Tribulation) or not, because the text does not tell us one way or the other.
- That said, I believe it is very possible — not certain, but very possible – that these events will unfold within this generation, and possibly quite soon. We are certainly seeing geopolitical events unfolding in a way consistent with Ezekiel 38-39.
- Therefore, the most important question we must ask is this: Since the Lord in Ezekiel 38:7 told Gog, the enemy of Israel, to “get ready, be prepared,” then what should Israelis themselves and friends of Israel be doing?
RUSSIA WARNS ISRAEL NOT TO ATTACK IRAN: Prophetic implications?
In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Is Putin the biblical figure known as “Gog”?
Make no mistake: the Russian-Iranian strategic alliance that I’ve been writing about for the last several years has deepened to the point where Moscow is now unequivocally and quite openly backing the mullahs in Iran. “Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a U.N. nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic programme,” reports Reuters. “‘Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference. It was one of Russia’s starkest warnings against resorting to force, an option Israel and the United States have not ruled out if they conclude that diplomacy and increasing sanctions will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. ’I hope Israel understands all these consequences … and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves,’ Gatilov said. ‘I hope a realistic approach will prevail, along with a sensible assessment.’”
The big question now is this: Will Vladimir Putin win his bid for become Russia’s President again during the March 4 elections, and would Putin then directly threaten Israel with retaliation for an attack on Iran? So far, Russia hasn’t gone so far as to threaten a military response, but it’s not out of the question. The latest pollshows Putin in a commanding lead to regain the presidency, with 58.6% support, compared to Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Communist Party, who has 14.8% support. And Putin in recent years seems itching to rebuild the Russian military (something he promised again just this week – he’s called for a $770 billion upgrade of Russia’s military), strengthen his alliances throughout the Islamic world, and give the West a black eye. He’s explicitly running his campaign on anti-Americanism, for example. He’s close to the Iranians. He’s defending the Bashar al-Assad, the butcher in Damascus. He’s growing closer to the Turks, as they become hostile to Israel. Putin hasn’t directly threatened Israel, but he’s backing all of Israel’s worst enemies and could find himself drawn into a war to prove his alpha-dog machismo.
Another question I’m getting asked these days: Is Putin “Gog,” the evil leader described in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39? It came up during my recent speaking tour in Florida, and in a talk I gave to a group on Capitol Hill last week? Thus far, my answer remains the same — Putin is certainly “Gog-esque,” but it is too early to speculate on whether he is actually the biblical figure that will rise to power in Russia (known in Ezekiel’s prophecy as “Magog”) in the last days and build an alliance with Iran (“Persia”), Sudan (“Cush”), Turkey (“Gomer”), Libya and Algeria (“Put”), the countries of Central Asia (“Beth Togarmah”) to attack the State of Israel from “the north” (probably via Lebanon and Syria). That said, it is fair to say that geopolitical events over the past decade — and certainly over the past year or so — have been moving on a trajectory consistent with the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will see the prophecies come to complete fulfillment in our lifetime or soon, but we cannot rule out the possibility.
For the moment, the major need is to keep mobilizing people to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and to keep asking that the Lord to help us get ready for the next war that comes, be that a really bad geopolitical war (ie, an Israeli first strike on Iran, or vice versa), or a prophetic war (ie, the War of Gog and Magog). One way or the other, it would seem that war is coming. The handwriting seems to be on the wall. Dare we allow ourselves to be unprepared?
MAC Daniel 2
Let’s meet the first one in verse 37. “Thou O King are the king of kings for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom power, strength and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beast of the field and the fowls of the heavens hath thee given in to thine hand and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
Now you’ll notice that Nebuchadnezzar is addressed in verse 37 as a king of kings. A title that was given to him by God. Notice that. Isn’t that interesting? For the God of heaven had given thee a kingdom, power, strength and glory. The powers that be says Paul in Romans 13 are ordained – what – by God. Acts 17, Paul says has set the nations up and determined their boundaries. God is in the business of ruling over kings and nations. And God granted to thee the power, the kingdom, the strength and the glory. Thou art a king of kings. In other words, the supreme monarch in the Earth. And he was given the right to rule the Earth though he never extended his rule to encompass the Earth. The indication of the text is that he could have. For God gave him that right.
Everywhere men existed, everywhere there were beasts and fowls, it was given into his hand though he never really claimed it all. He is called a king of kings. By the way, in Ezekiel 26:7, Ezekiel calls him the same thing. So Ezekiel got from the Lord the very same message: Nebuchadnezzar was a unique king. By the way, his kingdom lasted 70 years, the exact number of years that God wanted to chase in Israel in the Babylonian captivity before he sent them back. God raised up Nebuchadnezzar. God raised up his kingdom to be a chastening agent. And when their chastening work was done, they passed out of existence.
And so the God of heaven granted him his kingdom. Now his kingdom spread over the important portion of the world of his day. From all the way into Egypt around the Mediterranean area, clear to the Persian Gulf, all of that part of the world was under the dominion of this man. He was a supreme monarch. He was the king of the kings of his day. He ruled over everything and everybody. And as I said, the idea that it extended over the beasts and the birds is simply a hyperbole to show the tremendous degree and extent of his authority. So far as any man of his time, Nebuchadnezzar had gone beyond them in his power and his authority.
Now Nebuchadnezzar was a monarch for only 43 years, but 70 years his empire stood. He was the head of it for only 43 of the 70 or around 43. Subsequent kingdoms to him – note this – are identified as kingdoms, not as kings. In the four-world empires, it says Nebuchadnezzar is the head. From then on no monarch is ever mentioned. It passes from a king to kingdoms. The second kingdom, the third kingdom and the fourth kingdom. But the first time it is a king. Why? Because the first one was the only real single united absolutely monarchy. The rest of the image there’s a change in the way the rule is rendered. But Nebuchadnezzar was a king of kings who literally, personally, uniquely was responsible for attaining and maintaining his status and the status of his empire. And after him the power rapidly diminished. It was far more his kingdom than he was its king, says Leon Wood, and he’s right.
The same is not true of the succeeding empires. Now let me tell you something else that’s very interesting. You’ll notice that it says the head is the head of gold. Why gold? Well, gold was big in the Babylonian Empire. Herodotus, who is a historian, visited Babylon 90 years – he’s an ancient historian – visited Babylon 90 years after the era of Nebuchadnezzar. And Herodotus has written that never in his life on the Earth did he see such an abundance and proliferation of gold as he saw in Babylon. He describes the chapels and the vessels and the accoutrements and the embellishments made of solid gold all over the Babylonian Empire. Ninety years after the era of Nebuchadnezzar, the residual was still there.
Nebuchadnezzar wanted to build a golden throne in the midst of a golden city. Isaiah 14:4 refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s preoccupation with gold. But it lasted only 70 years, just long enough to fulfill God’s chastening purpose. So Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. Great solidarity because it was a one-man rule. He called all the shots.
Look at verse 39: the second kingdom follows. “And after these shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee and then another third kingdom of bronze that shall bear rule over all the Earth.” Let’s look at that second kingdom for a minute. It tells us back in verse 32 that its arms were of silver. So the second kingdom is represented by silver. And you’ll notice it as you come down, you come down to the breasts and the arms. All right. Its arms of silver. The breasts and arms. And now no longer do you have the solidarity of the head. You have a two-part situation. And the second one in verse 39 can only refer to the Medo-Persian Empire. It has to refer to the Medo-Persian Empire because the Medo-Persian Empire succeeded Babylonia. There’s no other way you could interpret it. Commentators agree that it’s the Medo-Persian Empire because it followed immediately after Babylon.
“It’s breast and arms,” according to verse 32, “were of silver.” And it implies a two-fold division. And the Medo-Persian Empire was just that. Made up of the Medes and the Persians. No longer is there solidarity there and also you will note that the medal is not as valuable. It is silver.
Notice the world inferior in verse 39. “After these shall arise another kingdom inferior.” Literally, and I want you to stick with me on this, the word means lower. I don’t think the inferior is the right translation. I don’t think we ought to make a qualitative or a value judgment on it. I think he’s simply saying lower and then lower and then lower. That is the literal Aramaic reference. He’s simply talking about lower down the statue. You start to gold and lower you come to silver. It’s not really a commentary on quality or size or anything.
By the way, the last three empires were larger by far. In fact they get larger as they go. Medo-Persia was larger than Babylon, Greece was larger that Medo-Persia and Rome was larger than Greece. They get continuously larger. Not only that, each of them was stronger than the one before. So to say inferior is really not the best thing to say. They weren’t inferior in size and they weren’t inferior in power. It’s better to see it as simply the meaning of the word is lower since there was a growth of power and a growth of territory.
Now it’s always interested in verse 39 that it simply says that after these shall arise another kingdom lower. Lower from thee or lower than thee. It says nothing about it. Of all the four kingdoms, this is the one it says nothing about. The next one it says it’ll bear rule over all the Earth. He says nothing about the second one. Why? Well, I think he didn’t want to make Nebuchadnezzar paranoid, worried about what this one was gonna be and who it was gonna be and where it was gonna come from. Because this is the one that would topple his empire. And so it’s passed rather rapidly. But we know that it refers to the Medo-Persian Empire.
Now silver in Aramaic is the same as money. Same word. The characteristic of this Medo-Persian Empire would be money or silver. And history bears this out. The Medo-Persian Empire developed a vast system of taxation. They require that their taxes be paid in silver and they literally filled their coffers with tons and tons of silver. The kings of the Medo-Persian Empire – there were many of them – just gobbled up silver money. The prophecy here then is that there would come another kingdom and that kingdom would be characterized by silver. Zirksteeswho was one of the kings of the Medo-Persian Empire, inherited the incredible silver fortune of his father Dorias. He also inherited more silver from other Persian kings and he used it to finance his massive war against the Greeks. So they had a tremendous amount of silver.
The Babylonian Empire made it to 538 B.C. and then came Cyrus the Great and with Cyrus the Great came the Medo-Persian Empire. That empire last 200 years about, until 330 B.C., when you come to the third one in verse 39. Look at it. “And another third kingdom of bronze which shall bear rule over all the Earth.” And what is it? Back to verse 32. it’s the belly and thighs of bronze.
Now you come down to another kingdom of bronze, the belly and the thighs. This is Greece. How do we know it because following the Medo-Persian Kingdom came the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great who received the power and the authority initially from his father Philip of Macedon. So moving down Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. It’s interesting that Greece descends to the thighs because the great Greek Empire primarily had two major facets. And although it was divided among four generals, two of those generals took Syria and two of them took Egypt and they became the two facets of the great Greek Empire.
Now I want you to notice that this kingdom is characterized by bronze. Bronze is not as valuable as silver but bronze is stronger than silver. It’s characterized by bronze, I think, for other reasons. One writer says this: “It is easy to imagine what an astonishing impression the Greeks must’ve made on the civilized world. Consider the contrast between their soldiers and the soldiers of the Persian army. They knocked off the Medo-Persian Empire. Have you seen a soldier of Media or Persia in the days when they controlled the civilized world, he would’ve looked like this. Here’s what a Medo-Persian soldiers looked liked.
On his head would’ve been a soft turban, he would’ve been clothed with a tunic with sleeves and trousers full and long. That would’ve been a Medo-Persian soldier. But when you saw a Greek soldier, he would’ve had on his head a helmet of grass, on his body a breastplate of brass. Before him he would be carrying a shield of brass and believe it or not a sword made out of brass. That is why the classic writers of ancient days refer to the brazen coded Greeks. Grass became a sign and symbol of Greek conquests and the Greek empire. Gold, why? Because Nebuchadnezzar was preoccupied with gold. Silver, why? Because the Meads and the Persians were preoccupied with silver. Brass, why? Because it symbolized the power of the forces of Alexander the Great.
And again, that empire splits into two thighs. Syria and Egypt again. And still separated when we come to the fourth and final kingdom in verse 40, the legs of iron. By the way, now I add that the end of verse 39 it says that this third kingdom would bear rule over all the Earth. Hang onto that. They’ll rule over all the Earth? Very interesting statement because Alexander the Great commanded people to call him by this title: Alexander King of all the Earth. Alexander King of all the Earth.
He ruled – this is amazing – he ruled Europe, he ruled Egypt and he ruled all the way to India. Died in his 30s. Finally you come to the fourth kingdom and that is Rome. How do we know that? Because Rome follow Greece in history. And the stress again is on strength. The Greek Empire lasted only a little under 200 years. The Medo-Persian Empire last about the same amount of time. Somewhere in there at 100 B.C. give or take 50 years. It’s really hard to say exactly when it started. Rome became a power. By the way, Rome was never even heard of before that. They emerged out of nowhere to rule the world. And the Roman Empire, believe it or not, even went further than Alexander’s conquests. Incredible.
Rome was two legs. You know that Rome existed in a divided state, didn’t it? It was the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. Now Daniel says – and we’re going to hasten to a conclusion – that the fourth kingdom – verse 40 – shall be strong as iron, strong as iron. By the way, in Daniel’s day, iron was believed to be the strongest metal. And Rome, no question, was the strongest empire the world has ever known. Babylon lasted 70 years, Medo-Persia lasted around 200. The Greek empire last around 200. The Roman Empire lasted 500 years on the West and all the way to 1453. So Constantinople was knocked off in the East. That’s a long time. No empire even comes close. They were strong.
He goes on to say, for example, it breaketh in pieces. It subdues. He says it breaketh all these. It breaks in pieces and it bruises. All of those terms refer to a smashing, crushing, shattering power of Rome. In fact, the verb breaketh in the Aramaic means to crush with a hammer. And Luphold, the Bible scholar says, “The Roman legions were noted for their ability to crush all resistance with an iron heel.” There’s apparently little that is constructive in the program of this empire in spite of Roman law and Roman roads and civilization because the destructive workout weighed all else for we have the double verb crush and demolish at the end of verse 40.
The Roman Empire came to crush and demolish. By the way, the legs are the longest part of the image and the Roman Empire lasted the longest. Given who wrote the famous fall of the Roman Empire said this, “The empire of the Romans filled the world. And when the empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world became a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. To resist was fatal and it was impossible to fly.” Given says the Romans ruled the world.
Robert Culvawrites, “Two millennia ago, Rome gave the world the ecumenical unity at the League of Nations and the United Nations organizations have sought to revive in our time. But are the revivals of the ancient Roman ideal that never since the time of Augustus Caesar has been holy lost? It is probable that the PaxRoman, the roman peace, the peace of a well-ordered prison with plenty of iron gates, steel doors, trained guards and high walls is till the best the world will ever achieve till Jesus comes.
You know why the Romans lasted so long? Because they rule with an iron rod. They were strong. The iron legions of Rome were the final world power and image. Now as you can see, folks, Rome is the last world empire. You say, “Wait a minute. There’s got to be more to this. Rome passed away a long time ago.” But there’s more to the prophecy. We haven’t gotten to the toes yet.
And the toes are not iron but iron mixed with what? Clay. What does that tell us? You know what I believe it tells us? I believe that we’re going to see a return of the ancient Roman Empire. If so, you’re kidding. I mean people running around with SPQR all over their chests? What do you mean? What are you talking about? I believe they’ll even be ten toes to that revived empire. What are you talking about? What do you mean? Here’s what I mean.
You been watching Europe lately? Europe which once occupied the territory of the Roman Empire has revived itself in the confederacy right now known as the European economic community. The European common market. As far as I know at present, there are ten member-nations. Interesting. I heard on the radio station. KFWB in December 27, 1971. But in December 27, 1971, KFWB Radio reported, and I heard it, the biggest event to look for in 1972 is the rise in the European common market, which will become the greatest single economic power in the world. Paul Steen, who at the time was the president, said, “Make no mistake, we are not an economic group, we are political.” Listen to this. The L.A. Examiner, October 29, 1971, said, “The British decision to join the common market has brought western Europe to the threshold of its strongest alliance since the nations were tied together as a part of the Roman Empire 15 centuries ago.
The history of the world is reaching its climax, there’s no question about that. If you want to find out how it’s going to end, come back next week. And I’m going to tell you, listen. Can America survive? Can they? We’re succumbing – listen – we’re succumbing already to the deadly, inexorable, inevitable, unchangeable, deterioration of many. Our people are selfish and their selfishness will self-destruct.
Alexander Tyler said it: “From bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness. From selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy. We’re somewhere in there right now then from apathy to dependence. And we’re asking for that from dependency back to bondage. And somebody else will rise from our ashes should Jesus start this cycle all over again. How will it end? That’s for next time. Let’s pray.
Father, thank you again tonight for fascinating truth that your word reveals. Bless every heart here. O Lord, we think of the words of blessed Peter who said, “Seeing that you know all these things so come to pass what manner of persons ought you to be.” If we know that history is winding down, that the image of man as dominion in the world as a precarious image balanced on feet of clay, top heavy, to be crushed and smashed by a stone cut out without hands, to blow away his dust. Oh God we would not be a part of that system. We would not want to be a part of what shall fail and die. We want to be a part of the living kingdom of Jesus Christ. And so Lord we would pray for those tonight who might not know Christ. That they might step out of the deteriorating process of sin where the gold of man is turning to dust. And into the kingdom of God where he takes the dust we are and turns it into gold. Touch each heart, Father, with how we should respond. Give us the sense of urgency to reach the multitudes around us who are caught in this terrible cycle. May we be able to touch their lives for Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
And then in verse 7, “There was a fourth beast, dreadful, terrible, strong exceedingly, had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before and it had, what, ten horns.” The last beast, ten horns. The last part of the image, ten what? Toes. In both cases, the final form of world rule will take a tenfold identity.
Now what are these four empires? Go back to chapter 2, and I’m just going to quickly – these reviews take so long and the time goes by so fast. But I have to tell you this: we remember that the head of gold is the Babylonian Empire. Lasted about 80 years and faded away when the Medo-Persians moved in in one night and devastated them. We’ll find out the whole story in Daniel 5. It gives the whole description of how they took the city of Babylon and took over from the Babylonian Empire. The first is Babylon.
The fall of the Babylonian Empire just came suddenly. I’m sure there were some seeds of dissolution. Nebuchadnezzar had died in 562. He was succeeded by a man named – his own son – Emil Marduke. You remember Marduke was one of their gods. They always named themselves after their gods. He was succeeded by Emil Marduke who was promptly assassinated. In 560, just a couple of years later, Nera Glassertook the throne. After four years he died. He was succeeded by his son who was promptly assassinated. Then came a man named Nabanitus. And Nabanitus assumed great power and shared the power with his coregent whose name was Belshazzar.
So what you have in the Babylonian Empire is tremendous solidarity for 43 years and then just all falling apart. People being assassinated and so forth. Finally Belshazzar in a drunken stupor was carrying on a wild party – recorded in Daniel 5 – and in the midst of his foolishness and folly the Medes and the Persians marched right through the city and devastated his entire empire. The fall of Babylon.
Now listen, the fall of Babylon was the end of the Babylonian Empire but it was not the end of Babylonian influence. Because it was in Babylon that the systems of evil religion began. What is the first system of false religion ever recorded in the Bible? The tower of what? Babble. And from then on Babylon became synonymous with false religion. And the culture and the religions of Babylon have found their way into polluting the human stream so that some day when the last stages of human false religion rears its ugly head on the Earth – in Revelation 17 – the Lord says, “The name of it shall be called Mystery Babylon.”
Why? Because Babylon was the fountain of false religious systems. And so while the empire crumbled, the pollution of its human religions found their way into the stream of history. Babylon was succeeded by Medo-Persia. Medo-Persia is in verse 39: “Lower down the image, the kingdom of silver, the arms and the breasts.” Two parts, the Medes and the Persians, the silver. Medo-Persian Empire lasted only around 200 years, about 120 years longer than Babylon. It was during the time of the Medes and the Persians that Cyrus let Israel go back and reconstruct their land, which was just a semblance of what it once was.
The third empire in verse 39 we went into detail. If you didn’t get this, get the tape from last week and you’ll see how these things are so explicit. We know the Medo-Persian Empire was followed by Greece. History tells us that. There’s no question about it. And it would bear rule over all the Earth. I told you Alexander the Great, demanded the title king of all the Earth. He extended his empire from Western Europe to India. Massive conquering by a man who died just after he was 30 years old. Incredible. No wonder he is seen in Daniel 7 as a leopard with wings, springing a tremendously fast rate across the globe. He came across the Hellespont, conquered Greece and Rome, first met the Persian opposition at Granicus, subdued all of Asia Minor. He literally defeated a half a million Persians who were under Derias. He slaughtered them and broke the back of the empire and then he began to take city after city after city after city. And even swept down and took Egypt.
And he got to Egypt, he founded the city that’s still there – the city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great and named for him. Later on he had another great defeat of Derias and that totally wiped out the Medes and the Persians and Hebrew of the world. He returned to Babylon. Believe it or not, he made Babylon, ancient Babylon his capital city, he died historians tell us of gluttony and drunkenness and malaria in this youth. And who followed him? He tried to split the empire into four parts but his generals lost their power to the Romans.
And we find them in verse 40 strong as iron. “As iron that breaks in pieces and subdues all things. As iron that breaks all these and it shall break in pieces and bruise.” The Roman Empire. By the second century B.C., the Mediterranean had become a Roman lake and the Romans ruled that part of the world, all the way from the Great Britain to the Euphrates, from northern Europe to Africa.
I was privileged to be in the eastern part of the Arab world not too many years ago and to be the eastern outpost of the Roman Empire, which is known as Baalbeck or Baalbeck. It’s spelled with two As as a commemoration to Baal. The Roman allegiance extended themselves everywhere, tramping with their iron feet the world into submission.
But it doesn’t end there. Now that was the introduction, here comes the sermon. Verse 41 – you can relax, you’re going to get out on time. By the way, what time is on time? Verse 41: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes part of potter’s clay and part of iron. The kingdom shall be divided.” Was the Roman Empire divided? Into what segments? East and west. “But there shall be in it of the strength of the iron for as much as thou sawest the iron mixed with mire clay. It’ll be a strong empire.” And by the way, the Roman Empire lasted 500 years. Alexander, under 200. Medes and the Persians, over 200. Babylon, 80. But the Roman Empire in the west, 500 years. In the east it lasted till 1453 when Constantinople was taken by the Turks. It was strong.
But it was mixed with clay – verse 42. “And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. The clay here is the word that has to do with baked clay used for tile. It would be very brittle.
Now what is this? Verse 43 adds something else. “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with mire clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men. But they shall not adhere one to another even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Iron and clay don’t adhere. “And the weakness and the vulnerability of the Roman Empire is that it would be a mixture of strength and weakness and the weakness is called here the seed of men.” The kingdom is a composite of the firm and the brittle. Now what about verse 31, it says that it was strong as iron. It was strong. The Roman government was strongly organized, solidly organized. Its armies were well trained, well drilled and well disciplined. Its policies were well defined.
In fact they were so well defined and so well carried out that they could pull off what is known in history as the pox romana. They had a great measure of peace in all of their empire. But there was a weakness. The weakness is not in the legs, the weakness is in the feet. You say, “What’s the importance of that?” Because the weakness appears only in the final form. They were strong once. But in the final form, there’s going to be weakness, great weakness. And what is the weakness? Verse 43 says, “The clay is the seed of men.” What does that mean? What does that mean?
Well, all kinds of scholars have played around with it and I don’t want to say that I know the absolute answer but I’m going to give you what I think is best. You know what I think it means? I think it refers simply to human beings. I think the problem in the final form of the Roman Empire is going to be that there are too many people involved in the issues. Solidarity will be lost in the final Roman Empire. It will be mixed. There will be a decay, a lack of solidarity. In fact, Robert Culver, who has done some marvelous in this area of Scripture, says, “The clay represents the ultimate in debasement of the character of sovereignty.” At the top of the image is the gold head. That’s not an empire, that’s the only one of the four that he says is a man, that’s you, Nebuchadnezzar. In other words, the Babylonian Empire was solidarity personified because one man called all the shots.
As you go down, it gets more diverse and more diverse and more diverse. And the more diverse government gets – watch this – the more you have problems with it. That’s why I read you last week the statement of Alexander Tyler that the democracy can’t last because as soon as it gets diverse enough to give the people the control and the people find out they can vote themselves inordinate amounts of money from the public treasury, they will begin by selfishness to destroy the democracy.
And so the diversity of this final form is going to be its destruction. It won’t even have the solidarity of iron, which is less than a monarchy, but it won’t even have what the Roman Empire once had. It’ll have a confederacy that is too involved with too many people and so there is an inherent weakness.
Now the final form of the Roman Empire has ten toes. I believe the Bible is telling us by the ten toes and the ten kings in Daniel 7 that the final form of the Roman Empire would have a ten-nation confederacy. God doesn’t just throw things around. If there is ten toes and ten kings – and if you’re shocked about that, go to Revelation and read in Revelation and you’ll find in chapter 17 that there are ten kings again in this final form. God is absolutely consistent. There’s never nine and there’s never 11. There’s always ten. But God has something in mind. The final form of the Roman Empire will be ten nations in confederacy.
Now by the way, beloved, that has never been true of the Roman Empire in the past. Never. You say, “Well, now wait a minute, McArthur, the Roman Empire is gone. There is no Roman Empire.” But listen, the prophecy says the Roman Empire will be around when the stone comes and smashes this and fills the Earth. So the consummation of history is the coming of the smiting stone. I’ll give you a little hint: who is the stone? Jesus Christ. You gave yourself the hint. I love when Paul says, “That rock was Christ.” He is the stone the builders rejected.
Listen, Christ comes and smashes a final form of the Roman Empire. You said, “Well, that’s that, folks. He must’ve been here and we didn’t see him, cause there’s no Roman Empire left.” But listen to me. You know, there’s never been another world empire? Napoleon tried it. Hitler tried it and couldn’t do it. Russia tried it and is trying it and is unsuccessful. Listen, if there’s ever a great fifth world empire, you can pack up your Bible because it’s wrong.
You say, “Well, now wait a minute. Are you saying the Roman Empire just faded away to come back again?” That’s exactly what I’m saying. In fact in Revelation, the Bible tells us that a beast – in chapter 13 – came and he was wounded and went into death but he rose again of that death. I believe that’s a picture of Rome dying as it were only to rise again. And in its final form it will be ten nations. You’re shocked by that, you haven’t been reading about the common market.
Am I right in saying that most recently there are now ten nations in the common market? I think the last one that entered was the tenth. Now maybe they’ll be 12, maybe they’ll be 18, maybe they’ll be 20, maybe they’ll be 9, but when Jesus comes, they’ll be 10. And isn’t it interesting there are ten now.
I did a little checking on that, kind of interested me. Willie Brent who is famous as the fourth chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, said this: “We belong” – I love this – “to the community of ten.” Interesting. Willie Brent said, “The common market must embrace the world.” How interesting. Isn’t that exactly what Dr. Malik said? We got to have an alliance that stretches across the sea to include the rest of the world.
You know, the Bible tells that there’s going to be a ten-nation confederacy in the end and out of those ten nations is going to rise one ruler. He’s called in Daniel, the little horn, he’s called the son of perdition, he’s called the man of sin. We know him as the antichrist. He’ll be a great world ruler will come on the scene in Europe to pull together that coalition, which will perpetuate a great battle the Bible calls the battle of Armageddon.
Let me tell you something , people, watch Europe. Europe will rise again. And I’m not pulling this tuff out of space. I’m no prophet. I never got a vision in my life. I married one and that was the end of it. Nobody speaks to me out of the clouds. I’m just the average guy, open my Bible. I’m telling you things that Bible scholars and teachers have known for years and years and years. I don’t know how else to explain it. That’s exactly what the Bible says. And once that ten-nation confederacy takes its form, and antichrist establishes his rule, his rule doesn’t last very long. Until that stone comes and smashes the whole thing and fills the whole Earth. And that’s none other than Jesus Christ.
Is that exciting to think about? What have we learned? By the way, I’m going to give you a whole thing next week on the stone. Not going to do that tonight. What have we learned? We’ve learned that there will be a continuous succession of world dominions from Nebuchadnezzar to the coming of Christ. That why it says your dream is regarding the latter days.
And it’s so fascinating to me that the Old Testament – now what this – the Old Testament never saw anything between the two elements of Rome, did it? It just had the legs going down and the feet. But the Old Testament did note that the legs were iron but the feet were iron and clay mixed. There was a weakness there. And I mean that final form is really going to be weak because from the time antichrist ascends to rule that final ten-nation confederacy, it’ll only be three and one-half years until it’s wiped out. That’s what the Bible says. It’ll last for 42 months the prophet said for times two time one and half a time. Times time and half a time. Three-and-a-half.
It’ll be weak ten-nation confederacy. And it’ll be all under the banner of the old Roman Empire. When I hear somebody say we all need to line up under the Pope, man, sounds to me like we’re getting close. When I hear people say the Pope is the spiritual leader of the world, that’s scary. He is not. He is not. That which comes together under that is going to be ruled by the antichrist to fight against Christ establishing His own kingdom. But the battle won’t last too long. He’ll crush the dominions of Satan and the world.
It’s coming, people, and it’s exciting to be alive in a day when we can see these things on the horizon. Well, next week we’re going to find out a few more facts about the ten-nation confederacy and just exactly how it’s going to end. Let’s pray together.
Father, I’m reminded of the great anticipation of Charles Wesley who wrote the hymn, lo He comes with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain, thousand, thousand saints attending, swell the triumph of his train, hallelujah, hallelujah, God appears on Earth to reign. Every eye should now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty. Those who set it not unsold him, pierced and nailed him to the tree, deeply wailing, deeply wailing shall the true messiah see. Now the savior long expected see in solemn pomp appear. All his saints by man rejected now shall meet him in the air, hallelujah, hallelujah, see the day of God appear.
And then Wesley wrote the essay, “Men, Let Us all Adore Thee.” High on thine eternal throne, savior take the power and glory. Claim the kingdom for thine own. O come quickly, o come quickly, hallelujah, come Lord, come.
Father, as we see the gathering clouds of the final days of human history, at least it seems so from our perspective. As we know that there stands nothing between us and your return, as we await the day that we’re raptured before all of the final form of the world struggle takes place, we can’t help but be filled with anticipation. We thank you, Lord, that as we look forward to those days, we know that you’ll take us out of this earth to be with yourself. And Lord we pray that we might have the same heart that Peter had, and that is that heart, which says, “Seen you know all these things shall come to pass. What manner of persons ought you to be?” And then he went onto to say we ought to be holy and godly. And, Lord, if we really know you’re coming, oh how it ought to change our lives that we might be right when we see you face-to-face.
And Lord, how it ought to fill our hearts with compassion, with love and with a desire to reach out to those around us who do not know you. Lord, we are like John who when he realized these things were true said that it was sweet in his mouth but it was bitter in his stomach. Sweet because you have the right to rule, sweet because we long to see your face, but oh so bitter because we know it to be a sad day for those who’ve turned their back on you. We wish that for no one. We know that’s your heart as well for you are not willing that any should perish. You are the God who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
And so Lord as we live in these days and we look forward to your coming, whether it’s in a moment or beyond, we don’t know. But Lord help us to live as if it were tomorrow. And to love and to preach and to share and to draw people to yourself that in that great hour they may see you face-to-face with all those who love you and dwell in your eternal kingdom. For such anticipation, we praise you in Christ’s name. Amen.
Daniel 2 and the last world empire
Daniel was given a dream interpretation which detailed Israel’s long-term future. Specifically, Daniel saw a great statue which consisted of different metals. There were four distinctly different metals in this statue. The head of the statue was made of gold, the chest and arms were silver, the belly and thighs were made from bronze and the legs were made of iron.
This would be confusing and difficult to understand, but Daniel was given a full explanation of the meaning of this statue in Daniel 2:36-49. These four metals represented the 4 gentile empires that would rule over Israel, successively through time:
Gold Head: Babylonian Empire (626 BC – 539 BC)
Silver Chest/Arms: Medo-Persian Empire (539 BC – 330 BC)
Bronze Belly and Thighs: Greecian Empire (330 BC – 63 BC)
Iron Legs: Roman Empire (63 BC ->)
Note that Daniel was told that only 4 empires gentile empires would rule over Israel. Daniel was also told that the last empire, the Roman Empire, would ultimately be destroyed by Christ at the Second Advent (Daniel 2:35-49). Because this epic event – the Second Coming of Christ hasn’t occured yet, it can only lead to one conclusion: The Roman Empire must regathered in some way, just before the Second Coming of Christ. The Roman Empire, in some form, has to be in existance at the time of Christ’s return.
We also get some additonal details from Daniel 2. Iron was a fitting description to describe the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus. The Romans occupied cities and indeed ruled like “iron”. Additionally, the two legs are considered to represent the split that took place in the Roman Empire, into an Eastern half (Constantinople) and a Western half (Rome).
However, Daniel saw the Roman Empire evolve over time, and at the time of the Second Coming, this representation of “iron” changed. What we believe represents the regathering of the Roman Empire at end times, is shown on the statue as the iron legs changing into a mixture of iron and clay. This shows the evolution of the Roman Empire from the time of Christ (iron) into something like “iron and clay” at the time preceeding the Second Coming.
“Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom…And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united.” (Daniel 2:41-43)
So, we have a description of the revived Roman Empire just before the Second Coming. Most prophecy watchers who are taking a literal view of prophecy believe that this evolution of the European Union – into the new Mediterranean Union, now with 43 member nations, does indeed represent the long awaited “Revived Roman EMpire”. A map of this union is virtually sumperimposable over maps of the ancient Roman Empire. It seems clear that the EU/Med Union represents the regathering of the Roman Empire, just as predicted.
Unlike the first Roman Empire, this current regathering of nations certianly resembles a mixture of “iron and clay”, just as Daniel 2 predicted. As seen in the link provided above (see map), the northern half of the Mediterranean Union is predominately Roman Catholic. The southern half of this union is predominately Islamic. Iron and clay indeed. In fact these stark differences haven’t been ignored and lawmakers have searched for ways to unite these two vastly different religions and people.
The Mediterranean Union has indeed found a way to deal with this problem – and it fits the prophetic scriptures perfectly. Recall that there are two feet in Daniel’s statue – feet consisting of iron and clay. Also recall that the two legs of iron on the statue, represented the ancient east and west divisions of the Roman Empire (prophecy is THAT specific).
Now we search for a similar division of the Mediterranean Union, a division that will explain the two feet of iron and clay in Daniel’s statue. Somehow, the Mediterranean Union will have to fractionate into two divisions, for Daniel’s statue to be completed.
In breaking news this week, we discover that the Mediterranean Union has formally broken into two halfs, just as seen by Daniel. In order to recognize the vast cultural and religious differences in these people, the union has decided to break up into two halfs: a northern half and a southern half.
France is reporting here that such an agreement has now been reached. The foreign ministers of the Mediterranean Union have announced a formal division of the Mediterranean Union into TWO HALVES.
We will have a northern Mediterranean half, with a president representing these nations, and
we will have a southern Mediterranean half, with a president representing these nations.
We now have our two feet of Daniel’s statue. Just as the two iron legs represented the east-west division of the first Roman Empire, the two feet have now been formally defined for the revived Roman Empire – by this northern and southern division of the Mediterranean Union. We also have the iron and clay mixture of people who will have great difficulty uniting (Daniel 2:43). The description in Daniel 2 fits these current developments perfectly.
This is important for two main reasons. 1) It shows the amazing accuracy, specificity and literal nature of Biblical prophecy, and, 2) Daniel’s statue, as you move from head to toe, is actually a representation of moving through time. We just witnessed another jump in time, as we move down the statue. The division of the revived Roman Empire has now been formally divided into two parts. Amazing.
In fact, all that remains now is the further evolution of the Mediterranean Union (aka “Revived Roman Empire”) into the “ten toe” stage and the subsequent rise of the anti-christ. The ten toes representing “ten kings” will rule with the anti-christ during the Tribulation (Daniel 7:24, Rev. 17:12). It is these “kings” along with the anti-christ that will be destroyed at the time of the Second Coming (Daniel 2:44).
Therefore, the next awaited stage in this progression through time will be the ten toes – as a representation of the 10 Kings. These kings will have one purpose, and one purpose only: to serve the anti-christ (Rev. 17:13).
This is an amazing prophetic development. Not only do we now have a revival of the Roman Empire, even with details including a “mixture” of people who can’t unite, as described by Daniel – but we now have a formal division within this Mediterranean Union into two parts, exactly as predicted by Daniel’s dream. We are moving rapidly through time and the rate of speed seems to be increasing daily.
It is difficult to know if we will see the next anticipated stage: the “ten kings” of Daniel’s statue, (from which the anti-christ will arise). We may or may not be here to witness this. The Rapture can occur at any moment, but it will most definitely occur before the Tribulation.
Keep looking up as we approach the very end of this age. We are clearly in the last days.