Welcome to the final stretch of our journey through the Old Testament. We have this week, week 22, 23 the next week, and week 24 the week after then we’ll be done, actually surveying the Old Testament. I remember it just seems like forever ago, week one. It wasn’t that long ago, just in the winter, in January.
Welcome, John Barnett here. My wonderful wife, Bonnie is over there handling everything here in the studio. We’re on week 22 in our journey through the 52 Greatest Chapters in the Bible. This is an example that they’re not all chapters, some of them are passages. We’re looking at three chapters is Ezekiel, 37 to 39. What we’re really looking at is maybe an illustration of what we saw in our journey through Isaiah 14. Do you remember I talked about angelology, all the levels of both good and bad angels? One of the bad angels, the fallen angels, the demons is called the prince of Persia.
Look at this. This is the title of this passage in my journal, after I studied with you all week long. Watch as the prince of Persia’s infernal plan to destroy Israel sparks the final war. This week is fascinating. This week shows, connects together, everything that the Bible talks about of the consummation of the ages, of the end. What triggers that end is, Satan trying to derail God’s promises, His covenants, His plan. Satan knows that if he can destroy Israel, God’s chosen people, if he can stop the nation of Israel from being there for Jesus to rescue, for Jesus to use to begin the kingdom where Jesus Himself rules on Earth when He is all that He was promised to be, as the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, but reigning on the throne of David, if Satan can derail that then he can say, God can’t be trusted, His word isn’t true, he hasn’t got enough power to fulfill all these promises in the Bible. That’s why this is just such a great passage.
We’re in those big three weeks. Ezekiel 37 to 39, the restoration of Israel and the final conflict. That’s what I called it the first time I went through it. You’ll see, I have a lot of other titles. Next week, Daniel 9. See what Daniel 9 is? It’s from Daniel 9 that we get the seven year tribulation. Have you ever heard the seven year tribulation? Did you know, it doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible, but it’s shown to us in Daniel 9 when it says, in the midst of the seven years. In the middle of the seven years, the Anti-Christ breaks his promise with Israel. We’ll see that next week; it’s going to be a fantastic time.
Then, Zechariah 12 to 14. That’s another chapter that’s three chapters. Zechariah 12 to 14 is first of all, one of the greatest confessions of who God is. The creator of the cosmos… the universe, the geos… the Earth, and the pneumos… the spirit of man inside of us, that we are the image of God. It’s not just that it’s the most perfect place to share the Gospel with a Jewish person, it’s the place where God is speaking as the eternal, infinite God. Then He says, “they will look upon Me whom they pierced.” When did the Jewish people pierce Jesus Christ? On the cross. Zechariah says, they will look on Jehovah, Yahweh, whom they pierced. We’ll get into that, it’s great. This week, next week, and the next week are unbelievably chapters.
Look where we are. We’re right here. We’re moving along Ezekiel. This week is right here in the captivity time. Daniel next week, and then look at this, Zechariah right there. Where we’ve come is, we’re after this time of Assyria carrying away the northern kingdom and just before the time of Persia. It’s right here in this Babylonian time. That’s where we are with Ezekiel and Daniel, with the 70 year captivity.
Remember, Assyria came and took the northern tribes, so think of the north. Babylonians came and took the tribe of Judah, the south. Daniel continues all the way to the time of Persia. This is the date of the conquests of all these. Daniel continues into the Persian empire as does Esther and Malachi and all of those. Those are the dates of the empire’s defeat.
On this slide, I just want to pull together these. I want to show you a survey of the whole Old Testament, as well as study each of these chapters. We are looking at the three sieges that Babylon enacted against Jerusalem. Look, Daniel is taken to Babylon during the first siege. He’s carried off with the Royal young men and brought into the king’s service. Ezekiel, the priest is carried off in the second. It’s the third siege that starts the desolation of Jerusalem. That ends with the decree of Artaxerxes. Look at this, just for you to know, the book of 2 Chronicles is covering from before Daniel until, all the way up here, to Haggai. Then Ezra starts recording the history from the end of Chronicles till the time of Nehemiah. There’s Haggai. Here’s Zechariah. There’s Malachi, the final Old Testament book. Look where Queen Esther is, right here, right in the middle of the book of Nehemiah during the lifetime of Zechariah and just before Malachi. Unbelievable how all of these events, when you see them on a timeline like this connect together.
There’s a verse, remember I tell you about verses that you should be memorizing, this is one I memorized early on in my Christian life because it explains everything God does when we get saved. It says in verse 26, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” You shall keep My commandments and do them. That explains what God does. It’s giving us heart surgery, a new heart, a heart transplant. That’s the new covenant, every time we celebrate communion. I hope you’re a part of a local church. I hope you go to a New Testament, local, Bible teaching church, where they celebrate communion regularly. Where communion is you, remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Communion is not mass. Mass is a false teaching that says that you are partaking of re-crucifying Christ. No, communion is a remembrance of His death, burial, and resurrection that we celebrate as often as possible. The early church, probably every week. All the years I was pastoring local churches, we celebrated twice a month. One Sunday morning and one Sunday night, usually a first and third, so that we were regularly examining ourselves and remembering He gave us a new heart.
Let’s go through the journal. First of all, I always put a title at the top of my journal, and by the way right here it is… I just want you to see I’m tracking with you; this is exciting to me. Once a week, I get to come to you and say, I have been doing the devotional method with you. I have been asking God to teach me. Remember, I pray and say, Lord open my eyes, every time before I read the Bible. Open my eyes to behold wonderful things out of Your word. Then I say, Lord, speak to me. As the Lord speaks through His word, I write down everything. All the lessons, and doctrines, and trues I can find. Then, I write that application prayer. That’s what we’re looking at now.
Some of you might just be tuning in, so I’ll show you the front of this journal. By the way, this is nothing special. This was actually a gift someone gave me when I was speaking somewhere, and I use it now. I added a little pen holder on the front and there’s another one here, because I never want to be without a pen. On our Facebook page, you can print off the instructions for how to do the 52 Greatest Chapter Study. I’ve reduced that and taped it right here. This is the calendar of all of the chapters in order. Each one of them has just the simple little title I gave it on my very first time through. That’s my journal.
I have been working all week long with you. My basic pattern is, I get up first thing in the morning. Do you ever get up in the morning and not know where you are? That’s what happens to us, we travel so much. We’re always staying in somebody else’s house and we’re using this mission house right now. I get up in the morning and I actually was standing in front of the bed, in the dark, trying not to wake up Bonnie. I said, Lord, I want to do your will today. Lead me, guide me, control me, and teach me from Your word. I went right out, and I sat at a little table that’s out in the other room, and I worked through this passage.
Here’s what I found, the title, and I kept adding in my journal. God’s plan for Israel. That’s another time I read through. God regathers Israel, that’s what chapter 37 is about and calls for His enemies to March on Israel, that’s chapter 38. God’s enemies are led by the god of this world and his angels. That’s why the prince of Persia who is a high ranking fallen angel demon stirs up Persia and Russia, and other nations to come marching against Israel. Remember what we saw in Job? Do you remember weeks back when we were in the book of Job, how Satan can affect the weather? Satan can affect groups of people in nations. We’re seeing that right here. God calls for, that’s my description of God directing and causing angels or demons to do His will. Those demons go and instigate this attack on Israel. Look what happens. God defeats all of them at Christ’s return. That’s chapter 39.
Here’s a summary. Ezekiel, that’s the author of the book we’re looking at from all those charts I just showed you. He’s a priest. He’s in exile in Babylon. He was carried off in the second deportation. God chose Ezekiel who wrote from 593-570. If you look in the book of Ezekiel, he has this kind of dating. It says, “in the 13th year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captivities.” He starts talking about the chronology of this book. We know when this book was written. The dry bones of dispersed Israel, he is told in this passage, chapter 37, would come alive. What God compares the nation of Israel to is just like a giant graveyard with all the bones laying on the ground, dead and all dry, and dusty, and lifeless. God gives him an overview from 570 BC to the end of Earth’s history in the millennium. What an amazing, prophetic, panorama he gives.
Here are the lessons I found. Ezekiel 36:26. We already read that God has a plan to save Israel just as He saved us, His church. I want to show you something in verse 23 of Ezekiel 36. This goes all the way through, and I have all of these marked in my Bible because whenever you read the Bible, you look for repetitions of things that God says. See what it says in verse 23? It says, “and the nations shall know that I am the LORD.” Right in the middle of verse 23. Then look in verse 36 of Ezekiel 36, “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD…” I have written in my Bible, right by verse 36, that’s the 50th time that phrase occurs in Ezekiel. Look at verse 36. “The nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD…” This whole repeated phrase, know that I am the Lord, know that I the Lord, it goes all the way through the book of Ezekiel. Verse 23, verse 36, verse 38. The 50th, the 51st. That’s one of the amazing ways that we can see the theme of the book. The purpose of this is that everybody that sees God’s hand at work in prophecy, in guiding and transforming people like you and me, will know that He’s the Lord. That’s something we’re supposed to do. Our life is supposed to point at people, so they know who really is doing what in our lives. It’s the Lord. It’s the Lord that saved me, that changed me, that gives me joy, that gives me the desire to be in His word. That’s part of the way that we reaffirm the reality of our salvation. We hunger for the word of God and when we eat the word of God, it’s the joy and rejoicing of our heart.
Next thing I found, let’s go to Ezekiel 37. Now we’re really in the passage we’re supposed to be studying. In the first six verses, it’s God promising to regather Israel. I wrote God can bring life to dry and dead bones. You notice in verse 11, that hope was lost. It says, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” It’s the idea that Israel was, they were going off into captivity. Ezekiel was writing this and he’s saying, you’re going to be… for centuries… laying desolate. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. Then, God brings them back into the land, starting in verse 7 to 14.
I love in verse 12, “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God: “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” ‘ “ Have you ever thought about what that means? Did you know that during the liberation of the death camps, Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka (I actually wrote those in the bottom margin of my Bible), that the American soldiers, the allied soldiers that went into those death camps thought all those people were dead. They just looked like skeletons laying all over the place. As they walked in, there were groans and fluttering eyes. They even found some that had been thrown into trenches, that were going to be buried and literally part of the return of Israel to the land, part of it, is being fulfilled by the liberation of those death camps and those Jews. Once they got out of those death camps, do you know the only thing they wanted to do? They wanted to go to Israel. We’ll talk about that. God promised to bring them back, even out of the grave, like the death camps. Verse 12, God promised to bring Israel back from being buried, hopelessly among the nations.
Verse 21 says that they were scattered all over the place. In fact, today, if you go to Israel, it’s one of my favorite places. I tell Bonnie all the time I would move there if I could afford to live there. It’s just a favorite place. Do you know how many different languages are spoken in Israel? Modern day country of Israel, 100 different languages. The Jews living in Israel have come there from a hundred different countries around the world. Unbelievable.
In chapter 37:6, 13, 14. God does amazing things so we can know that He is the Lord. That’s the 52nd, 53rd, and 54th, time that phrase “know that I am the LORD” is repeated in Ezekiel.
Next in verse 14, God wants to give back to Israel, the promised land. Abraham, do you remember when we were looking at the timeline, he was born in 2166. The Lord called him home, he died in 1991 BC. He was promised this land in Genesis 15. It was given in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua to the children of Israel during the Exodus and through the conquest. It was lost to Babylon who came in 605, that’s when Daniel went. 597, that’s when Ezekiel went. Then, 586, that’s when the whole city was destroyed and fell to Assyria when they came. The land was overrun, and the people were hauled off.
The seventh thing I found is in verse 15. God prepares them for His future Millennial Kingdom. 15 of chapter 37. “Again the word of LORD came to me saying, ‘As for you, a son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: “For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.” ‘ “ Basically, what he’s talking about is that they will be united. What we see happening right now with the nation of Israel is going to flow into all the tribes being represented in the Millennial Kingdom, which Ezekiel by the way, from chapter 40 to 48, talks about. The children of Israel will be living in Israel. There’ll be this gigantic temple, that I’ve talked to you about in other classes, that the Lord is going to be in. They’re going to still have sacrifices and the sacrifices are going to be object lessons to explain Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Just like they were always intended to be.
Now, we get to chapter 38. God raises up Israel’s enemies, as I’ve told you before. We’ll talk about why I think it’s Russia, the Islamic nations, Iran is actually named, to march against His chosen people. Israel’s enemies are listed as Persia, that’s modern day Iran, Ethiopia as in modern day Ethiopia, Libya or Put, plus the northern armies of Russia. They come, it says in verses 7 to 17, like a cloud. See what it says starting in verse 7? “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you.” “After many days you will be visited.” Verse 8, “In the latter years you will come into the land.” They will, verse 9, “Ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud.” They come with this evil plan, as it says in verse 10, upon the re-gathered Israel.
It says they come out of the far north. Israel’s enemies were often coming from the north. That’s the worst, hardest to defend, part of the city of Jerusalem. Especially, the northern wall. It’s the lowest. Actually, the ground is sloping down toward it, so the enemy has an advantage, but this enemy isn’t coming at the northern wall, it’s coming from a distant country in the far north.
The 11th item I put in my journal; God defeats those armies in chapter38:18-23. The people from the far north are defeated completely. It’s interesting. I also was reading in the authorized version, that’s the King James. The King James translators bring out a little Hebrew word that is called the sixth part. In the sacrifices there’s a sacrifice called the sixth part of a hin. It’s a liquid measurement that’s used in the temple. They see that Hebrew word there and what they translate is that the sixth part survives. 5/6th or 80 some percent of the armies that march against Israel are destroyed. I’m going to talk to you about this because many people say this is Armageddon. I’m going to show you on a chart. I say, yeah, it could be Armageddon, but what’s interesting is that 5/6 of the army are not destroyed at Armageddon, all of it is destroyed.
Revelation 19 says every soldier instantly is killed. Zechariah 12 says every soldier is dissolved by the Lord. That’s why throughout Bible scholar writings (I have over 120 different commentaries on the books of prophecy, on Revelation, and the Minor Prophets, and Ezekiel), you’ll find about half of them say that this is Armageddon and you’ll find, amazingly, the other half say, there are things that are not the same, like this 5/6 destroyed. But the Lord is in charge. I’ll show you that on a chart in just a second. This may imply that over 80% of the armies of Russian Iran are destroyed. Again, the purpose is, to “know that I am the LORD.” 57, 58, 59, and 60 are in verses 6, 7, 22, and 28. God wants to be known. He wants to be known through us.
It should be, if people come up to you and say, why are you peaceful? Why are you not going crazy during all these lockdowns? Why aren’t you deathly afraid of COVID like you’re going to die at any moment. Why aren’t you afraid? Because of your job situation, or your health, or whatever? You say, no, I have peace. They go, what are you on? In fact, once Bonnie and I were in Los Angeles. We lived there in our early days. We were sitting at the table every day on our way to work when we lived there, the first months of our marriage. Our waiter came to us after several weeks of serving us and he said, what drug are you on? Every time you’re in here, you’re high. What he meant was, he saw a joy and peace that he didn’t know. He was a drug addict and his only came during his euphoria. It went away so quickly. He saw a lasting joy and peace. That’s what the Lord wants, to be known. “That you may know that I’m the LORD.” When someone asks you about something in your life point to Him and say it’s not me, it’s the Lord.
Verses 11 to 20, the description here, this is why we’re not sure, sounds like Armageddon as described in Revelation 16 and 19. 21 to 29 sounds like Zechariah 12-14’s wording of the destruction of Jerusalem. What we see is, it’s very possible, and I’ll show it to you on the chart, that this could be parallel with Armageddon. This is happening, they’re flowing into the area, and then it continues on to Megiddo, and then it ends at Jerusalem. Or, this is what’s interesting, something like this could happen early on at the beginning of the tribulation. It could be how Israel even gets a temple, that God actually intervenes for them. Possibly, when Israel weakened by this war comes to the Anti-Christ for aid and he lets them build a temple. I’ll show you that in the chart.
Here’s the goal of everything that we study. I’ve taken all of the lessons that I typed out and showed you. I read over them. I do this every time I read over them, looking at the scripture, reaffirming what I found. Then, I just sit there looking at this list. I write at the bottom of the list, this prayer. Here’s the prayer and I will pray it as to the Lord, because it’s such a blessing. Lord, You know and plan all events past, present, and future. You chasten sin. You hide Your face, but you restore and bless. I want to see Your face, hear Your voice, and follow You today -that the world may see you and know that You are God. Thank you for the new heart and the new spirit that You have given us. It will be amazing to see You unfold Your plan to save Israel. As the world moves closer and closer to uniting against You, Your Church, and against Israel, these events seem to be closer and closer. I want to fulfill Your purpose for my life in my generation. I wait for, look for, and expect Your coming at any time. For Jesus’ sake, Amen. That’s my simple response. By the way I wrote one of those prayers for chapter 37, I wrote one of those prayers for chapter 38. Each time I run through this, I just keep seeking, a sifting, and looking for ways to apply God’s word.
I told you I have a bunch of charts. There are two places that this battle of Magog could be. One could be right here. Right at the front end that launches the tribulation. That’s what about half the Bible scholars believe. The other half believe it’s right here, where it says Jerusalem attacked, and it’s right at the end of the tribulation time. What we know for sure is that God is headed toward this, the second coming of Christ, the launching of Israel as the center of the world, and the beacon of hope. Those are what we’re going to discuss.
This is an overview of what three key passages talk about. Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation, all three. In Revelation it’s Armageddon. In Daniel 9, it appears to be Armageddon. The second coming, Ezekiel 37 to 39. This part is in Ezekiel 37 to 39. We don’t see the Anti-Christ coming and we don’t see the kings of the east coming. See, that’s the problem. We do see Russia and the Islamic countries, and we do see Ethiopia, and Put, and Lud, and the Kings of the south, but we don’t have this angle and this angle. That’s why there is some disagreement among scholars.
Again, This is the rapture of the church. This is Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Right here is the destruction of Jerusalem. Right now, we’re in the Church age that ends with the Rapture of the church. This is Ezekiel 38 and 39, right here. It’s called the Magog invasion. Look at this. We’re not sure if it’s here before the rapture. Now, why would I say that? Have you read any news lately? Yesterday, Iran displayed the largest collection of armed drones that you have ever seen in a military parade. Last week, they used those armed drones against an American- Israeli base in Iraq.
Iran, you’ve heard all this Nance, atomic reactors, centrifuge. That’s in the news almost every day. They are working as fast as possible to develop an atomic bomb. What would happen if Russia helped, who by the way is aiding Iran, giving them anti-aircraft missiles, helping them with their reactor. About four days ago, China inked a multi, multi, multi hundred billion dollar deal with Iran. China’s getting oil and Iran is getting hard currency and technology. It could be very soon this whole thing is going to ignite and God is going to climatically intervene to save Israel.
That launches a very described time called the 70th week. That’s what half of the Bible scholars believe, the other half believe, that it’s right here. That it’s actually a component of the battle of Armageddon. Even though we’re not sure where it goes, we are sure of the 70th week. That’s what we’re going to cover when we study Daniel 9 next week. Then, of course, the second coming of Christ right here. Which launches the Millennium. This is Ezekiel 38 and 39. The Millennium is Ezekiel 40 to 48. See how much has Ezekiel has to say? Ezekiel describes in eight chapters the Millennium with some details that occur nowhere else in the Bible.
Again, another way of looking at this, it could be that this Magog is right here at Armageddon or before, but that just starts these seven events that we’ve talked about. We’re going to intensely look at next week and the week after.
Again, right now we are on Earth but the next prophetic event for us, that we’re looking for, is Jesus to return and the judgment seat of Christ. That’s how I’m going to end this study today, getting ready to stand in front of Jesus.
The tribulation, so either what we’re looking at in Ezekiel is either here or right here, that culminates with the second coming of Christ, His thousand year Earthly rule that ended with the rebellion of all of Earth, except for the saints. Then the Lord says enough is enough and everyone is consumed, Revelation 20 verse 10 says. Then, the great white throne starts. Then, of course, we enter into eternity, dwelling in the house of our Lord forever.
Let me apply this before we go. Ezekiel 36, which already talked to you about, talks about the new covenant, the new heart. 37 is the return of Israel. 38 is the rising up of the enemies. 39 is this conflagration and God defeating His enemies. What is it all about? Look at this. It’s the fight for Jerusalem. Satan always has wanted to destroy Jerusalem. Why? Because look what God said.
1 Kings 11:13. “However I will not tear away…” this is God talking in the division of the kingdom when He is talking about the north and the south, Judah, and then the northern tribes splitting off. Rehoboam is being told, Solomon’s son, that the kingdom is being taken away from him, but not all of it. “I will not tear away the whole kingdom,” Rehoboam. “I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” The important thing to see in that verse is God says, I have chosen Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is God’s clock. The close of all world history is tied to the little city called Jerusalem. All the world will focus on Jerusalem as the wrath of God is poured out in the tribulation. It’s the place where the witnesses are, the place where the Anti-Christ sets up his image, all of this in Jerusalem. Fallen human history culminates with Jesus Christ descending to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The creator Himself returns to Jerusalem to restore His fallen paradise. We’ll see that in Zechariah.
Jerusalem has many stages in the scripture. The first period is the first temple. This is the time of David all the way through the Babylonian destruction. That’s what most archeological drawings and Bible scholars think it looked like. The brazen altar out here, the laver, and then the holy place with the menorah. Then, the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant.
The second period was when that temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel. Then surrounded, and enlarged, and magnificently made by Herod. Herod took the temple that was quickly built in the return of the exiles and Herod made it into a 40 acre architectural wonder. Over here, you can’t see it but there is, on this side, the largest unsupported arch in the ancient world that’s ever been found. Unbelievable span of an arch. Under here underneath this royal stoa are some of the largest building blocks. 570 metric ton blocks are underneath there. They are 40 feet long and 12 feet wide and 10 feet high. How did they move these? They are much larger than the stones of the pyramid. That’s the second temple, as it’s called.
What we’re in now is the time when Israel has no temple, from AD 70 until 1948, then they started worshiping up by the wall. That’s why they call it the wailing wall. It’s still a time when they are without any place to sacrifice. Why they can’t rebuild a temple is because the Dome of the Rock is there, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is there. That’s the Gentile period that Jesus talks about in Luke 21.
The next period is going to be the future period of the temple. It will be when all the nations come against Jerusalem for battle. Why? Because the Anti-Christ allows a temple to be built in Jerusalem and the restored people of God start offering sacrifices and so this war. Satan wants to destroy them all. That’s what culminates in Armageddon.
Jerusalem is God’s timer. It’s like when you set a timer, so you don’t forget something you’re cooking, or baking, or the stove’s on, or you’ve got to have an assignment done, or leave for a trip. A timer. Do you know what’s the timer God has set? Jerusalem. That’s how you know the end of the world is coming. When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, the end is upon us.
What does God want us to learn from this? Trust the God who promised Israel would return, first of all.
Look what it says in Ezekiel. After 2,600 years of dry bones, remember Ezekiel says that there’s going to be in chapter 37 this dry bones. Verse 1 of 37, “The midst of a valley; and it was full of bones.” To start with, for all the centuries since Ezekiel penned God’s word there was no re-gathered nation called Israel as we see it in chapter 36 and 37. What happened?
God begins to regather Israel. The scripture slumbered along as God watched over His word to perform it. Slowly Ezekiel 36 and 37 began to appear and point by point, each of the details Ezekiel saw in the distant past, 2,600 years ago, started happening. What happened?
Right after World War II. After Ezekiel bones grew to a living, breathing nation God continued to watch over His word. Hitler struck. What happened is, there is the Zionist movement in the 1880s and Herzl. Jews started going back to the promised land in the 1880s. It was very hard. They started draining the swamps and there started to be this little nucleus of Jews in the promise land. It wasn’t until Hitler struck with such ferocity, killing 6 million Jews, that in 1948 all the nations of the world united in the form of the United Nations and voted to establish for the first time in 2,600 years a nation called Israel. Do you realize that? From 586 BC till 1948, there was no nation of Israel. There were Jews scattered around the world. There was no nation. God says you’re going to come back as a nation, as a people. That’s what that staff was. That there is a king. There isn’t really a king, there’s a premiere. People call Netanyahu a king, but he’s not the king. They are a nation.
Jesus promised the rebirth of national Israel. Where? Matthew 24. He says, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place.” What? The whole orientation of Matthew 24, Jesus’ description of the tribulation is, there is going to be Jews in Israel, living in Jerusalem, going to a restored temple that Jesus saw, and Paul saw, and John saw. Do you understand that? Daniel saw it. Four of the greatest prophetic writers in the scripture, especially our Lord Jesus Christ, said there’s going to be a Jewish temple having sacrifices in Jerusalem on the temple mount, at the end of the world. That means, to have that you have to have Jewish people, and you have to have a Jewish nation, and you have to have them there to want that and build that. Jesus promised a rebirth of national Israel.
Promise one, the return of the Jews from exile. Look what it says in 36:10-11, “the cities shall be inhabited.” “I will make you inhabited as in former times.” “Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”
Chapter 37, verse 12. I “will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves.” I “will gather them from every side and bring them to their own land.” We actually have seen that. Even in my lifetime, I’ve seen that. Bonnie and I have gone on many journeys to Israel, we have had guides over there. One of our guides became a dear friend of ours for over 20 years. He was from New Jersey. His father was a local judge in the state of New Jersey. Yet at age 20, he left the comfort of New Jersey and moved. He was Jewish. He moved to Israel and worked on a kibbutz. We had him as our guide and we said, why did you leave New Jersey? He said, I don’t know, I just wanted to be here. He said, I felt like this was my home. That’s what God placed in the hearts of His people, to go back to their own land.
Another promise God made is that they would rebuild the ancient ruins. Look what it says in Ezekiel 36:36. You “have rebuilt the ruined places.” If you look at Israel today, they’ve rebuilt them with the biblical names, and they use the biblical names for them.
Also, God says in Ezekiel 36, that “you shall be tilled and sown.” “I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields.” That’s an understatement. Israel has become an agricultural superpower. They have developed and are at the forefront of drip irrigation, desert agriculture. At one point over half of all the flowers sold in Europe came from the greenhouses of Israel. It’s blooming like God said, like a rose.
Look at this in chapter 37. “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” Did you know Israel is now in the top, four or five armies of the world? Of the world? They are some of the top fighters. Their engineers are some of the top engineers. A Jewish engineer developed the atomic bomb. Another Jewish engineer developed a hydrogen bomb. Modern country of Israel engineers developed the neutron bomb. The iron dome. They are just so militarily gifted, just like the Bible says.
The Russian invasion that we’re talking, the scene is set in Ezekiel 37. Next week, it’s the sequence, how all this fits in a chronology. Then, when we get to Revelation we see the Savior who comes to rescue His people.
Who’s coming against Israel? Chapter 38 has all these names, some of them are hard to pronounce. Verse 5, “Persia, Ethiopian, and Libya.” Pretty clear. Verse 3, “Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.” Who are all these?
Magog is Russia. Gomer and Togarmah, Turkey. Persia is Iran. Libya is Libya. Ethiopia is Ethiopia. In Ezekiel 38 we find these obscure names. Gog is described as a land of Magog. The prince of Rosh. Most Bible scholars believe Gog is not a name, but a title like Pharaoh or Czar. That’s why some even think that might be a name for the Anti-Christ.
This is what the map looks like. They’re coming from the far north. They’re coming from other nations like the Islamic nations that are part of the Soviet Union, the old Soviet Union. Iran comes. Put and Lud, which is Algeria, Libya across Northern Africa, and Ethiopia.
Some of the names that are in the scripture, Magog. The leading Bible scholars say this is Russia. The first century Roman historian Josephus said the Magogites where the Scythians. If you go today and look up the Scythians you’ll find out, in the Moscow State Historical Museum on Red Square, there are numerous exhibits saying that the Scythians lived in what are called the steps of Russia. Those grassy plains that are leading down into Europe, that’s where the Scythians are from and they’re proud of it. Josephus said the Scythians are the Magogites, which on the map we would say are the Russians.
Basically, Meshech, Tubal, Beth Togarmah from Ezekiel is this green area. This is Persia or Iran right there. This is Cush or Sudan, Ethiopia. Put, which is northern Africa. Gomer is all of this, part of Turkey and who knows. The more you think about it, I have an article in my file that says that France is going to be majority Islamic by 2050, England by 2040, Italy by 2030. We’re talking about nine years, there’s going to be an Islamic majority. Why? Because do you remember all of the refugees that were fleeing, and marching into Europe, that we watched a couple of years ago. They’ve all moved there, millions of them, and they’re just integrating in these cultures and having families. While the Europeans are seeking to have no children, the Islamic families are just celebrating life and having many children. At the current birth rate, Europe is going to be a majority of Islamic people. Very interesting.
The Russian connection Rosh. Ezekiel never uses the word Russia; he uses Gog and Magog. Also, Meshech could refer to Moscow. Tubal, the Tubal River is in Siberia and it’s also the Siberian city of Tobolsk. This could be the very city that is being talked about. I say that more of what’s interesting is in 1964, the huge Russian oil fields were found, which is now the energy center of Russia. This area has one of the topmost borders in the world.
Again, this is the Magog invasion coming in from all points of the compass but seemingly not involving the Anti-Christ, but we’re not sure.
Persia, that’s the name of Iran until 1935. Cush is Sudan and Ethiopia. Put is Libya, Algeria, Tunisia. Gomer is Turkey, but it could be farther into Europe. Beth-Togarmah is Armenia and the Turkic speaking people of Central Asia.
One last time, the Armageddon Coalition possibly is what Ezekiel 37, 38, and 39 is talking about. Libya, Ethiopia, Iran, Turkey, and Russia, all marching on Israel.
How did Jesus tell us we’re supposed to apply prophetic studies? Are we supposed to build a bunker? Are we supposed to buy gold? Cryptocurrencies? Are we supposed to get a gas mask? What is it? Are we supposed to go into a fortress? Are we supposed to live in fear? No. Turn with me to Luke 21. This is the most powerful lesson for me. Remember, I studied this with you all week long. Like you were with me, like I was sitting across the table. Now, I’m launching you to do it this week. Look what it says in Luke 21, starting in verse 29. “Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.’ “ That’s a famous passage. Jesus said, if you see what I describe in my word as the final end time events, the generation that sees all those events starting will still be alive when it’s done. In other words, it’s going to happen very quickly.
What do I do? First of all, look what Jesus says in verse 36, He applies it. He says, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass.” Remember, the rapture is not mentioned at all in any of the writings of the Gospels. We can see the rapture in John 14, but it’s not described, it’s not mentioned. We can see, “In My Father’s house are many mansions” and “I go to prepare a place” and “I will come again and receive you.” That really is the rapture, but Jesus did not teach about the rapture until Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 4.
What He does say in Luke 21, “Watch therefore, and pray.” Did you know there are seven different Greek words in the New Testament, seven, for prayer? This is the Greek word deomai. Do you know what it literally means? Beg. There are seven facets, seven different ways God wants us to understand prayer. One of them is to be earnestly asking for something. This is what I wrote in my journal. What are you intensely asking, begging, God to be doing through your life that will last forever?
This is what I wrote down. Jesus tells us, I collect all of your prayers. We’ll see that when we get to Revelation. You know what that tells me? I want to pray if every time I pray Jesus is collecting it and keeps it. Revelation 5:8 and 8:3. He keeps it in a bowl right in front of His throne. If Jesus collects my prayers, I want to be praying without ceasing. I think we all need to up our prayer lives a notch.
Secondly, Jesus tells us, I multiply sacrificial gifts. Remember He says, if you give to me it’ll be a hundred fold return. That’s better than the cryptocurrency boom we just saw and the crash. By the way, over the weekend something like $60 billion was lost or $600 billion, I don’t know, there’s so many billions of everything in the stock market these days. Jesus says, what you give to me will not crash, will never be stolen, will never rust, and be corrupted, and taken away in taxes. He says, what you give to me I will multiply a hundred fold, a hundred times. Wow, that’s a good return. You know what I wrote? Jesus said I multiply sacrificial gifts. God measures gifts by how much they cost us, how hard it is to give them. If you have a lot and you give a little, it’s not hard, you don’t even notice it. If you have a little and give some of it, it’s sacrificial. Do you know what I see? Here’s where Jesus said that, but do you know what I see? I want to give. Bonnie and I regularly get together and talk about how we can increase our investment in the Lord’s work. We can’t take money with us, but we can send it ahead by giving it to the Lord.
There’s only one thing, by the way, you can take with you to Heaven. You know what that is? Right here Jesus says, I count souls that you lead to me, win them. The only thing you can take with you to Heaven are people that you shared the Gospel with. Where does it say that? Right there, 1 Thessalonians 2:19. Paul said, “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” You are my joy and my crown he says. I’m going to be rewarded for all of you I shared the Gospel with. By the way, do you tell people the plan of salvation? Do you have a Gospel tract? What’s a Gospel track? Just type in Google, Gospel tract. T R A C T. It’s not track like animal tracks. It’s like a tract of land. If you type in Gospel tract, Billy Graham has some, Campus Crusade has them, the Navigators have them, you can find them. I love God’s Simple Plan of Salvation. That’s one I use regularly and many others. Just find a simple one that you have read and understand, that has scripture in it. That’s the key, I wouldn’t buy one that doesn’t have verses in it because it’s the word of God that saves people, that’s implanted, that convicts them, that the Spirit uses. Jesus says, I count souls you lead to Me, win people. Daniel 12:3 says, that “those that turn many to righteous” shine, “like the stars forever.” Eternal benefit, soul-winning.
Jesus tells us, I remember humble service. You know what that means? Serve. Serve your wife, if you’re married. Serve your family. Serving your local church. Serve the Gospel. Serve the unfortunate. The Lord says when you help the poor, and the blind, and the lame, and the needy, that you’re helping me. Serve. I grew up working in the rescue mission. My family took us to the rescue mission every week. We helped feed the poor people that were in the rescue mission. We did the dishes; we serve the meals. We learned in our family, we would serve, and we would do whatever we could to help the Lord’s work and the unfortunate people. God says, I see that. He said that in Mark 14:3, and I’ll never let you lose your reward.
Jesus says, I love believers that do outreach. Go. He left us to go into all the world and to preach the Gospel. That’s what He wants us to do.
Prophecy encourages us to pray, Jesus collects them. Give, a hundred fold return and you’ll never lose it. Win souls, the only thing you can take with you to Heaven. Serve, Jesus said whoever’s greatest is the one that serves the most people. Go, for God.
I hope that you will think about that this week as you go through as Ezekiel 37 to 39, as we see God’s plan just unfolding before our eyes in the news every day.
One last thing, remember us. There’s my wonderful wife Bonnie. Thank you for recording this class, Honey. Pray for us, as we are missionaries equipping and mobilizing partners, reaching the least reached peoples of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Pray for us, as I would like to close in prayer for you.
Father in Heaven, I thank you for all these faithful small group members that are going through Your 52 greatest chapters. I pray that you’d bless them this week. Open our eyes to behold wonderful things from Your word. Help us to pray, and give, and go, and serve, and take people with us to Heaven. In the name of Jesus we pray. And all God’s people said, Amen.
God bless you. Have a great week.