Friday, August 14, 2009

Is the Ezekiel Prophecy Nearing Fulfillment?

While surfing the other day, not in the ocean but on the web, I came across a popular teacher of end-times prophecy. His article captured my attention because of the theme he was stressing. He was basically saying that the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy of the Gog/Magog war is nowhere near fulfillment. His premise was simple. He based his opinion solely on Ezekiel 38:10 which speaks of the waring coalition thinking to itself; "I will go up against a land of unwalled villages..."

Interestingly, the man's premise was that there had to be some sort of peace agreement put into place that would cause Israel to disarm...or at least feel so at peace that it would not have to defend itself. Not wanting to brush aside his opinion, I decided to do a bit of a word study in order to get at the bottom of the text. I wanted to see what the words meant in the Hebrew, the original language of Ezekiel. This is what I found and how I put it all together. Warning: this is how I read the text by using the original language. Things may play out quite differently, and God is the sovereign one here. However, I calls em like I sees em!

First, it is God that instigates the movement of the peoples led by Magog. In Ezekiel 38:10, the Lord is the one who puts the thought into Magog's head....God is the one that puts the spin on what Magog is going to be thinking. Here is what it says.

"This is what the sovereign Lord says; On that day thoughts will come into your head and you will devise and evil scheme. You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people, all of them living without gates and without bars."

On the surface this sounds like a land that has given up arms and is completely at peace. But remember, this is a thought that is evil...devoid of truth....and does not necessarily mean Israel will be living as peaceniks. Unbarred windows and ungated doors speaks of openness as well as a state of peace. The word for "unwalled villages" is perazah....which literally means an open country and also conveys a message of "ripe for the picking."

Then comes the word "safely." Verse 14 says this; "...In that day, when my people Israel are living safely" some translations say.. "living in safety." Again, my prophecy teaching friend surmised that Israel's safety is the result of some sort of peace agreement. So, let's look at the word a little more closely.

Betach is the word used. It means safety, yes, but it also is used many times in the Old Testament to describe strength and security. In other words, safety is a matter of being secure and strong enough to insure safety. It is much like the old Cold War. America was safe from nuclear attack, not because we are nice guys, but because we have enough fire power to obliterate anyone who would try to harm us. Could "betach" be portraying the same sense in verse 14? If you put the unwalled village...or open country...with security, you may get a different picture than the one given by the guys who believe there will be a peace agreement.

Remember, other scripture has to come into play. I speak of Psalm 83, Jeremiah 12, Ezekiel 25, and Obadiah 15-18. Those passages give clear indication that the nations immediately surrounding Israel are going to manufacture an attempt to destroy the Jews once and for all. Ezekiel 25 clearly states that the Lord will use his people Israel to exact vengeance on those nations so that they would know that "I am" is the Lord. Isaiah 17 also gives the prophetic word that Damascus would be destroyed....not in the Ezekiel 38-39 attack, but before. Israel will have responded to the threat by destroying the enemies that are closest to it. I would say that constitutes security. I can also imagine that in the immediate aftermath Israel will become unsuspecting of a greater invasion perpetrated by Russia, Turkey, Iran, and others.

God will use Israel's strength to do the job in round one. However, round two will happen quickly and with such overwhelming ferocity that God will have to intervene for his covenant people. He will be the one that destroys Gog and his hordes on the mountains of Israel. PTL

If you are following my take on the coming events, you can clearly see that round one could happen at any moment. This is especially so if Israel takes the first step by attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. I don't believe Israel would do anything more than attack the facilities. They might even wipe them out. But you can also imagine that nations like Jordan, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Lebanon, and the Palestinians in Gaza would be so alarmed and angered that there response would be an immediate uprising. Israel will be forced to respond with enough response to remove the threat. A spiral toward the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy would be created.

To look for the signing of some agreement that would bring sweeping peace to the region should probably be left for those hunting of the anti-christ. It is time to pray and prepare now for the immediate aftermath of the above scenario, for it is the moment that I believe we will see the greatest period of evangelism the world has ever, or will ever know.

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