I know Iím beginning to sound like a broken record by now, but
thereís an enormous potential for a giant leap forward in End
Times prophecy this summer, and this week we came breathtakingly
close to witnessing its beginning.
After many days you will be called to
arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered
from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the
mountains of Israel which had long been desolate. They had been
brought out from the nations and now all of them live in safety.
You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go
up, advancing like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering
This is what the sovereign Lord says:
On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will
devise an evil scheme. You will say, ďI will invade a land of
unwalled villages, I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting
people Ė all of them living without gates and bars.Ē (Ezek. 38:8-11)
Many students of prophecy, myself included, see the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 as one of the most significant events
on Godís prophetic calendar. In the scenario Ezekiel described
nearly 2500 years ago, a coalition of Moslem countries, armed
and led by the Russians, will attack Israel and be utterly
defeated due to Godís direct intervention. He will use this
battle to re-introduce Himself to Israel as their protector, to
recall the rest of His people to their ancient homeland, and to
reinstate His relationship with them.
From that day forward the house of Israel
will know that I am the LORD their God. (Ezek. 39:22). He concluded by saying, ďI will
gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.Ē (Ezek. 39:28)
When Will These Things happen? All agree that this battle has not yet taken place. Following WW
2 the Jewish people began returning to the land for the first
time in centuries and only since then have conditions been such
that Ezekielís prophecy could be fulfilled.
Speaking of this battle Lord said, ďI will
display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see
the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them (the
attacking Moslem coalition).
Israelís re-gathering, officially begun in 1948, will continue to
completion and will be both spiritual and physical. According to Acts 15: 13-19 and Daniel 9:27 it will result it a temple being built. That means the Jews will
return to their Old Covenant relationship with God, bringing an
end to the Age of Grace and causing the Church to disappear into
Heaven. The 490 year clock that stopped on year 483 at the time
of the Crucifixion will begin ticking again, its final 7 years
(known as Danielís 70th Week) unfolding. Godís attention will
again be focused on Israel.
The Jews will begin Temple construction assisted by the
anti-Christ (Dan 9:27) in what will be his first big move to
establish himself as the god of this world. 3 1/2 years later he
will stand in this very Temple and proclaim himself to be God, a
declaration that will jump start the Great Tribulation. (Matt. 24:15 & 2
Thes. 2:4) So Ezekielís battle must be inserted into the window of time
between the rebirth of the nation in 1948 and the rebuilding of
the Temple, still in the future. You can see why prophecy
students are so interested. Israelís return to God, the Rapture
of the Church, Danielís 70th week, the Coming Temple, the
introduction of the anti-Christ, the Great Tribulation and the
2nd Coming are all somehow impacted by this battle. (Although
the Rapture can happen at any time, I believe Rom. 11:25 says it has to happen before the beginning of Danielís 70th Week)
Can you imagine any event more critical to the fulfillment of
End Times prophecies?
A Peaceful And Unsuspecting People
So what else has to happen before this battle can take place?
The participants are in place and itís no secret that theyíre in
the final stages of preparation. Nor is their intent a mystery.
Iran has openly predicted Israelís soon coming demise, and
Turkey has finally taken its place in the Moslem Coalition
Thereís just one other condition. Israel is described as
living in safety in Ezek. 38:8 at
the time of the attack. The Hebrew word translated safety there
is betach. Of 42 Old Testament appearances, itís
translated into some form of the word safety 28 times.
(One meaning of the word is careless, in the sense that the
people feel so safe theyíre not being cautious.) To underscore
the attitude in Israel at the time of the attack, Ezekiel calls
them a land of unwalled villages, a peaceful and unsuspecting
people, living without gates and bars (Ezekiel 38:11).
Itís safe to say that none of these conditions exist in Israel
today. Two thirds of a proposed 436 mile long security fence has
been built to prevent Palestinian terrorists from crossing into
Israel, so itís decidedly not a land of unwalled villages.
The Jewish people know there are up to 40,000 rockets and
missiles pointed at them, leaving no part of Israel safe from
attack. Then thereís the Gaza blockade crisis. Last week
Hezbollah and Iran announced their intention to break the
blockade with ships that were ready to set sail on a moments
notice. Israel responded quickly, saying theyíd be treated like
enemy ships if they entered its territorial waters. (As of
this week both have been at least temporarily held back by
pressure from the international community. Had this not been the
case, weíd literally be hearing the opening salvos of Psalm 83 by
now. ) For months, Israelís military leaders have been
telling their troops to prepare for war this summer.
These are not the actions of a peaceful and unsuspecting people.
In fact, persistent rumors have Israel preparing to launch a
pre-emptive attack against Iran. According to DEBKAfile
Israeli bombers have been secretly positioned in Azerbaijan
causing Iran to declare a state of war along its nearby border
and position troops there, and it has also been reported that
Israeli aircraft have the green light to overfly Saudi Arabia
enroute to an attack on Iran.
Observers have called this summer the time when things will
change forever in the Middle East. What ever happens will not be
the long awaited Battle of Ezekiel 38 but
it will certainly be setting the stage for it. Weíve already
discussed the Psalm 83 andIsaiah 17 scenarios. A pre-emptive attack
on Iran could easily trigger the fulfillment of these prophecies
and decisive victories could put Israel into the state of mind
consistent with one meaning of the Hebrew word betach; feeling
so safe theyíre no longer being cautious. Time will tell.
But more so now than ever before, you can almost hear the
footsteps of the Messiah. (06-26-10)