Students of Bible prophecy are always keeping a close eye on the news, looking for events that fulfill what the Bible explicitly says will lead up to Jesus’ soon return. This past few weeks the news has been filled chock full with set-up events that have arranged the players in their proper place for an epic prophetic event.
Read through the following headlines and summaries and see if you can recognize just which prophetically appointed event we’re looking at. (I’ll give you a hint: there’s more than one.)
1. Iran Leaders Pave Way for Messianic ‘Mahdi’
Iran last week held a multi-day conference… to plot what can be done to hasten the coming of the messianic, endtimes personage known as the Mahdi. Shiite Muslims believing the Mahdi is a messianic figure who will return after an apocalypse to elevate Shiite Islam to the status of the only true religion, with the consequence that all false religions, including Sunni Islam, will be vanquished. Israeli military intelligence experts are convinced that Ahmadinejad’s expressed religious devotion to the Mahdi is genuine.
2. Famous quotes by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury,”
“The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.”
3. 5 more nuke plants spotted in Iran
Deep-cover MI6 agents who found the previously secret underground uranium enrichment plant near the Iranian holy city of Qom have discovered a staggering five more similar plants.
4. Iran Has Enough Uranium to Build at Least 2 Bombs
IAEA indicates that Iran now has at least 1,508 kgs of low-grade uranium. Thus, Iran now appears to have the essential materials to move steadily towards building two atomic bombs as soon as it makes the political decision to do so.
5. Gaza rockets can now reach Tel Aviv
The head of Israel’s Military Intelligence on Tuesday November 2nd warned that Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip now possess missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv.
6. Iran Threatens Oil Transport Route
With the prospect of Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities looming, Tehran has renewed its threat to shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which up to 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies pass.
7. Sudan wins a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission
8. Turkey: An Ally No More
Turkey has taken a radical turn in their international policies, abandoning almost overnight its 2 decades long relationship with Israel. On October 13, 2009, Turkey cancelled a joint military exercise with Israel and instead signed a treaty with Syria that includes plans to strengthen military ties and to end visa requirements for each country. Syria is one of Israel’s most aggressively hostile border enemies.
9. Armenian-Turkish Accord
In the news is the historical geo-political establishment of protocols for full diplomatic relations between the Armenian and Turkish peoples. Armenia is also full member of the Russian-led military alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
10. Large Quantities of Natural Gas Found off Haifa Coast
Israel continues to explore the mother lode of natural gas deposits. Noble Energy and a consortium of exploration and drilling companies have after 5 years of drilling at the Tamar site 56 miles west of the northern port of Haifa discovered an estimated 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
11. Russian-Syrian-Iranian Axis
Russia, Iran and Syria have entered a defense pact that is in the process of altering the balance of power in the entire Middle East. The facts reveal a long, steady Russian commitment to the Iranian nuclear program and arms supply to Syria.
Painting A Prophetic Picture
Russia and Iran allies? Turkey turning on Israel and siding with Iran. Russia playing behind the scenes giving nuclear know-how and weapons for an attack on Israel? Mismatched countries now united by their Islamic hatred and jealousy of the Jews. Israel discovering exceeding wealth in natural gas? This all sounds very familiar, like I read it somewhere in the Bible. Indeed I did, in the book of Ezekiel, a prophet who wrote God’s prophetic word down almost 2,600 years ago.
Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 tell in great detail of an epic battle that will change the very world we live in — called the “Gog-Magog Battle.” In this battle God entices the greed of a ruler designated “Gog” to lead the modern equivalents of Russia, Turkey, Armenia, the “Stan” countries, Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia, Lybia, and Algeria in an effort to plunder and annihilate Israel. Their effort is in vain, though, for God miraculously destroys the invading Muslim horde with His signature fire and brimstone, earthquakes and hailstones.
The alliances for this battle are already in place. Israel will be forced to deal with this threat in the very near future. In their present humanistic ideological mindset the Jewish nation doesn’t yet see that God has got their backs, so they will feel forced to act, and act expediently, or face extermination.
But first, there are the surrounding jihadist nations bordering Israel like Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria who bewilderingly sit out the Gog-Magog Battle for Israel to contend with. And then, there is the question about whether the Church will be here for such a “time of Jacob’s trouble.”
The current news paints a grand picture showing that we are on the dagger’s edge of the fulfillment of a great number of end time prophetic events.
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i was just talking to my mom in alaska on the phone last night and was telling here the alliance for psalm 83/isaiah17 is ALREADY SET the alliance for Gog/Magog is ALREADY SET the decline of america is well on the way so to put it bluntly unless psalm 83 happens BEFORE the rapture which i kinda doubt, and unless Gog/Magog happens BEFORE the rapture, which i SERIOUSELY doubt, and unless the collapse of americac occurs before the rapture which i doubt then HOW NEAR THE RAPTURE MUST BE!
Great article Nathan!
I want to asky you a little question: Which role do you think that Iraq could play in this prophetic scenario?
I have to admit I'm a bit confused on the Psalm83 situation but not on Gog/Magog. Most I've read here seems to point to Psalm83 followed by Gog/Magog.
I tend to think it's the other way around. Gog/Magog destroys Russia and it's war allies first. This would clear the way for Israel to follow-up uncontested (since Russia will be gone) against the Arabs who have a follow-up attack.
The way I understand it, there is a period of peace and security for Israel after the Psalm83 conflict. How can they have peace and security if Russia and it's war allies still exist? Wouldn't they be a threat?
I'd welcome anyone to help me understand the Psalm83/Gog/Magog timing, which comes first, and why.
Dawg…every day I just have a great sense of anticipation of the Rapture unlike any time in my life. I hope it is today! See you in person whenever it happens.
i also look forward to meeting alot of you in person at the rapture. concerning psalm 83 and Gog/magog, this is my opinion: when isreal subjicates its neighbors in psalm 83 they will become a "vast and mighty army" they will have unimaginable wealth due to most of the oil in the middle east and their borders and armies will be increased by maybe 5xs. therefore tho russia and iran will still be enemies they will feel secure and safe. thats when the other shoe will drop. does that make sense?
again this is my opinion and id like to hear Nathans take on this. if my understanding is correct iraq (babylon) was under the territory of persia (iran) so iraqs role is the same as irans`. i`m not sure tho. id like to hear nathans take on both donalds and billys question. (he`s the expert not me)
Dawg, What you says does make sense to me. I suppose God would probably hold Russia and its allies back until He determines its time for them to be destroyed.
I'm positive the only reason we haven't all nuked each other up to this point is because God hasn't allowed it to happen.
Donald, my take on Iraq is this: at one point (like hartdawg said), Iraq/Babylon was under Persian control.
When our "president" pulls our troops out of Iraq, Iran has already "volunteered" to take the helm. The Persian Empire will be reborn.
The way I see it, US troops are the only thing holding back that union.
Dawg, Also after reading your comment I see now how Psalm83 gives Israel the opportunity to become the irresistable bait which triggers the Gog/Magog invasion. I guess I have a better grasp now. Thanks.
I know the whole Psalm 83 thing is contoversial, but it does explain a lot and fills in some gaps (at least to my mind) and paints a broader picture.
And I can't wait to meet you guys' in the air 🙂
if any of you havent read bill salus` book isrealstine i HIGHLY recomend it. i`m not sure if you can get it thru this site or not. i keep going back and forth on the timing of psalm 83 (before or aftwer the rapture) i think the key is its relation to Gog/magog. if Gog/Magog happens within months after psalm 83/isaiah17 then its likely psalm 83 happens AFTER the rapture. but if psalm 83 occurs and God holds russia/iran back for a few years to allow peace for isreal and more people to come to christ then psalm 83 may happen BEFORE the rapture.
i hope that makes sense. i think it could go either way.
My take on Iraq sitting out as one of the countries involved in the Gog-Magog invasion is so that it can become the Antichrist's initial Middle East HQ during the Tribulation. Such a HQ would keep his investment in the oil fields and keep a close check on Israel.
Just speculation, mind you, but if this is the case then our participation in liberating Iraq has been for a major prophetic set-up.
that would (maybe) support a literal Babylon. with Babylon i`m 50/50 on that one. good evidence on both sides. whether iraq becomes persia or babylon time will tell. personally i donno.
Excellent article Nathan, I've been closely eyeballing the same developments you note in your list of events.
I'd like to run something by you with respect to what you said here:
"But first, there are the surrounding jihadist nations bordering Israel like Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria who bewilderingly sit out the Gog-Magog Battle for Israel to contend with."
So do the core Sunni Islamic nations – the core of Wahhabi theology – Sheba and Dedan, per Ezekiel 38:13, who sit out and say nothing other than what is said by the commerical nations of Tarshish (i.e. the West). I identify Sheba and Dedan as all of the modern day Arab nations, from Kuwait in the north, the gulf sheikdoms and emirates, Saudi Arabia and on down to Yemen. Saudi and Yemen, in fact, are right now in full-scale combat against fellow Muslim's of the Shi'a persuasion on both Saudi and Yemeni territories.
Is this not a pretty clear indication of a couple of things relative to that near-future period of time?
1. The empire of the antichrist is not yet existent as these these named nations act of their own accord as the invasion attempt occurs. They are not under the control of the antichrist. Therefore the bride of Christ may well be witness to some or all of these events.
2. The fulfillment of the precursor events found in Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 have a devastating effect on the nations of the Arabian Peninsula and their former false god allah. This appears to me to be a literal fulfillment of Psalm 83, verses 16 through 18:
16 Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O LORD.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
I think part of the reason we don't see the Saud's or the Yemeni or UAE in the Gog-Magog war is because they are so aligned with the West. They like our money.
An example. In the UAE, they have a brand new Formula 1 race track. State of the art. Nice facility (from what I could tell from Speed Channel) surrounded by a man-made harbor where the rich and famous could park their 50 foot yachts and watch the race.
Formula 1 racing is a symbol of capitalism: they have the highest paid athletes in the world and they spend billions of dollars on racing research per team!
From what I've read history corroborates the Arab Peninsula countries you listed as Sheba and Dedan, Sean.
While I see the possibility of Psalm 83 happening before the Rapture, I don't see the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog Battle happening until afterwards because Gog-Magog causes 1) the devastating earthquake felt around the world, and 2) that the world is forced to acknowledge God's existence. These to me sound very descriptive of a post-Rapture world.
If Israel's smart in Psalm 83, they won't only take out the center of aggression against them – Damascus – but also the center of religious hatred against the world – Mecca. It will be curious to see if Psalm 83 plays out that way, and that could be what cows the Arab Peninsula nations to sit out Ezekiel 38-39.
You bring up a critical point I've been attempting to resolve regarding the timing of the Gog Confederation invasion and the concurrent "earthquake" that occurs.
Some commentators say that Ezekiel's prophetic description closely resembles the great quake of Revelation 6 – the manifestation of the opening of the Sixth Seal – which occurs within Daniel's 70th Week.
This is a key part of the whole Gog is Antichrist debate – wherein I fall on the side the they are distinctly different men and whose paths do not cross in these last days.
I think the way to resolve this is to look at Young's Literal Translation of Ezekiel 38:19-23. My take on this is that the literal text refers to a localized great quake in Israel and not the global quake spoken of in Revelation.
Have you looked at this as yet?
I had a guy get mad at me at our last conference because I didn't agree with him that the earthquake wasn't the great earthquake of Rev. 16:18-20 – the 7th Bowl Judgment. The general timing clues of Israel being at peace and 7 years to burn the weapons discount that the earthquake during the last part of the Tribulation is the same as Ezekiel's.
Agreed, Sean, the earthquake of Rev. 6 and the later one in Rev. 16 are quite Earth shattering, but the one during the Gog-Magog Battle seems to affect the mountains of Israel the most, but it appears the tremors will be felt globally. Could be the Gog-Magog earthquake could open up volcanoes that spew fire on the invading nations (Ezek. 39:6).
By the way, there is also clear a indication of when this attempted Gog Confederation invasion will occur separate and distinct from Israel living securely.
Ezekiel 38:20 (YLT) (Emphasis added)
"And rushed from My presence have fishes of the sea, And the fowl of the heavens, And the beast of the field, And every creeping thing that is creeping on the ground…"
When all of the sealife, wildlife and ground creeping things (insects?) suddenly are nowhere to be found in Israel, then we can be duly advised that the attempted invasion by the Gog Confederation is imminent.
The birds and beasts return in Ezekiel 39:17-20. After the slaughter of the Gog Confederation and the feasting of the birds and wild beasts is ongoing, it is occuring "on mountains of Israel."