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_Article Number One - August Newsletter
Aug 1st, 2016
Commentary
Art Sadlier
Categories: Printed Newsletter

ANOTHER GOSPEL

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

Paul tells the Galatians that they had abandoned the true gospel of Jesus Christ and had accepted another gospel which is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul goes on to state what a serious offense this was.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).

I believe that today many have been declaring another gospel which is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I believe this “other gospel” was born in 1948 with the birth of the Laodicean/New Evangelical Church. It was introduced by one of the leaders of New Evangelicalism, Billy Graham. Some have called it “easy-believism.”

One of the most serious aspects of this false gospel is the fact that very few recognize the subtle change that has taken place in this “other gospel.”

We marvel that such confusion has entered to pervert the very essence of what the gospel is.

Paul states this amazing wonder in verse six, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”

This “other gospel” is conceived by man and preached by man. Men have deleted some of the foundational truths of the gospel and have taken from the gospel the power to save.

One of the major deletions from the gospel is “repentance.”

“Deciding for Christ” – “Accepting Christ” – “Taking Christ,” none of these acts will result in salvation unless there is repentance. It will result in a delusion that the individual is saved when they are not.

Men everywhere will welcome a salvation that does not require repentance. This has been a factor in influx of the world into the Laodicean/Evangelical church in recent years. Come as you are; just receive Christ, no change is required.

I believe this will be the factor that draws the world into the harlot church. New Evangelicalism has opened the door to the harlot by rejecting the necessity of repentance.

Jesus said in Luke 13:5, “…except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” There is no salvation without repentance. Two verses later Jesus repeated this warning, “…Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”

When repentance is removed from the gospel it becomes “another gospel” which cannot save.

Let me document the fact that the Word of God clearly and emphatically declares this truth.

Mark 9:13, “….I came to call…sinners to repentance.” also Matthew 9:13 and Luke 5:32.

Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The gospel requires repentance and faith. To preach faith without repentance is to preach “another gospel” which cannot save.

Acts 26:20, “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

Salvation is of the Lord not the result of a man’s decision but the result of a man or woman’s repentance and faith.

Romans 2:4 “…knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.”

The convicting power of the Holy Spirit working in the heart and life of the sinner encourages the sinner to repent. Conviction of sin is an absolute necessity for salvation. We need to declare the law of God to bring conviction upon sinners.

Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The law brings conviction of sin which is necessary for salvation to occur. Men must come under conviction for sin before they will repent.

You may make a thousand commitments to Christ but without repentance you will never be saved. You may come forward in an evangelistic meeting to receive Christ but without repentance you will be just as lost as you were before. Receiving Christ without repentance will give you a false assurance of salvation that will damn your soul to hell.

2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow (incomplete repentance) of the world worketh death.”

2 Peter 2:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Mark 1:15, “…repent ye and believe the gospel.”
Mark 6:12, “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”

Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”                                                                                            Acts 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.”                                                                         Luke 15:10, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  

I have belabored these verses because of the seriousness and the pervasiveness of this perversion of the gospel.

Billy Graham perverted the gospel by calling for a decision in place of calling for repentance. Others followed in preaching his “other gospel” which cannot save.

Rick Warren says in his book the “Purpose driven Life” all you have to do to be saved is “believe and receive.”

In James 2:19 we are told, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” The devils are obviously not saved. Belief without repentance will not save.

I remind you that Jesus said, “Except you repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Warren says repentance is just a change of mind. The Bible tells us that it is turning away from the direction the world is going and going God’s way.

Repentance, if it is genuine, arises from a deep and profound conviction by Christ’s Spirit that we are indeed wrongdoers who in sinister sin against Him have become alienated from Him. Though, in His wondrous grace, generosity and love He extends to us His mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance on the basis of His own magnanimous self-sacrifice. He demands that we for our part turn from our wicked ways, repent of our wrong, seek His companionship, and claim His amazing justification and total forgiveness.

In genuine repentance there is a profound personal sorrow for the suffering which our sins have brought to Jesus Christ. There is genuine remorse for the pain and sadness that our wrong attitudes and rotten behaviour bring to those around us. There is horrendous self-humiliation because we know full well that we are not living our best. Our misconduct, our selfishness, our pride, our pollution corrodes our own character and contaminates our conduct.

In genuine repentance the sinner is fearful concerning the wrath of God that is abiding upon him because of sin and because of his lost condition.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

It is a master stroke of the devil to pervert the gospel by removing one of the basic tenets of the gospel, namely repentance.

Another perversion of the gospel is the erroneous teaching concerning the love of God.

“Viewing the Christ of Calvary as the sign of God’s love to unregenerate sinners and not as the sinner’s mark of defiance and hatred for God is a false concept” (Fieldhouse).

This false concept portrays Calvary as God’s personal attempt at bending over backwards in order to prove that He is man’s friend. If God is the sinner’s friend then the sinner need not fear God nor the judgment of God.

God’s Word declares that Calvary is God’s attempt to prove to man that he is the enemy of God. That he is a rebel against heaven and against the holy and the righteous government of the offended God of the Bible.

God’s love is only for those on the resurrection side of the cross. God’s love makes it possible, through the salvation that is in Christ, for a man to switch to the resurrection side of the cross and become the object of God’s love instead of the object of God’s wrath.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

“Today we are foolishly misled by the errors of another gospel: we are engaged in taking upon ourselves something which our heavenly Father neither commissioned nor commanded us to do – namely, the matter of explaining His great heart of love to unrepentant, unregenerate sinners. Instead of beseeching men to be reconciled to an angry and offended God, and showing them via Calvary and God’s broken law where they are offensive and vile and in need of repentance and mercy for their sins, are we, of all things, to reconcile God to sinners? Instead of skillfully convincing sinners that they are enemies of God, we labour rather at depicting God as the sinner’s friend. Thus we teach moon rocketry to unborn children. What heart breaking failure and waste” (Fieldhouse).

The unregenerate man is not under the love of God but under the wrath of God. John 3:16 tells us that Christ came and died on the cross in order that men may through salvation be transferred from being under the wrath God to being under the love of God.

The unregenerate man will never experience the love of God until or unless he is born again by the Spirit of God. The unregenerate man will experience the fierceness of God’s wrath for all of eternity in the flames of hell. To tell an unsaved man anything else is to be unfaithful to his soul. Do not lie to him and tell him that God loves him. God’s love for him is only manifested in the death of Christ which makes it possible for him to enter into God’s love through the new birth.

Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Until an individual is born again he or she is not under the love of God but under the wrath of God.

Our message to sinners is not that God loves them but “flee from the wrath to come.”

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….” (2 Corinthians 5:11a).

Our message to the unsaved is to warn them of the peril that they are living under. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15). Our message to the unsaved is that they will never experience the love of God until they are born again by the Spirit of God.

…. God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).

Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” That speaks to all those who are unsaved.

Ephesians 5:6, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Disobedience refers to those that obey not the gospel.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

It is “another gospel” that tells unsaved men that God loves them. It implies that they will do God a favour if they will just give Him permission to save them.

Risk Warren gives us a clear demonstration of this in an interview where he challenges the unsaved to “Give Jesus a 60 day trial.” He is saying, God wants to save you, do Him a favour, give Him a chance and see what He can do. Put Jesus on trial he implies, if He doesn’t produce forget it.

The truth is that if sinners remain unsaved he or she will spend forever and ever in the flames of hell. The sinner desperately needs to be saved, he or she needs to cry out to God in fear and trembling pleading with God and believing God for salvation. Christ cannot save anyone unless there is genuine repentance from sin. This is “another gospel” which cannot save.

Some say we have to earn the right to be heard by the unsaved. Nothing could possibly be further from the truth. We are commanded to bring the gospel to the whole world. We are compelled by compassion to tell the lost of a saviour. Sinners are just one breath away from dropping into the eternal fires of hell. By what logic do we have to earn the right to warn men and women of the terrible peril they are in?

Paul said, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

The Lord said to Ezekiel, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezekiel 3:18).

The social gospel is a false gospel which tries by human effort to manipulate men into being saved.

Listen to Paul’s true gospel.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

There are three distinct parts to the gospel.

First – “Christ died for our sins

He paid in full the debt of our sins by the shedding of His blood on the cross. That allows God, by His grace to forgive us and pardon and redeem us from our sins. That pardon is not applied until and unless we come to Christ in repentance and faith.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son….” (Romans 5:10b).

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

To be saved, a man must understand the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Christ on the cross. That is the first element of the gospel but we cannot stop there.

Second – “And that he was buried

Christ alone could die to make atonement for our sins, we have no part in salvation it is all of God, received by faith. Yet as Christ died for our sins we are to reckon ourselves to be dead with Him. We are to count ourselves to be dead to the world in Christ.

Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ….”

An essential part of the gospel message is that there is a demand to reject and turn away from the old life. The believer is to turn away from this present evil world system. 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

“Another gospel” does not include identification with the death of Christ as it pertains to the act of repentance which calls for the forsaking of the old life by identification with Christ in His death.

 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death….” (Romans 6:4b).

Water baptism portrays salvation in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and that is the experience of those who are truly born again. “Another gospel” totally neglects this basic element of the gospel.

Identification with the death of Christ is an essential part of the gospel which is omitted in “another gospel.”

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin…” (Romans 6:11a).

For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:11-13).

Third – He rose again the third day.”

The resurrection is an essential part of the gospel.

Christ rose from the dead in order that we might live by becoming partakers of His resurrection life.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We are to count ourselves as dead to the world in order to live unto Christ. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).

Genuine salvation will enable us to us experience the resurrected life of Christ, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6).

The gospel involves our salvation from eternal damnation and our entering into the glories of heaven. It involves our deliverance from the penalty of sin and the receiving of the righteousness of Christ. But it also involves victory over sin in this life through our identification with the death and resurrection life of Christ.

Marvin Fieldhouse states,

[The cross brings men to judgment and death in order that they might have God’s mercy on them; and then God’s grace in Christ, by the Spirit, raises them to new resurrection life and power. There can be no resurrection if there has been no cross; no life, if no death; no faith, if no repentance. There can be no grace in Christ if there has been no mercy outside of Christ, for He was delivered for our offenses, and “was raised again for our justification.” “For if when were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” But if there be no reconciliation through repentance, there can be no justification by faith.

The resurrection having been omitted from “another gospel” has been divorced from the cross and there can be no supernatural living by the faith of the Son of God, no blessed fruits of the Holy Spirit.]

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4).

Because He lives, we to shall live. To delete from the gospel the resurrection life of Christ and its relationship to the believer is to pervert the gospel.

The Lord saves us not only to deliver us from hell and take us to heaven. He also wants to deliver us from a sinful life in this present evil world.

If the death, burial and resurrection are not clearly presented in the declaration of the gospel, it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is another gospel. It becomes the gospel of easy-believism, take what you want and leave the rest. You cannot preach a piecemeal gospel. To neglect parts of the gospel is to pervert the gospel.

The gospel is not just a crucified Christ. The gospel includes the resurrected Christ. It includes the perfecting of the saints in Christ. Ephesians 1:12, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”

The social gospel is “another gospel.” The social gospel declines to tell the lost that they are sinners. Instead they try to impress and influence the sinner with all kinds of favours fearing lest they offend them. When the sinner is comfortable with them they suggest that simply receiving Christ will guarantee their salvation. They give a false hope of salvation which leaves the individual deceived, thinking they are saved when they are not. It is a curse which dooms men and women to hell.

Billy Graham has been the leading evangelist for the New Evangelical/Laodicean church. He has introduced and preached “another gospel” that cannot save. Thousands have followed in his footsteps including the popular Rick Warren.

This false gospel has filled the New Evangelical church with pseudo Christians. A.W. Tozer said, some years after the preaching and declaration of this “other gospel,” that he believes that 90 % of those who profess to be born again are actually unsaved. Many other pastors have made similar statements in recent years.

This agrees with the teaching in Revelation 3:16-18, that the last days Laodicean Church is an unsaved church.

The Ecumenical Gospel

Billy Graham has also broken down the walls of separation between the Catholic Church, the mainline liberal churches and the evangelical church. The Laodicean church at its inception abandoned its separation from the apostate churches around them and imbibed of their apostasy. Consequently we have today a New Evangelical/Laodicean that is an unsaved church just as the scripture describes her in Revelation 3:14-18 and in Matthew7:22-23.

The stage is now fully set for the rapture of the Philadelphian church. After the rapture, the harlot counterfeit church will suddenly come together. There will be an instant world church. The ground work has already been laid for it.

There are no doubt some within the present Laodicean church who are truly born again people. “The Lord knoweth them that are his.”  

To these the Lord says, “Come out of her my people.”     

We read about the soon coming fate of the present Laodicean Church in Revelation 3:16, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

By contrast the present Philadelphian church has been given another promise, Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

My believer friend, may I ask, which church are you now a part of?

Article Number Two - August Newsletter
Aug 1st, 2016
Commentary
Art Sadlier
Categories: Printed Newsletter

Shadows of the Coming War of Ezekiel 38-39

We read in Ezekiel 38-39 about a massive attack on Israel. This attack, according to the text, will come very early in the tribulation period with the intent to utterly destroy the Jewish people and nation.

Satan knows that the scripture states that Christ will come and rule and reign over Israel on the throne of David in Jerusalem. If that happens, Satan knows that his hope to rule this world will be terminated. Therefore Satan desires to destroy Israel to prevent this.

What audacity of Satan in opposing God! Men today are doing the same thing in opposing God’s authority in their lives.

Satan has long sought to usurp God’s earthly kingdom and to rule over this world. The war of Ezekiel 38-39 will be one of his final attempts to achieve that objective. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Before his fall from grace, Satan hovered over the throne of God as a cherub created by God to guard the holiness of God. From that special vantage point he observed the glory and majesty of God and coveted that which he saw. “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:14-15).

Evidently God has tolerated Satan’s attempts and allowed him to proceed with his evil, rebellious scheme. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psalm 76:10).

It is as if God said to Satan, okay Satan lets’ see if you can defeat me.

When the Lord finally terminates this rebellious venture, Satan, men and angels will know for all of eternity that only God can rule His Kingdom and that sin and rebellion against God is a disaster. Only God can satisfy the human heart and only God is worthy of all praise and honour and glory.

The coming tribulation period and war of Ezekiel 38-39 will be a part of the venue for the climax of this contest between God and Satan.

In this coming war there is going to be an alliance of nations that will come against Israel seeking to annihilate her.

Who Leads This Attack? 

We read about the one that leads this attack in Ezekiel 38:2, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.”

Bible scholars agree that Magog is Russia. Russia has severely oppressed the Jews and blasphemed against God. In this war Russia launches its final attack on God and the Jews. God is not passive toward those who oppose Him. He will draw out the hearts that are in rebellion against Him. We see this move of God against Russia in verse 4, “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

The Alliance

Verse 4, “...a great company....” And in verse 6 we read, “...all his bands and many people with thee.”

This will be a very large Russian and Muslim army, perhaps, as many as 50-100 million men? God will draw them to bring a temporal judgment upon them. They are Israel’s present day enemies. These very nations and people have been seeking Israel’s destruction for over fifty years. This destruction will make way for the biblical end time scenario to unfold.

We read about that alliance that Russia leads in Ezekiel 38:5-6, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

It will be manpower rather than modern weapons because the peace treaty with its universal disarmament will have already taken place. When the peace treaty is signed, Antichrist will want a world that is disarmed. Those that want a world government will want a world that is disarmed. It is also possible that a nuclear holocaust will take place prior to this event causing the world to readily accept a wide ranging, world-wide disarmament. The fact is that Russia is yielding a nuclear sword with threats and preparations to use nuclear weapons. North Korea is also a threat to use nuclear weapons.

Former US Secretary of Defense, William Perry states, “We now have the greatest threat of nuclear war ever.” He proceeds to list many reasons for saying this.

We have a list of those Muslim nations that will place themselves under Russia’s leadership in this alliance. I repeat verses 5-6, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

Persia is Iran, Gomer and Togarmah is Turkey (according to an ancient map of Turkey) along with Ethiopia and Libya.

We currently see all of these countries moving into the Russian orbit and actually entering into an alliance. We are also told that Muslims now make up a sizeable portion of the Russian army. The alliance will be a Muslim army but Russia will lead them.

In verse 7 the Lord says to Russia, “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” For years Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. They are urging the Islamic nations to unite and join them in this crusade. Iran has feverishly sought to build a nuclear bomb for the purpose of destroying Israel. According to scripture, it will not be by a nuclear bomb that Iran will carry out its attack but rather an attack of old fashioned conventional warfare. And it will not be Iran that leads the attack, it will be Russia.

The Stage is Now Being Set

The stage is now being set as the three most powerful nations of this coming alliance (Russia, Iran and Turkey) are coming together in a new and threatening way. This is a whole new power structure in the Mid-East.

TASS News has reported a rapproachement between Russia and Turkey. Russia has been expanding relationships with both Ankara and Tehran.

In reaction to this shift, it is not clear who is panicking more, Jerusalem or Washington. This would leave America outside and looking in on a new Mid-East in which America no longer has much influence. The whole Mid-East balance of power has dramatically shifted to those very nations which according to Bible prophecy will come against Israel in the coming war of Ezekiel 38-39.

Turkey with its 10th largest army in the world has now switched sides, turning away from Europe and America. The stage is being set for the coming war of Ezekiel 38-39.

In the process Turkey has shifted from a secular nation and is rapidly becoming a Muslim State. It is a poorly kept secret that the president of Turkey desires to establish a Muslim caliphate which he will control.

God is not passive against those who oppose Him. He will draw out of their hearts their rebellion against Him. We see this move of God against Russia in verse 4, “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

Notice the Lord says, “...and put hooks into thy jaws, and bring thee forth...”  For years Bible scholars have wondered what God would use to draw Russia down into Israel. It seemed for years that Israel had nothing that Russia would want, that is until recently. Israel has discovered and is tapping in on massive natural gas and oil finds off her coast.

The World Energy Council now estimates Israel's shale deposits might contain up to 250 billion barrels of oil, almost the same amount of proven oil reserves as in Saudi Arabia.

Russia has been negotiating with Israel to participate in the recovery of those reserves. However Israel has shut Russia out. God is going to draw Russia down into Israel as she covets Israel’s oil and gas. And in the process God is going to destroy Russia.

The Timing of the War

This is an important issue. We discover the timing in verse 8, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”

First it says, “In the latter years,” that refers to the end times.

Then we read, “...that is brought back from the sword...” that is today. Present day Israel has been brought back from captivity and the sword that scattered them. The sword that kept Israel out of the land for 2,000 years has been removed. “...but it is brought forth out of the nations...” That of course speaks of present day Israel.

Notice the further timing, “...they shall dwell safely all of them.”

That is not today! Today, and ever since her return in 1948, Israel has had no peace, she has been, and is under constant threat of war and violence. War and violence will continue until Antichrist signs the peace treaty. That false peace will continue until the second half of the tribulation period, during which 2/3 of all Israeli’s will die at the hand of Antichrist in that awful time known as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”

The only time of peace for Israel will be the first half of the tribulation period. After the signing of a peace treaty there will be very brief period of peace before the war of Ezekiel 38. Paul tells us about it in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Notice the clear indication that the peace will be short lived. “Peace and safety, then sudden destruction.” It is a false peace that quickly breaks down with the attack on Israel, though for Israel this attack will be deflected and crushed by God and they will enjoy this false peace until the mid-tribulation point.

This scenario is confirmed by verse 11, “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.”

This again confirms the timing; right after the peace treaty is signed at the beginning of the tribulation period.  “(Them) that dwell safely,” again, that is not today. Four times in chapters 38-39 it states as the setting for the war the fact that Israel is dwelling safely prior to the attack.

Dwelling without walls,” the world has been clamouring for Israel to tear down the wall. No doubt after the peace treaty is signed and world-wide disarmament is taking place, Israel will tear down the wall, they will be relaxed and enjoying peace.

Another indication that the war will take place early in the tribulation is found in Ezekiel 39:9, “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand staves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years.”

It is not hard to envision the Israeli’s burning fifty million rifle butts and smelting down the steel. Notice they will be burning them for seven years, to the end of the tribulation period. That would require the battle to take place early in the tribulation, as they would not be burning them in the Millennial Kingdom. Remember that in the Old Testament any portion of a king’s reign after his death was considered a year of his reign. I suspect the Holy Spirit is using the same method of chronology here.

The Invasion

Verse 11-12, “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”

Verse 14-15, “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army.”

Verse 9, “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud  to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.”

We see a great Muslim army marching to their doom. This war is a showdown between Jehovah and Allah. The war of Psalm 83 will have taken place a few months earlier and is an introduction to the destruction of Islam as the Palestinians are routed by the God of Israel.

The Peace treaty has been signed, Israel has disarmed and the whole world is in the process of disarming under the threat of the nuclear weapons that Antichrist has reserved to himself. (There is actually an old suggested motion at the UN that calls for the world government to retain nuclear weapons to enforce disarmament).

Antichrist has pledged Israel’s security. The attack is a surprise attack. “Like a Storm”- “like a cloud to cover the land”- “All thy bands and many people with thee.”

We see Russia and her former republic Muslim states, with an unbelievable number of Muslim people. We see them descending on Israel to destroy her, the Islamic final solution. Iran has a million man army and a ten million man militia. Perhaps there will be 50 to a 100 million men, drawn by the Lord, to their destruction.

The Weapons

The weapons are not the weapons of modern warfare. Verse 4b, “...all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

Remember a great disarmament has taken place and the New World Government has taken control of most of the world’s armament and uses it to force disarmament on the nations. Hence we see primitive weapons and great numbers of men.

The Final Outcome

Verse 18, “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.” This war is about God’s anger being poured out on Israel’s enemies Russia and Islam.

Verse 22, “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

Notice, “With pestilence” a great plague will be sent down from the Lord, wiping out millions.

With blood” God will their shed their blood in such a way that all will know that God has intervened.

With an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone,” Israel will not have to fight this war. Jehovah will show to Islam and the whole world who the true and living God is!

Verse 39:2, “And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” This could mean 50-60 million dead on the battle field.

But that is not all. We read about the homelands of these troops in verse 39:6, “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Destruction will not only come on the battlefield but on the people in their homelands as well. One out of every six will survive to tell the world what God has done.

The Purpose: “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 38:23).

And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezekiel 38:16).

God has a reason for everything that He does. As the tribulation begins, God wants Israel to know that Jehovah is the God of Israel and that if they will trust and obey Him, He will bless and protect them. Israel today is in unbelief and disobedience, but they are still God’s people.

God wants the gentile world to know that He is on the throne in heaven. God wants Islam to know that Allah is not the God and that Jehovah is the true and only living God.

This will be the end of Islam as a force in the world. The eyes of many Muslims will be opened and during the remaining tribulation period I believe multitudes of Muslims will come to Christ.

I suspect that many Muslims will not give up the hope of a Muslim Caliphate and may proceed to slaughter multitudes as Jihadists are doing today.

What an Awesome Witness

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (Ezekiel 38:19-22).

Listen to the actual words the Iranian leader has spoken against Israel, “The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the 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.”

“Israel is a tyrannical regime that will one day be destroyed” “Israel is a rotten dry tree that will one day be annihilated in one storm.”

To Summarize

The war of Psalm 83 will take place prior to the tribulation period. The Palestinians and Muslim nations and peoples immediately around Israel will be utterly devastated. This is the first stage in the elimination of Islam as a factor in the tribulation period.

The world will be left shaken by this war in which there will be the possible use of chemical and biological weapons and even possibly nuclear weapons. This will set the stage for Antichrist to bring about world-wide disarmament.

When Antichrist appears, probably Islam will think he is their Mahdi and be deceived. Israel will think he is the Messiah and Christendom will believe he is actually Christ. Great deception will dominate the world.

The peace treaty will be short lived as the war of Ezekiel breaks in upon the world.

The idea that the kingdom of Antichrist will be a Muslim Caliphate is impossible. The notion that Antichrist will be a Muslim does not fit the biblical scenario.

When the war of Ezekiel 38 is over, Antichrist and his Revived Roman Empire will be the only one standing. The oil of the Mideast will be his and he will have the only standing army in the west.

Today the stage is being set in many ways for both the war of Psalm 83 and the war of Ezekiel 38. Today there are war clouds gathering with claps of thunder and flashes of lightening.

The important thing to understand is that we are standing on the very threshold of the tribulation period. Are you ready for the trumpet to sound? Are you saved or would you come to your demise in that cataclysmic time?

Christian will you be ashamed at His coming or will you receive an abundant entrance into the Kingdom? The trumpet is soon to sound, perhaps before the sunset today?

Jesus is coming!

2,500 years ago the Word of God describes these coming wars in great detail. It names the very nations that launch these attacks. The end-times events are descending upon us like the sound of thunder. Amazingly, multitudes who claim to be Christians do not hear, nor see, nor understand, nor care about what is going on.

Just as Jesus warned, false prophets are arising, men like Rick Warren, who declare that we should forget about Bible prophecy.  Countless numbers of pastors are giving soothing messages that are putting their people to sleep concerning the real issues of the hour.

Jesus warned about this very kind of deception in Matthew 24:24. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

We see multitudes today being deceived by false shepherds. Could it be that those who are being deceived are not in fact the elect at all? Are they deceived even about their salvation?

Are they, those whom Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7:21-23? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

In Revelation 3, we read about the last-days church. We discover this Laodicean church is not a saved church. In verse 16 we see the Lord spewing it out of His mouth as an unregenerate church. In verse 18 we see the Lord telling this church they need salvation. In verse 20 we see the Lord standing outside of this church offering salvation. The Laodiceans are deceived about salvation. They think they are saved when they are not.

All the premillennial scholars I know, identify the present evangelical church as the Laodicean church.

Again I repeat the words of Jesus, “…if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” It is impossible to deceive the elect (the true believer) and yet we see multitudes of professing believers being deceived. Does that indicate multitudes today who are being deceived are not really born again.

Paul teaches us that this is a real possibility in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

I believe that today’s evangelical church is Laodicean and largely an unregenerate church. Tozer stated concerning the evangelical church that he believed that 90% of evangelicals are unsaved. Many other pastors have stated that they believe the majority of their members are not saved.

As I stated in the previous article, the reason for this tragic situation is that we have, for over fifty years, preached another gospel that does not save. We have preached easy-believism, “Receive Christ as your Saviour” is not the gospel unless it includes repentance. There are very few who would not gladly receive a salvation that does not include repentance.

We have filled our evangelical churches with unsaved people. We have doomed them to hell by telling them they are saved when they are not.

We are living in the great hour of deception Jesus and Paul warned would come in the last days.



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