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Article Number Two - August Newsletter
Aug 1st, 2016
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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