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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Aug. 3, 2007

  • 2007 Aug 03
  • COMMENTS
 

God’s Rule over the Nations—

Daily Benefits in Trusting God

Part 2 continued from August 2nd

 

 

 

 

 

We are to trust the God who is ruling over the nations by giving us the Word He is watching over to fulfill! Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” NASB

 

In our brief moments together today let’s dive into what made up 1/3rd of the Bible as it was written and still makes up almost 1/5th of God's Word today. The Rule of God over the Nations as seen in Biblical Prophecy.

 

God has already described in detail what will happen in the future. Every time what He has declared will happen—happens, it is literally just what He said. But when examined closely, those involved make their own decisions and have no intention or awareness of following God’s plan!

 

We live in the most written about period of time, from God’s perspective. Fully 20% of the Bible is consumed with describing the events that God calls the end of days. These end of days are more described and detailed for us—than even the days when Christ walked the shores of Galilee.

 

The end times Biblical prophecies that are powerful pictures of God’s Rule over the Nations are many, here are just a few:


1. Trust the God who promised Israel would return as a nation in Ezekiel 36-37.

 

In Ezekiel 36-37 the God who rules tells us that Israel will one day be reborn as a modern country, that Jews will pour back into the Holy Land after centuries of exile, that Jews will rebuild the "ancient ruins" and make the deserts bloom, that Israel will develop a vast and powerful military, and that Israel will become remarkably wealthy.

 

These prophecies have all come true in our lifetime. They began to be fulfilled in the early 1900s, accelerated in 1948 and 1967, and continue to come true to this day. [1]

 

To benefit from the power of the God who rules, we are asked to see what He has done. Note with me the predictions found in Ezekiel 36-37 that have already come true. These are the famous prophetic chapters that foretell the future of Israel as a nation, that were written almost 600 years before Christ's birth!

 

Þ    The rebirth of the State of Israel in the end times (both chapters): Did the British politicians and early Zionists that fought for the establishment of the nation of Israel do all that because they wanted to or because God ruled over them? Both of course. That is how God works. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!

 

Þ    The return of the Jews to the Holy Land after centuries in exile (36:10-11, 36:24, 36:37-38, 37:12, 37:21): Did the countless thousands of Jews all over the world (100 nations and counting) get up one morning and each decide to obey God's Word that said they would return? No they just had a longing to be safe, to be free, to have a land of their own—and in all that they obeyed the God who rules over the nations by watching over His Word to fulfill it!

 

Þ    The rebuilding of the ancient ruins in Israel (36:36): Did God make the early settlers name their cities after the Biblical sites they were building upon? No, they wanted to tie themselves to the past, their heritage and God's Word! God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!

 

Þ    The re-blossoming of desolate, desert lands to produce abundant food, fruit and foliage (36:8-9 and 36:30-35): Did those agricultural engineers, irrigation pioneers, and desert scientists devote their lives to Israel in its wasteland condition just to make Ezekiel come true? No. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!

 

Þ    The creation of an "exceedingly great army" (37:11): Did the atomic scientists, the military weapons engineers and the businessmen that listened to them all want to fulfill Ezekiel? No, they were trying to protect themselves, defend themselves and make a living. But in the process became the third or fourth most powerful military in the world when the atomic weaponry is factored in. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!

 

2. Trust the God who declares Russia is the leader of the anti-Israeli coalition described in Ezekiel 38-39.

 

True, Ezekiel never uses the word Russia. Instead, he says a dictator referred to as "Gog" will arise in the land of "Magog," and will be the "prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal." The first century historian Josephus wrote in his classic work, Antiquities of the Jews, that the "Magogites" are the people that the Greeks refer to as "Scythians." Study the history of the ancient Scythians and you will quickly discover that these were a brutal and bloodthirsty people that settled north of the Black Sea in the area we now call Russia and the former Soviet republics.

 

In Moscow the State Historical Museum on Red Square has numerous Scythian artifacts prominently displayed. Russia is proud of its Scythian tradition, and this helps us pinpoint Russia as the modern country to which Ezekiel was referring. Other Bible scholars note that when Ezekiel mentions "Rosh" he is using the root word for Russia. Others believe "Meshech" refers to Moscow and "Tubal" refers to the Tubal River in Siberia and the Siberian city of Tobolsk. Numerous leading Bible scholars agree that Russia will certainly be the leader of the anti-Israel coalition in what Ezekiel describes as "the last days."

Russia Sells Arms to Iran

Just a few days after Ahmadinejad's inflammatory remarks about Israel, these headlines appeared around the world:

 

  • Iran and Russia in $1 Billion Arms Deal—Aljazeera.Net (12/2/05)
  • Moscow Inks Arms Deal with TehranMoscow Times (12/5/05)
  • Russia Agrees to Sell Missiles to Iran—Associated Press (12/5/05)

 

The Lens of Scripture

Russia's enormous military sales to Iran—especially on top of its sales of nuclear technology to Iran and training of more than 1,000 Iranian nuclear scientists—do not make classic geopolitical sense. But, chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel speak of a dictator "who would one day take over Russia, form an alliance with Iran and the radical Islamic world, and take up arms against a modern State of Israel."

 

For those viewing current events through the lens of Scripture, the fact that Russia is building a military alliance with Iran for the first time in human history is actually not so bewildering. For them, the real question is not whether a Russian-Iranian alliance will emerge but whether such an alliance, when it does form, means the fulfillment of the rest of Ezekiel's dramatic prophecy is imminent.

 

3. Trust the God who declares the destruction of the entire Russian, Iranian, Syria, Lebanese and other Islamic military forces will come "like a storm" against Israel (38:9).

 

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian leaders have uttered a seemingly endless series of curses against Israel, calling the Jewish people evil, insisting that the Holocaust never happened, and threatening to wipe Israel "off the map."

 

Þ    Sovereignty of God over the Nations: In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord is crystal clear that He will bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse Israel.

 

Þ    Sovereignty of God over the Nations: In Ezekiel 38-39, God specifically vowed to subject the leaders and military forces of Iran (among other enemies of Israel) to a massive earthquake, torrential rains, killer hailstorms, rampant pandemic diseases, and even hellfire and brimstone.

 

Iran Threatens Israel

  • Ahmadinejad: Wipe Israel Off Map—Aljazeera.Net (10/26/05)
  • Wipe Israel "Off The Map" Says Iranian—New York Times (10/27/05)
  • Israel Should Be Wiped Off Map, Says Iran's President—The (U.K.) Guardian (10/27/05)

 

"Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad said, 'As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,'" reported the New York Times. The Iranian leader went on to say that "anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury" and any Islamic leader "who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."

 

When Ezekiel lists Persia (the name of Iran up until 1935) he was recording the words of the God who sees and knows exactly what will happen in the future. Amazingly today’s news bears witness to Persia (Iran’s) deep hatred of Israel.

 

In September [2005], when Ahmadinejad took the podium to address the United Nations in New York City, he felt surrounded by light. It wasn't the stage lighting, he said. It was a light from heaven.

 

Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the United Nations could be dismissed as pure political posturing if it weren't for a string of similar statements and actions that clearly suggest he believes he is destined to bring about the return of the Shiite messiah.

The mystical 12th imam, who is venerated by many in Iran, disappeared as a child in the year 941. Shiite Muslims believe he will return and rule for seven years in perfect justice.[2]

 

“While it may be tempting to some to dismiss such language as overly dramatic, it is worth keeping in mind that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told colleagues that he believes the end of the world is just two or three years away. He believes that the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the "Twelfth Imam" or the "Mahdi" is to launch a global jihad to destroy the Jews of Israel and the Christians of the United States. What's more, Ahmadinejad is feverishly trying to build, buy or steal the nuclear weapons to bring his Shiite end times beliefs to fulfillment.”[3]

 

Interestingly enough, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the same word that God used in his speech in April 2006:

“Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at the opening of a conference in support of the Palestinians. "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."[4]

 

Ezekiel 38:9 specifically says that God’s enemies will "come like a storm" to destroy Israel, but are destroyed by a supernatural earthquake and firestorm unleashed by God Himself. Could


When Jesus explained the entire scope of end times events, He paused and concluded with two commands in v. 36 for us who listen to Him. We can learn what Jesus said were our responsibilities as believers (Luke 21:29–38)

 

“Watch therefore, and pray always…” (Luke 21:36) Pray is the word for beg, implore and beseech, it is an intense word!

Jesus revealed that all of the magnificent buildings of Herod would become rubble. . . and that nothing on earth ever lasts; but Jesus came to His disciples with an offer of something they could become a part of that never ends.

 

What are you intensely asking (begging) God to be doing through your life that will last forever?

 

This sermon will conclude tomorrow August 4th.



[1] Joel Rosenburg blog 5.5.05

[3] Joel Rosenburg blog, 7.23.06

[4] http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/ahmadinejad-israel-a-rotten-dried-tree/2006/04/15/1144521534197.html

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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