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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - July 31, 2007

  • 2007 Jul 31
  • COMMENTS
 

Apocalyptic Evangelism—

Letting All the Nations Hear at the End of Days

Part 2 continued from July 30th

 

 

 

ONE POSSIBILITY ON THE PROPHETIC HORIZON

 

So how is God going to do the impossible and send a vast revival in a place where the door is slammed and bolted shut in most places? We do not know exactly but there are some intriguing clues as to what lies ahead. One place where the nations of the Middle East and the key nations that are dominated by Islam are mentioned is in Ezekiel.

Always remember that God is Sovereign over the Nations, He rules over the nations and religions of Earth to accomplish His perfect plan and for His Glory.

 

A series of events described in detail 2,600 years ago has been murky, fuzzy and out of focus for all of those centuries until recently. Let me just briefly point out what God says. Turn with me to Ezekiel 36-39.

 

Ezekiel Chapter 36-37 describes the rebirth of a national entity called Israel, followed by chapters 38-39 describing what Bible scholars call the war of Gog and Magog.

 

To start with—for all the centuries since Ezekiel penned God's Word there was no regathered nation called Israel as is seeing coming back in Ezekiel 36-37.

 

And so, there was no Israel to be the target of the coalition of Islamic nations and Russia, from the time Ezekiel wrote (about 600 B.C.) until 1948. So simply stated, for 2,600 years—there was no nation of Israel for any nation to militarily attack!

 

Century after century of Bible teachers looked at these two chapters as so remote, so vague, so impossible. But then starting in the late 1800’s people started talking about making a place for Jews to again live. The Scriptures slumbered along as God watched over His Word to perform it. Slowly it seems that Ezekiel 36-37 began to appear. And point by point, each of the details that Ezekiel saw in the distant past over 2,600 years ago fell into reality.

 

After Ezekiel’s bones grew into a living breathing nation, God continued to watch over His Word and because Hitler struck with such savagery and incomprehensible carnage that the world was moved to do something. In 1948 the nations of the world united in the form of the UN, and voted to establish a homeland, a nation that was named Israel.

In a short period of time-there was a nation called Israel that could be attacked militarily.

 

But then 50-plus years passed and Iran never seemed to join Russia in any way to march against Israel--until last year. Again the God who watches over His Word was waiting and directing the rulers of this world to do His bidding.

 

AN ISLAMIC CATACLYSM

 

An event is coming and God has described it in great detail--that will strike the entire Middle East with death, destruction, earthquakes and supernatural events. That event is a Russian-Iranian led military attack on the nation of Israel.

 

If you read Ezekiel 38-39 you will find that God is describing how Russia and Iran form a military alliance with Lebanon, Syria and a group of other Middle East countries; and then set out to destroy Israel in what Ezekiel described as the last days.

 

Sit back and think, what fills the news reports these days? This past summer it was how Iran was making the mountains of Lebanon a virtual arsenal of Iranian weapons to be used in attacks against Israel. Now almost every day we hear another detail of how Russia and Iran are working together on everything from advanced missiles to atomic weapon production.

 

You need to ask yourself as you look into God's Word …is it just a coincidence? Or are we watching Ezekiel 38-39 unfold before our eyes? Time will tell as God watches over His Word to fulfill it!

 

IRAN THREATENS ISRAEL

  • Ah-ma-din-ejad: 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)

 

Interestingly enough, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the same word that God uses in Ezekiel 38 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."[1]

 

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

 

RUSSIA ARMS 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[2]

Russia's enormous military sales to Iran, its sales of nuclear technology to Iran , and the training of more than 1,000 Iranian nuclear scientists—looks so much like chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel. God describes a Gog or 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."

 

Is Ezekiel 38-39 at the end of the seven year Tribulation just before the Millennium? I don’t think so, if you read carefully the text there is quite a long period of time after this attack that doesn’t square with Armageddon and Christ's 2nd coming immediately following. [3]

 

Here is one fascinating possibility: if this Russian-Iranian invasion of Israel happens before Armageddon it could happen any day now. And when God stops the Russians and Iranian armies dead in their tracks, the entire world will be amazed—but the world of Islam will be stunned, shaken to the core—and what may be the greatest opening among any people will take place.

 

Is this event close at hand? Only God knows. But what is being said in the news is chilling if not prophetic!

 

We don’t know when this Iranian-Russian invasion takes place, we just know that God says it will and that it will end in the catastrophic defeat of the armies of Iran and Russia. The results God says will get the attention of the entire world upon the True and Living God we know and serve.

 

What lies ahead on the prophetic landscape as far as evangelism and missionary work in the Middle East? The clear word from God is that what will happen in an attack upon Israel will be a powerful message to all the world that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true and living Son of God.

 

39:21 – “I shall set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment”
39:22 – “the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God”
39:29 – “I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel”

Here is one possibility of what may happen—

 

These events will not only be a judgment of Israel's enemies in keeping with Genesis 12:1-3, in which God says those who bless Israel He will bless, and those who curse Israel He will curse. The events will also be the beginning of a great spiritual awakening. God will literally and metaphorically shake people out of spiritual apathy and lethargy to realize there is a God in heaven. He will also shake people who are following false religions and turn them to Himself. Moreover, He will shake those who are followers of Christ but not serious about their faith. It should be noted that ours is the first generation in human history in which all the nations on earth will be able to watch the "War of Gog and Magog" unfold because of the emergence of television and satellite technology.[4]

Please go back with me to Revelation 7:9 and see what surrounds this event. In Revelation 8:4 God shows us what leads to all this evangelism—prayer. God asks us to pray, God collects all our prayers, God answers those prayers prayed in step with His Spirit at exactly the right time.

 

The single greatest time of evangelism may be just ahead of us, at the darkest hour of Earth’s history—the light of the Gospel shines brightest!

 

Would you like to reach the entire Islamic world? You can by prayer! Praying precedes any going. Prayer precedes any impact of the +

Gospel. Pray is what God asks and then go.

 

This sermon will conclude tomorrow August 1st

 



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

[2] These sections drawn from various blogs by Joel Rosenburg blog 5.5.05

[3] Gog’s Plan: 38:7 – Gog (not the Antichrist of Daniel 11 and Revelation 13-16, and 19 who is at Armageddon) will build a military coalition and “be prepared" to strike; 38:8 – Gog will deploy the coalition against Israel (versus the Battle of Armageddon where the whole world descends upon Jerusalem from North, South, East and West); 39:9 – Gog will use overwhelming force against Israel; he and his coalition will “come like a storm....like a cloud covering the land”. God’s Plan: 38:2 – The Lord God will bring judgment upon the enemies of Israel, beginning with Gog, the dictator of Russia; 38:20 – The Lord will trigger a massive earthquake in which “all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence”; 38:21 – The Lord will turn Gog’s forces against one another; 38:22 – The Lord will subject Gog’s coalition forces to: pestilence, blood, torrential rains, hailstones, fire from heaven (not the sword from His mouth in Rev. 19 and disintegration in Zechariah 12-14); 39:6 – The Lord will “ send fire upon Magog” itself and others (no mention of this in Rev. 16, 19); 39:9 – Israel will capture her enemies weapons and burn them for 7 years (vs. Armageddon ends normal life for Earth); 39:12 – It will taken 7 full months to bury all the bodies of Israel's slain enemies (no mention of this in Armageddon passages); 39:17-20 – Birds and beast will feast on the bodies of Israel's slain enemies (yes in both passages).

 

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

 

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