Okay, so let’s have a few thoughts about how does this fits in with the Bible.
I’m sure you’re aware that the Bible has a great deal to say about Israel in the last days, and also about conflict in the land of Israel.
Major Bible prophecies deal with a restored Israel, and with nations coming against Israel to battle.
There are a number of prophecies on this and there are three major areas of study:
- One is a localized conflict with ‘countries around it’ (neighbours) which is written about in Psalm 83,
- There is a conflict which taking place with ‘an alliance of nations’ coming down from the North in Ezekiel 38,
- And the final one, refers to ‘all the nations’ gathering together in what we know as ‘Armageddon’ in Revelation 16 and 19, and also in Zechariah Chapter 14.
Where are we at then? Are we coming towards that let’s have a look at uh some of these scriptures Psalm 83 to
start with Psalm 83 I’ll read the first three verses. It says,
Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah
9 Deal with them as with Midian,Psalm 83
As with Sisera,
As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,
10 Who perished at En Dor,
Who became as refuse on the earth.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,
Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
It goes on to speak in verse 12 about them saying
12 Who said, “Let us take for ourselvesPsalm 83
The pastures of God for a possession.”
and he concludes with,
13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust,Psalm 83
Like the chaff before the wind!
14 As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83 it tells you about a conflict which would take place in the last days. Does it relate to what’s happening now?
It relates to nations which are making war with the intention of cutting off Israel from being a nation. Let’s make an end of the State of Israel, let’s destroy them.
It mentions tribes or nations which can be associated with the modern areas of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
It is quite probable that this refers to the wars which have already happened:
The first war of Israel at the time of its independence describing those countries that came about Israel with the intention to wipe them out
The 1967 the Six-Day War when Egypt, Jordan, and Syria came up against Israel – I was aware of what was going on at that time and remember hearing President Nasser of Egypt saying that ‘the time had come to make an end of the State of Israel, and to push the Jews into the sea, and destroy Israel‘. What it says here “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more” is pretty much what Nasser was asking for.
“Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
said in 1967 before the Six-Day War of course he didn’t succeed because Israel got there first and knocked out the Egyptian Army and ended up controlling Sinai, the West Bank, and Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights in the North from Syria. This was one of the most amazing victories in history, achieved in six days.
Now, what’s interesting today is that two of those countries mentioned: Egypt and Syria, are in a peace agreement with Israel. It may not be a very ‘warm peace’ but it is still a peace agreement. Additionally, two of those countries, Egypt and Jordan, depend upon Israel for energy supplies.
Therefore, probably, they’re not going to make war with Israel at this time. And the two of the other countries I mentioned: Syria and Lebanon, are both in a state of utter disarray through war and conflict on their own soil. They’re not going to make an attack on Israel.
So, I think we can say that Psalm 83 does not relate to what’s happening now. There are people in those countries who would make war with Israel, but the states themselves are not going to get involved in a war with Israel. Part of Lebanon will, that’s Hezbollah, but not the whole country. You’ve got terror operatives in Syria and in Iraq also set against Israel, but they’re not going to make those countries come against Israel which makes me think that this is a prophecy which is either set in the past or just something which is not specific of the last days.
Before we get to Ezekiel let’s look at the other one, at Armageddon. Are we on the road to Armageddon? Another question you read about Armageddon in Revelation chapter 16.
One place where the name is used Armageddon הר מגידו (har Megiddo – hr mg̱yḏw) which in fact means Mount Megiddo which is in the North of Israel. It is the Mount looking over the plains of Megiddo of which Napoleon once said,
An interesting comment he made when he went there.
In Revelation it says verse 12.
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.Revelation 16.12-16
Are we on the way to that? Probably not. But, ultimately yes. I think, not immediately. There are a lot of things which have to happen first. If you look carefully at the text it speaks not so much of a gathering together against Israel, it is a coming together against the Lord.
And who is the one who’s integrating? It is the Devil. He comes bringing the armours from the east across the dried up river Euphrates. So the armies of the kings of the East are going to be involved, but it’s the kings of the East – that could be China.
At the moment, China is getting more involved in the situation, but we have this end time battle and what is important is to notice that this battle ends with the event described clearly as the Second Coming of Jesus, the end of this age.
Revelation 19 shows that Lord coming as king of kings the Lord of lords, defeating the armies which are gathered together at Armageddon.
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS ANDRevelation 19.15-16
LORD OF LORDS.
And in verse 19 of chapter 19 it says,
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.Revelation 19.19-21
Jesus comes down and binds Satan, puts him in the pit, and Jesus reigns for a thousand years.
What I’m trying to show you here is that this battle ends with the return of the Lord and the defeat of the powers of darkness, the Beast and the false prophet and Satan being bound in the abyss, with the Beast and the false prophet thrown straight into the Lake of Fire.
This parallels with Zechariah Chapter 14 where it says that all the armours of the world are going to gather together against Jerusalem to battle. In chapter 14 verse 1 it says,
Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee
As you fled from the earthquake
In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.
6 It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.
It shall be one day
Which is known to the Lord—
Neither day nor night.
But at evening time it shall happen
That it will be light.
8 And in that day it shall beZechariah 14.1-8
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem
Then, in verse 9,
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.Zechariah 14.9
In that day it shall be—
“The Lord is one,”
And His name one.
So, this one, Zechariah 14, and Revelation 19 both conclude with the coming of the Lord to the earth.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of OlivesZechariah 14.4
It’s the Lord who stands on the Mount of Olives, He stands when the armours are gathered together against Jerusalem and He defeats them in a moment. He comes with the saints.
Who are the saints? Is that you and me and all those who’ve believed through the ages? I think so.
He then takes up His rule of the earth for a thousand years.
You have therefore this end of days scenario. Are we there yet? I think not; but we’re on the way.
This is going to be the final thing, but there are other events which have to come first.
Another interesting prophecy concerning the end of days says that there’s going to be some kind of peace settlement or covenant.
Daniel chapter 9 verse 27 says,
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;Daniel 9.27
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
We may question who does Daniel refer to with the pronoun ‘he’. Some people think it’s Jesus but that doesn’t add up. It is the person last spoken about in verse 26 who is the prince to come
“And after the sixty-two weeksDaniel 9.26
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
According to my understanding, ‘the prince who is to come‘ is the Antichrist or the Beast. He comes out of Rome, and he is going to make ‘a covenant with many for one week’. The prophecy says that, in the middle of the week, he will bring ‘an end to sacrifice and offering‘ ‘on the wing of abomination shall be one who makes desolate even the consummation which is determined is poured out on the desolate‘.
We could spend a lot of time on that section. I’m just going to briefly say that this scripture is explaining that there will be a peace agreement, it will be meant to last for seven years, but it will break down halfway through when the Antichrist brings in an ‘abomination of desolation‘ and places it in the Holy place.
After that, at the end of it ‘wrath‘ or judgment is going to be poured out upon this one at the time of the ‘consummation‘ or the end, on the desolator, the one who brings or makes desolation.
Are we on the way to that? Could there be a settlement?
On one level, it looks unlikely, but on another perhaps not so.
Barack David Ravid says that the White House will rush to get a peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023.
And that’s definitely on the agenda. It is one of Netanyahu’s goals, to make a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the leading country of the Sunni Muslims and he wants to bring them on side with Israel and establish a peace agreement which would bring most of the Sunni Arab world along with them.
In fact, Israel has had talks with countries like Indonesia who are seeking to make peace with Israel, we have already had the Gulf States, UAE and Bahrain, and Morocco establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and we have seen Sudan making similar approaches but Sudan is in a bit of a crisis now so it may not work out. However, there is a movement amongst Muslim countries to make peace with Israel.
Saudi Arabia has said that, before they make a peace with Israel, Israel has to make a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority, which is problematic because the Palestinian Authority wants Israel to withdraw from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) settlements and from the Old City of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem) and they want to have it as their capital instead.
There is no way is Israel going to agree to that. So, in one sense, you could say that peace is a non-starter and yet there are possibilities that it could happen.
Saudi Arabia also recognizes that Israel can’t withdraw from all those territories because of the current state of the Palestinian Authority, its hostility to Israel, and its desire to use its territory as a base to destroy what remains of Israel. Therefore, it is possible that they could come to some agreement.
Additionally, if Israel is in a strong position then, the Palestinians may realize they’re going to have to make a deal with Israel which would be much less than what they want to achieve since Israel would retain control of the territories, or, if they were to get part of the territories, any agreement would also, crucially, include Israeli control of the whole of Jerusalem.
But, as I said before, Jerusalem is ‘the burdensome stone burdening the nations‘ (Zechariah 12.3), so we have this as the issue at the end of days.
It is interesting nevertheless that they are talking about the end of 2023 as a target for peace. That is not long from now, is it? And they’re talking about having a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. If that happens, then, the next logical step would be a general peace agreement between Israel and the Arab states and with the Palestinian Authority.
There are all sorts of difficulties in that coming to pass but the fact that it is even being proposed and talked about is significant.
Let us come back to the prophecy which is, I think, on the agenda: Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Now, one possible way for Ezekiel to come to pass is that what triggers a peace agreement made with the US, the EU, and NATO backing it with Russia coming against it. Other ways are also possible, but what you are seeing today is the possibility that a ‘great power to the North of Israel’ leads and alliance of nations including Persia (Iran), Togarmah (probably Turkey) against Israel in the latter days.
There are some problems with this happening, especially now because of Russia’s weakness ensuing the Ukraine war. Is Russia going to want to enter another war in another part of the world when they’re being hammered in Ukraine and losing so many troops and so much of their army?
We will look at that possibility in a moment but that is something which is causing some people, including myself, to consider whether the war of Gog and Magog may be further off or whether even it doesn’t involve Russia. That is another issue, we will look at some of the possibilities of that happening in a moment.
Let us just read some of the first part of it. It says,
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.Ezekiel 38.1-4
Obviously, it does not say ‘tanks and missiles’ since they did not know at the time what those were. Here the prophet is talking there about war equipment, that is what they would understand then.
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.
7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”
10 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ ” ’Ezekiel 38.5-13
Here you have a passage which speaks about a time when Israel is regathered in the land and people are coming against them to take plunder and to invade the country. Basically, here is a brief summary of Ezekiel 38 and 39.
It says an army will arise in the ‘latter days’. It does say in the latter years specifically will come against Israel after the Jewish people have been restored to the land and Israel has been revived.
That army will be led by a power to the uttermost north known as Gog of the land of Magog, the Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Most, though not all, scholars have linked this region to the region of present-day Russia. They have a number of allies: Persia (Iran), Cush (possibly Sudan), Libya, and probably Turkey.
This invasion will be verbally, but not physically, opposed by other nations Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish and all their young lions (possibly moderate Arab states and Western nations of Europe and America). They will oppose but they won’t actually bring any action against the attackers.
This Army will come against Israel after the Jewish people have been restored to the land of Israel, after a long period of dispersion around the world. It says that specifically.
It says that they will be living in safety. The authorized version says, they will be living peacefully’ and some people say: ‘Well, that cannot be Israel because they’re not living peacefully, they’re not even living in safety‘. But the Hebrew word used is not שָׁלוֹם [šālôm] shalom ‘peace’, it is לָבֶטַח [lābeṭaḥ] which means ‘securely’. Therefore, it means they’ll be living with some kind of a security system in place giving them protection.
This is what I have said before about the Iron Beam.
It could be seen as a protection over Israel and Israelis would therefore be currently living in a ‘state of security’; not in a ‘state of peace’ but in a ‘state of security’, as they already have this in place.
The prophecy goes on to say that this invading army will be supernaturally destroyed by divine intervention on the mountains of Israel, giving Israel a time of peace and bringing an end to the power of these hostile forces.
It is followed by chapters 40 to 48 in the Book of Ezekiel which tell you that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on Israel, a direct reference to the Messianic Kingdom which will be ruled over by the Lord from Jerusalem in a rebuilt Temple according to Ezekiel.
This passage has to do with the end of days, the coming of the Lord and Israel’s Deliverance.