Revelation Unfolding/Program 5
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2009
|Russia has often been mentioned as a key player in Bible prophecy. Is Russia the nation indicated by the Gog and Magog in the Bible? If so, what is taking place now that fits the descriptions predicted about this nation in the end times?
Today, world leaders are creating new laws and policies to try and solve the global economic crisis; the growing threat of nuclear weapons from Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea; the Palestinian and Israeli conflict over implementing a two state solution; and the resurgence of Russia’s military. Do these four problems have a connection with what the biblical prophets predicted will happen in the future? Recently, President Obama met with world leaders to try and fix the global economic crisis. The European Union called for the establishment of a “global governance [that] would subject all financial market activities around the world to regulation and be backed by… inescapable sanctions against violators.” Could today’s events be leading toward the global control and governance the Bible predicts will take place in the last days? And could Iran’s threats to wipe Israel from the face of the earth, the world’s efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Russia’s military resurgence all be pointing toward the final world events the Bible predicts will occur before Christ returns? My guest for this series is journalist Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived and reported from Jerusalem since 1993. You will also hear part of our interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerning the threats Israel is currently facing. Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. My guest is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and we’re talking about the world events that are taking place in light of biblical prophecy. We’ve already talked about how this world economic crisis is affecting the different nations and what are some of the answers that are being proposed, including a world bank, a new world currency, as well as a new governmental structure, another authoritative structure that would reach into all the countries of the world. Now we are turning our attention to what the prophet Ezekiel said in Ezekiel 38 about the alignment of nations that God says in the future, in the last days, are going to come against Israel
- And, Jimmy, I think I would like you to set this up. Let’s give the outline and then I want to take one of those nations, which happens to be Russia. What are some of the things they’re doing right now? What are in the headlines of the news right now in terms of Russia? First, start with a broad outline of Ezekiel.
- DeYoung: Well, you’ve mentioned Russia. The biblical name for Russia is Magog. And that’s because of the fact that Ezekiel 38:2 mentions Magog. But that’s not the first mention of Magog. Magog was a son Japheth, who was a son of Noah. You date back 4500 years ago to the times of the flood, and in Genesis 9 God told Noah and his sons to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, re-people this earth. And then in chapter 10, we see the record of the beginning of obedience to that.
- As I said, Japheth has a son named Magog. Magog travels north of the Caspian and Black Sea, there he establishes his family; he learns or develops a language; and then he establishes a nation. That nation today is known as Russia. And that is seemingly, the major player in the Ezekiel 38 prophetic scenario, that seemingly is unfolding right this very minute in our world.
- In addition to Magog, there in verse 2 of Ezekiel 38, you have Meshech and Tubal, and then down in verse 6, Gomer and Togarmah. Now, Meshech and Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah, by the way, they were sons of Japheth as well, they went into a geographical location that we know today as Turkey. I was recently in Turkey, picked up an ancient biblical map. Turkey in biblical times, divided into four parts – Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. So that’s modern-day Turkey.
- We come to verse 5 in Ezekiel 38. It mentions Persia. That was the biblical name as well, and in fact, it was used until 1936, when the world changed the name of Persia to three states that we know: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. It also mentions there, in some translations it’s Cush, in the King James Bible it’s Ethiopia, but it’s talking about three of the African nations: Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan. And then it either mentions Put in your translation or that would be Libya, the western shores of modern-day Africa.
- So, we’re talking about an alignment of nations that, I’ve mentioned, that are very much involved in what’s happening in the world. But you’ve got to bring to the discussion as well Daniel 11. In verses 40-45, it mentions some of the Ezekiel nations, but it starts out with Syria making the first move against the Jewish state of Israel, followed by a joining with the Egyptians coming together to try to wipe out the Jewish nation. And then, over in the Psalms, it brings additional states in: Saudi Arabia, known as the Ishmaelites in Psalm 83; and Tyre is mentioned there in Psalm 83, that’s modern-day Lebanon. And so you have these nations that already are in discussion, in conversation, developing relationships, forming a coalition, an alignment to come against the Jewish state of Israel.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, I love that word, coalition, because I think that’s what’s happening here. And it seems like Russia, according to Ezekiel, is going to be the ringleader here that’s kind of going to pull the coalition together and bring them against Israel. Although, let’s talk about this thing is… Let’s talk about Russia in relationship to Iran. And let’s start with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and what he said to President Obama about getting the world together to rein in the Iranian nuclear threat. And the one that put the stop to what the European Union, and as well as the G-20, were going to do, was Russia. So, give us that little outline right there and how it ties in Russia to Iran, first of all.
- DeYoung: Isn’t it interesting. When the United States seems to back away from dealing militarily with the Iranian threat of a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, they want to go to the negotiating table. First of all, I have no idea how you sit and talk with somebody who’s already said, “We want to wipe six million people off the face of the earth.” President Ahmadinejad of Iran saying he wants to destroy the Jewish state; they are a cancer in this world, he’s going to get rid of them. So, I don’t know how you have a conversation along that line. But when Netanyahu came to power as the new prime minister, he immediately threw the ball back in Obama’s court. He said, “Okay, you either deal with Iran, or we’re going to deal with Iran.” And he made that statement out of necessity: 24/7 the Jewish people are threatened by this madman in Tehran who wants to destroy the Jewish people. And so they have to deal with this threat, and they’re going to do it, and it could be in the very near future.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let’s talk about the arrangements that Russia has with some of these nations that are mentioned in Ezekiel. Let’s, first of all start with, they’ve signed a big deal with Iran, let’s talk about that. There’s actually a couple deals on the table and they’re all bothersome to Israel.
- DeYoung: You know, over the last couple of years, Russia has transferred their technology and technicians into Tehran, into Iran, for the purpose of developing a nuclear program. Now they want to talk about that’s for domestic use. That is as far from the truth as I have ever heard anything. Israeli intelligence and basically all the intelligence gathering organizations across the world would indicate that Iran is working, developing a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. And of course, with the fact that the Russian technicians and technology was brought to the table so they could speed that effort up, we see it unfolding. In addition to that, Russia has said, we will sell to the Iranian people an air defense system. Of course, that’s in the face of the Israelis saying, if somebody else in this world doesn’t step up to the table, we’re going to have to deal with it. And this air defense system, if it’s installed in Iran, would stop the Israeli air force from being able to go in and take care of that threat.
- Ankerberg: Russia has agreed also to sell missiles to Syria. This is also very bothersome to Israel.
- DeYoung: Of course it is. Syria is at Israel’s northern border. The Syrian military might is actually massed right there at the northern border. President Assad of Syria made this statement not too long ago, “We’re going to get the Golan Heights back, whether it’s through diplomacy, or if we have to use our military might, we’ll do that.” Well, if you take these weapons from Russia, sold to Syria, they put them right there across the border, Syria’s going to be able to threaten Israel to give them the Golan Heights back. And, John, you’ve been with me in the Golan Heights. They cannot give up. Israel, that is the most strategic defensive place for the Jewish people against the threat of Syria.
- You have to remember what’s been going on. North Korea goes into Syria, helps them start to develop an operation that would bring forth a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Of course the Israeli air force went deep into Syria and took that out. Everybody tried to deny that was going on, but there’s absolute evidence that that did take place. And with North Korea firing off this missile just recently, you know that they have the capabilities of giving the delivery system to Syria. And as we speak, the Iranians have got involved with Syria, as well. They’re helping them develop a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Syria’s following the Iranian format of don’t put it in one place, they found out what happens when the Israeli Defense Force learns about that, so they’re putting their operations in different locations all across Syria. They are a major threat to Israel. And when you get Israel thinking that Russia and Iran are both working military agreements with Syria, you got a real problem.
- Ankerberg: Not only that, but the prophet Daniel says that the first nation of this group that’s going to come against Israel is going to be Syria, alright. And the fact is they also are supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
- DeYoung: John, every single bit of manpower, munitions, and monies that come from Tehran into Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, have to pass through Damascus, Syria. They load up those lorries and they travel across the Bekaa Valley with that equipment. You’re talking in times past about the 40,000 rockets, that Hezbollah now has. They all came through Damascus, Syria. They were depleted of all their weapons, now they’ve restored everything they’ve got there. And then the leadership of Hamas is located in Damascus. Masha’al is the leader of Hamas, he sits in Damascus calling the shots for those in the Gaza Strip and all of the Palestinian people as they became a festering threat to the Jewish state as well. So there, Syria is a major player in the end times. And as you mentioned, Daniel 11, verses 40, 41, and 42 talk about the fact, Syria makes the first move.
- Ankerberg: I find it really interesting what you just said, that when President Obama is giving his speech in Europe on nuclear disarmament, calling for nuclear disarmament, it’s at that very moment that North Korea fires up this nuclear ballistic missile and advertises their wares to the world. If you were to have a disarmament conference, and you got the participants involved, just think of what you would accomplish: you would have Russia at the table, you would have Pakistan at the table, you would have North Korea at the table, and you would have Ahmadinejad at the table. And you just say, how many of those people are going to give in? Okay?
- DeYoung: Zero.
- Ankerberg: Zero.
- DeYoung: None of them.
- Ankerberg: And that’s the problem. Alright, we’re not done talking about the spokes coming out of Russia. We’re going to talk about their ties to Turkey, China, India, and also Saudi Arabia. We’ll take a break and we’ll come back. Stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. And we’re talking about Russia’s surprising involvement in the very nations that the prophet Ezekiel said would come against Israel in the last days. And let’s talk about some of these that are just in the news, alright? Russia is selling nuclear stations to China, India, Iran, and Turkey. It’s just amazing. Also, the Saudi Arabians are picking up one of these from Russia as well. Now, let’s talk about Turkey and that involvement. Why is that so important?
- DeYoung: Well, the Bible, in the book of Ezekiel chapter 38, mentions what we know as modern-day Turkey. In biblical times, they were known as Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. That would be Ezekiel 38 verses 2 and 6. But, in addition to that, when you look at the geopolitical activities unfolding in Turkey, you have a prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, who is a radical Muslim. He was thrown out as mayor of Istanbul because of his radical Islamic beliefs. His number one partner in his political activities is Abdullah Gul, who a couple of years ago, he was able to get him elected as president of the country. Now, the president is somewhat of a ceremonial position, but it helps fortify what Tayyip Erdogan wants to do. And he, I do believe, wants to become the leader of Pan Islamic world. During the time of the Gaza fight between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Tayyip Erdogan made a statement that Allah was going to deal with Israel because of that, and he was going to take care of the Israeli-Jewish problem. He is, I think, working himself into a position where he will become the Pan leader of the Islamic world. I do think that the visit there by President Obama helped assist in making that all come about. But again, I have to take you back to Bible prophecy; they’re a major player in the end time scenario.
- Ankerberg: Another one that’s a surprise is the Sudan. And I find it very surprising that Ahmadinejad makes a trip down there. And Putin makes a big deal with Sudan. Why is Sudan so important, Jimmy?
- DeYoung: Well, do you remember what happened? The Sudanese were there taking in this military armament from these rogue countries. They wanted to get that military might into Hamas in the fight against Israel. What happened? The Israeli air force went in and took out those military weapons that were on their way through the tunnels, smuggled into the Gaza Strip and into the hands of Hamas. There was a twofold purpose in that. They wanted to stop the transfer of those weapons from Iran into Israel and also Russia, as well. But a second thought about that is that the fact is, when you look at the distance from Jerusalem to the Sudan where they went in to take out these weapons, it’s the same distance from Jerusalem to Tehran. And they wanted to say to that Iranian leader, “Llook what we did here in Sudan; we can do the same thing with you as well.” But I have to bring everybody back to the fact, Sudan is one of these nations mentioned in the book of Ezekiel chapter 38 verse 5. When you talk about Ethiopia or Cush, that is Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.
- Ankerberg: Let’s wrap this up, Jimmy. The fact is, people want to know, when is this all going to really hit the fan? When do the last days begin? How will we know it?
- DeYoung: Well, I believe that we are quickly approaching the last days. Now, I define the last days after the rapture of the church. That is the next event on God’s calendar of activities. Jesus will shout, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, He will shout, the archangel will shout, the trump of God will sound and we’ll be caught up to be with Him in the air.
- Somebody might say, why in the world would you believe there’s going to be a rapture? Because we’ve been talking about the prophecies in Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, Psalm 83, every one of those prophecies are coming to fulfillment. That gives validity to the Word of God. So, if those things are going to happen, what prophecy God gave to the apostle Paul about the rapture will take place as well.
- Then there will be a seven year period of time called the Tribulation period. It’s defined over in the book of Revelation, chapters 4 through 19. Sixteen chapters, detailed information about what’s going to happen. Again, this battle referred to in Ezekiel 38, to the end times that we’ve been talking about, is in chapter 6 of the book of Revelation. That will unfold, it will unfold early on in that seven year period of time.
- The seven years will be followed by the return of Jesus Christ back to the earth. We talked about the second coming; that return to the earth is the second coming. The rapture is the next event, but it’s not the second coming. Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, when He gave His Olivet Discourse, described exactly what we’ve been talking about when He said, “There will be wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, people against people.” He was telling us 2000 years ago what would happen. John the Revelator wrote it down, Daniel, Ezekiel, and the Psalmist all wrote it down. We see this coming to this position of fulfillment. Everything. The stage is set, John; all the actors are in place, the curtain is about to go up. These prophecies are about to be fulfilled. But before it all happens, the rapture will take those of us who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to be with Him.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, we all know that the Christmas decorations in the stores get earlier and earlier. It’s almost after summer that they start going up, alright. And if you know that Christmas is coming, if you see signs of that, that you know Thanksgiving’s got to be closer than that, okay? If we see signs of what’s going to happen in the Tribulation with these nations coming against Israel, if you can start to see the coalition forming, and also all of the threats that they’re facing right now, and that’s supposed to take place after the rapture, then how close are we to the rapture?
- Now, folks, you need to be prepared. And, Jimmy, if a person is not prepared, if they do not know Jesus Christ for themselves, if they’ve never put their trust in Christ for themselves, if they don’t know if Jesus is going to save them when He comes at the rapture, take them out of this world to be with Himself, they’d be left behind, what do they have to do to know Christ personally?
- DeYoung: John, that’s as simple as A, B, C. A, they have to admit that they’re a sinner. The Bible tells us all of us were born in sin. Nobody had to teach me how to lie, I knew how to lie. I’m a sinner; you have to admit that. You have to [B] believe that Jesus Christ came, He lived, He died, He was buried, He resurrected, He is alive today. And He died to take away our sin. He resurrected from the grave to prove He was the one qualified to do that. And then C, you have to call upon Him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved,” Romans 10:13. Just reach out, ask Him to save you. A three little phrase prayer that I suggest to people, the first phrase would be, “Jesus I’m a sinner.” And then, “Jesus, you save sinners.” And lastly, “Jesus, save me right now.” Utter those three little phrases and you’ll know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, and it’s not Jesus plus something else, Jesus is powerful enough to do all that is necessary. He’s the only Savior. God looks at His Son and says He’s the one that does it all for you. So when you trust Christ, you’re trusting in the one that God sent in the world. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, they should not perish, but they’ll have everlasting life.”
- Jimmy, thanks for being with us. I love all of your passion for the Word of God, for the great study that you’ve put in, for all the experience that God has given to you that you’ve shared with us.
- And folks, I hope that you’ll join me again next week.