The Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83 Prophecies/Part 13
|By: John G Weldon, PhD; ©2011|
|Indeed, if God had not prospered Joseph under the Egyptian Pharaoh, making him second-in-command over all Egypt; if he had not prospered Mordecai and Esther in the Persian Empire, preventing the genocidal destruction of the Jews, and if he had not placed Daniel second or third in power in the neo-Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires, the world would be a far, far darker place today.|
The Ezekiel 38/Psalm 83 Prophecies: Russia, Iran and Muslim Nations in Biblical Prophecy
In many ways, it was the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that provided the geo-political platform for Iran’s inclusion into the Gog prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39. But prior to the 1979 revolution and subsequent events, how difficult would it have been to see the Persia of Ezekiel 38 fulfilling the role declared there 2,600 years ago? How could a nation (one so friendly to America), ever join forces with Russia, in a radical Muslim confederation to invade and destroy Israel? It made no sense until the Islamic revolution and the vast alteration of the Iranian nation under her terrorist Islamic rulers.
The above discussion of Ezekiel 38 and related issues is just one of hundreds of biblical examples of how impossible it would have been for Ezekiel to predict some 26 centuries ago that particular list of nations which clearly seem to fit modern geopolitics and will align itself against Israel during Israel’s end times. Only divine inspiration and God’s sovereignty can adequately explain it.
Regardless, looking at modern Iran from the perspective of the current American political landscape, probably the greatest political and diplomatic blunder in modern American history occurred under president Jimmy Carter, who did nothing to prevent the 1979 takeover of Iran by radical Islamists, including taking hostage American embassy personnel for 444 days. Perhaps more than any other single factor, the Iranian revolution has stoked the fires of radical Islam in the modern world, something the entire world is paying for, and the price will only continue to rise.
The Russian debacle in Afghanistan permitted the rise to power of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iran-Iraq war cemented the Iranian mullah’s power over Iran and played an important role in producing the modern Iranian terrorist state. As long as those who promote terrorism rule in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and other nations, as long as there are seemingly endless individual terrorist organizations, and as long as there are terrorist supporters throughout the Mideast and in many other nations in the world, there will be no peace on earth.
By economic necessity and pride, Russia is increasingly drawn into the Middle East conflict, almost against its will, reminiscent of Ezekiel’s description of God placing “hooks in the Jaws” of Russia to draw her into war. Russia also has very serious problems with Muslim extremists, who undoubtedly have ties to Iran, and probably Al Qaeda, and as we have noted elsewhere, some observers feel that Russia itself may be at risk for Islamization. Iran is Russia’s major client partner in the Middle East, and its ties to the Persian nation will undoubtedly play a significant role in Russia’s final involvement in the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. In sum, it could certainly be true that:
- “Ezekiel’s roster of nations for the Gog-Magog war continues to align perfectly for the first time in history. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; … Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” The other nations on Ezekiel’s Roster are all either Russian client states or old Soviet client states, with the exception of Turkey, which is rapidly being pushed back into the Islamic world by the European Union.”
But of course, this isn’t the end of the story at all. After the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 there is the rise of the Antichrist, a one-world government (to which the world is rapidly heading) and the great tribulation period mentioned in Daniel 12:1, described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21-22 and in the book of Revelation chapters 6-19. As Jesus said, “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Anyone who wishes to see what happens when the world becomes so evil that it worships the devil himself as God, a world that God judges with his full wrath, need only read these chapters from the book of Revelation.
After this, Christ returns to set up his thousand-year Millennial kingdom from which He rules from Jerusalem and the Earth is turned into an almost Eden-like paradise according to many Scriptures (in large part due to the binding of the devil), though not yet fully perfected. At the end of the thousand-year millennium, Satan “must” be released for a short time and there is a final rebellion against God and his people.
Immediately after this, the entire heavens and the earth are dissolved in a fiery implosion and an eternal new heavens and a new earth are created, along with the New Jerusalem, a cubed sphere almost the size of the moon coming down from heaven, which is the eternal home of the saints, along with an a God of infinite glory to marvel over and wonder in forever. As pastor Paul Washer observed, “We can spend an eternity of eternities tracking Him down and we will never get our arms around even the foothill of His mountain.”
There will be an eternal increase of joy, knowledge, love, and everything that is good, with the ability to explore an infinite universe and to know and adore an infinitely perfect God forever – one whose love is literally unlimited and endless, whose perfections are infinite.
However this is only true for the redeemed in Christ; the unredeemed will by their own choice suffer separation from God and experience God’s wrath in Hell (Matthew 25:46) – something they will at that time recognize and accept as fair and as perfect justice. Indeed, every person in Hell will of certainty recognize two things: 1) they freely chose to be there and 2) they truly deserve to be there. Nevertheless, the word of the Lord stands sure, that he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance: “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), in order that they might receive forgiveness of sins and inherit eternal life.
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
- Darrell G. Young, “Iran in Bible Prophecy: The Prince of Persia,” October, 2004; http://focusonjerusalem.com/iraninbibleprophecy.html; much of this section was adapted from this article.