The Rise of the Ezekiel 38 Nations/Program 4
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2012|
|Ezekiel 38 offers tremendous insight into a group of nations that will come together in battle against Israel in the last days. This week, we’ll look at the identities of these Ezekiel 38 nations, their roles, and what connections can be found today. As we do, we’ll discover many of these nations are growing toward the picture Ezekiel described long ago.|
Today on the John Ankerberg Show:
Itzik Dror: This building is a historic building, because Israel was born here. And this was one of the greatest moments in the history of our people.
2600 years ago God promised the Jewish people: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.
On May 14, 1948, the Jewish people became a nation when David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel.
Itzik Dror: The ceremony started at 4:00. By 4:32 it was all over; 32 minutes that changed the world.
2600 years ago God also promised the Jewish people, that once they became a nation, a coalition of nations would gather together and come against Israel to try and destroy her. Biblical scholars refer to this battle as the future Ezekiel 38 war. Which nations did God predict would come against Israel in the last days?
Benjamin Netanyahu: The militant Shiites in Iran are openly racing, boasting that they’re racing to develop nuclear weapons with the explicit announced goal of wiping Israel from the face of the earth.
And finally, God promised that in the future the Jewish temple would once again be standing on the most controversial piece of real estate in the world, the temple mount in Jerusalem. What evidence shows that these prophecies are being fulfilled in our day? My guests today include Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, and American journalist Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who is covering the Middle East. Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. I’m talking with journalist Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. He’s returned from Israel just recently, and we’re talking about the Middle East and what’s going on in the Middle East, and what is the response that Israel is talking about inside of Israel. We’re also comparing this with what the Bible says.
- One of the haunting verses of Scripture is found in Ezekiel 38. And maybe you’ve heard of pastors or authors writing about the Ezekiel 38 war, and you wonder what that is. Here’s part of it. God says about a certain group of nations, “You’re going to come from your place out of the remote parts of the North, you and many peoples with you. And you’re going to come about in the last days that I will bring you against my land so that the nations may know me. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” Now, this coalition of nations that is talked about, is more than just reading Scripture and letting it blow by you. The fact is, when you start to define the nations that are in this passage in Ezekiel 38, that are supposed to come against Israel, when you transfer that to the newspapers of our day, you find out that all of the nations that are being talked about are inside this Ezekiel 38 coalition. And, Jimmy, I want you to take the people through Ezekiel 38, and let’s list the nations, and then we’re going to talk about two out of the eight, alright. So, start us off. What is Ezekiel predicting will happen in the future, and how close are we to it?
- DeYoung: Ezekiel the prophet produced this message, this prophetic message, some 2,500 years ago. He listed a coalition of nations who would rise up and come against the Jewish people in the State of Israel. And, of course, that would, as you said, be for the purposes of God to be known to the world. In fact, what is so thrilling to me is to study these passages, look at the nations that are listed, see how on the landscape of the Middle East, every one of these nations would be, to some extent, involved and preparing for this battle that’s going to take place in Israel when this coalition comes to destroy the Jewish state. And we’re right at the verge of all of these things happening.
- When you go to Ezekiel 38:2, it says Gog would be the personality in the land of Magog. Now, that would be the place, the piece of real estate; Gog in the land of Magog. And then it mentions Meshech and Tubal. Come down to verse 6, and it talks about Gomer and Togarmah. Let me just take a step back and see what these nations would represent, what part of real estate in our world would they represent. And I have to step back all the way to the book of Genesis, 4,500 years ago, after the flood had come upon the earth, judged the earth. Only eight souls left out of the 1.5 billion people that may well have been alive at that point in history. In chapter 9, verse 1 of the book of Genesis, the Lord tells Noah, “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth,” re-people the earth. In chapter 10, in verse 1 we see the beginning of the record of at least the beginning obedience by Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, as they would start to raise a family, go to a location, and start to re-people the earth.
- The first son mentioned is Japheth, and let me just name a couple of his sons: Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah. That’s the passage in Ezekiel 38, 4,500 years ago, grandsons of Noah, sons of Japheth. In verse 5 of chapter 10 of the book of Genesis, these boys would raise a family, teach them a new language. Remember, there was one language. And when Babel had all the languages confused by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, then everybody had to learn a new language. So Genesis 10:5, these boys, these sons of Japheth: Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah—raised a family, taught their family a language, and then they went to a piece of real estate.
- Now, we can know by scholarship, the dealing with the geographical locations of the world, biblical history, that Magog went north of the Caspian and Black Sea. Well, that’s the geography we know today as Russia. Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah went south of the Caspian and Black Sea. Well, that’s going to have to be Turkey. In fact, in biblical times, when that piece of real estate was not known as Turkey, but it was divided into four parts, Asia Minor, it had four different distinct locations and they were called Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. So that’s modern day Turkey.
- So the first nations you start to see there, surfacing in this prophecy there in the book of Ezekiel, would be Russia, Turkey. And then you come down to verse 5, Persia. Until 1935 or ‘36, there was a piece of real estate in the Middle East that was referred to as Persia. They spoke the Persian language. They date back to biblical Persia, the Medes and the Persians, who defeated the Babylonians many years ago. And Persia, at that time they stepped in and renamed Persia, but there were two other nations that came into focus as well. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran would be that Persia noted there in Ezekiel 38 in verse 5.
- It also mentions Ethiopia and Libya, or maybe in your Bible translation it would be Cush and Put. Now, Cush would take in Sudan and Somalia and most likely Ethiopia to some extent as well; and Put would be modern day Libya. So we now see these nations coming into focus better as to the ones who will be in that coalition who are going to attack Israel. That was written by the ancient Jewish prophet Ezekiel 2,500 years ago.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, after you’ve put these nations on the table, then two stick out. One is Russia; one is Iran. That’s what we want to cover in the rest of this program. Let’s start with Russia, because Vladimir Putin has been re-elected president. In order to get there, he made a bunch of promises to the Russian people. A lot of people think that he cannot keep those promises unless oil goes up to $150 a barrel. In order for that to happen, he’s got to have other things in the Middle East happen. Talk about that.
- DeYoung: He has to have control of the Middle East. But Vladimir Putin is now the president of Russia. But let’s go back a number of years when Russia really first got involved in the Middle East. It wasn’t under the leadership of Vladimir Putin—howbeit, he’s already served 12 years as president; probably has another 12 years at that position as well—but it was previous administrations in Russia that started dealing with the Middle Eastern nations, supplying them all of their weapons.
- Because, you remember, there’s been a number of wars against Israel. You go back to the Six-Day War. You had Syria in the north. You had Jordan in the east. You had Egypt in the south attacking Israel. Where do you think they got their munitions? Those MIG aircraft used in the Six-Day War were from out of Russia. So Russia has a long time history of a relationship with the Middle East. Some have referred to it as Russia being the sugar daddy for all the Middle Eastern leaders.
- When you think of Hosni Mubarak, he was in charge of Egypt for 32 years. You think about the Assad family there in Syria. They have ruled Syria for some 45 years. Colonel Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years. Now, we’re talking about a history that excludes, at least for the first part of it, Vladimir Putin. Now we bring Vladimir Putin to the table. Who was it that supplied the Iranians with all the technicians and the technology to develop their nuclear program? You can debate whether it’s a weapons of mass destruction program they’re working on, but we cannot debate the fact Russia supplied the munitions and the technology and the technicians for that program which is the focus of most world leaders today.
- But, in addition to that, they’re going to make sure the deck is stacked the way they want it. They went to Hosni Mubarak; they said we’ll give you that technology, those technicians as well. Then you look at Syria, hey, Vladimir Putin gave the command as the prime minister, and now as president, for the Russian military to bring their warships into the Syrian ports there on the Mediterranean coast. Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, has had a long standing relationship with the Middle East, and it’s only intensifying in the days we’re living in now.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. And ABC News has broken the story just recently that they have brought troops into those ports with their ships, and the Secretary of the UN basically said this could be a bomb for the entire world in terms of the meaning of this, Russian support in terms of arms as well as military. Now, keep going. What are some of the other ties there you’ve got with Turkey and so on.
- DeYoung: Oh, absolutely. The Turkish leader, Tayyip Erdogan, has a relationship with Vladimir Putin. They’ve had conversations time and time again. Their borders touch there at the area of the Caspian and Black Sea. When you look at what every Middle Eastern nation,… Saudi Arabia, they are a part of this coalition, not mentioned in Ezekiel 38 or Daniel 11. They’re over in Psalm 83:6. But there’s always been a very close relationship between the leadership of Russia and the Saudis. And the Saudis are in need of a nuclear power. They’re much concerned about Iran being nuclear powered and they not being so. In fact, they’ve talked with Pakistan about maybe purchasing some of their nuclear weapons from them, but they have been in conversation with the Russians as well. Can we get that technology? Can we get the technicians in here? And the supply of all of these armaments that we’re talking about that would set all of these nations, this coalition of nations, this alignment of nations that will come against Israel, that armament basically comes out of Russia. And that’s a part of their whole national budget as well. Not only is the oil a situation, but the sale of weapons that could be used in an all-out war is key to their economy.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, we’re going to take a break. When we come back, I want to talk about the fact that Putin is right now talking about establishing a no-fly zone over Syria and Iran, and what that means, and how that would put Israel in a box, alright. We’ll talk about it, come right back and stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and he’s just returned from Israel. And we’re talking about the Middle East, and we’re talking about the Ezekiel 38 coalition of nations that the prophet Ezekiel predicts will come against the Jewish nation in the end times. And the fact is, we see this coalition of nations already forming. And we’re talking about two of those participants right now, namely Russia and Iran.
- What I find very interesting, Jimmy, is that right now, while we’re doing this program, that there’s talk that Putin will try to establish with the UN, or at least with the nations in that area—of Syria, Iran and so on, a no-fly zone, because he wants to protect his investment of arms money that’s coming, billions of dollars that are coming to him. He wants to protect his investment with Iran. And it would make sense to him; if he’s going to keep the tension ratcheting up so that the oil prices go up so he can float his economy. If it goes down he’s in trouble, so he’s got to keep that, the price of a barrel of oil has got to continue to go up. And it’s not where it needs to be as far as he’s concerned.
- He’s already put troops into some of the ports in Syria. If he was to start making more noises at the UN that he wants to establish a no-fly zone, that means that Israel could not fly into this zone of Syria or of Iran, and made a pact with them that if Israel did, then in essence, Israel would be attacking Russia. Then Netanyahu, seeing this coming, in my estimation, if I’m the prime minister of Israel at that spot, I’d be moving my time line up, because I don’t want Russia to get into that mix, okay. And you’ve got to do something about Iran. So the clock is ticking. This thing is going very, very fast, but he’s protecting his assets.
- Now, talk about that also in relationship with Iran. Let’s talk about Iran and being, you know, the world looks at Iran as being the big problem. President Obama has said, Israel, we’ve got your back; and I’ve always intended that they’re never going to get the bomb. Okay, now we have the political turmoil and we’ve got to be honest. The fact is, you’ve got newspaper reporters, you’ve got generals, you’ve got people in different parts of the world making statements, and you’ve got an election coming up. So you don’t know if we’re being played with all of these statements.
- But we do know Israel has said, we’ve got a problem. We’re not going to let that happen. We’re not having a holocaust here in Israel. And we think that they mean that. I think the political pundits across the world think that they mean it, that Netanyahu is serious about it, and it’ll probably happen between now and the election. Okay, so where does this thing go?
- DeYoung: Well, it’s very interesting that you could speculate the possibility of that Prime Minister Netanyahu may speed up and get ready to make that preemptive attack against Iran before Vladimir Putin really gets in power and starts jelling all these relationships that he has put in place to come about in the very near future. Netanyahu told me himself, one of the red lines, before they would give the order to attack, do a preemptive strike on Iran, would have to be the delivery of the S-300 ground-to-air anti-aircraft missiles that Iran has already paid Russia for. Russia is just simply holding back on delivery of those different missiles.
- That being the case, it looks like, if indeed Iran is going to be able to stop Israel and they’re going to have that no-fly zone, the delivery of those S-300’s has to be taking place between Russia and Iran. And so we see that scenario playing out very interestingly as it relates to Bible prophecy, which says this coalition, especially of Israel, the nation of Russia and Iran are going to be in the mix in the end times. Iran is ready for whatever is going to happen.
- I can tell you that the Israeli government, after the meeting at the White House between Netanyahu and President Obama, that indeed when the prime minister returned, and I was in Israel at the time when he returned to Israel, he spoke to the Knesset; he said we are ready to go after Iran. We are militarily capable of doing it. He then started doing all types of public appearances among the body politick of Israel to get them in a position to prepare their mindset for what’s going to take place. The latest poll indicates that 69% of the Israelis would say go ahead to an attack to stop the Iranian development of a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.
- At the same time, you have the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, continuing his radical rhetoric: we’ve got to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. And, in fact, he made the statement along with the Ayatollah, the head of the Supreme Council, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he made the statement, if Israel attacks us, we’ll return and wipe them out in nine minutes. Nine minutes. Later he said, if we have to try to recuperate from this preemptive strike, we can be ready to go in six months. They’re moving all of their development apparatus underground, and so this locks in the window by which Israel is going to be able to attack.
- And so you put this all together. Here’s Vladimir Putin, “Man, I’ve got to keep the oil prices up. And you know, you know the only way we can do that….” They’ve gone up since the sanctions went on Iran. “I’ve got to do that. If there’s problems in Syria, I can deal with that, but that’ll raise the oil prices.” At the same time, the Israelis are saying we’ve got to deal with this before Vladimir Putin gets really locked into his presidency of six years, and we’ve got to do it quickly, and we’ve got a short window. And even Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense in the United States, agreed with Netanyahu, it is a short, close window that Israel has in order to do this preemptive strike.
- Ankerberg: Let’s take a time out with the few minutes we’ve got left here. People say, thanks for all the bad news. And, the fact is, why does God, Jimmy, tell us this information in the Bible? If we’re living through it and looking at it, what good does that do us? Why do we need to have that information? What should we do with that information?
- DeYoung: The first thing is to make certain we’re prepared for these events to happen. The next event, the rapture of the church, that then puts in place the opportunity for every prophecy we’ve been talking about to be fulfilled.
- Ankerberg: What is the rapture?
- DeYoung: The rapture is when Christians are taken out of this earth, taken into the heavenlies to be with him forevermore. That’s the next event. Are you prepared for that? That’s key. And so the Lord gives us this so we personally can make certain we’re prepared. Secondly, I think he gives it to us so we can warn those who may not be prepared as of yet. The time is coming; you’d better deal with this. You’d better consider what God’s Word says about his Son, Jesus Christ, and how he can give us eternal life and the blessed hope we need in this time of trouble.
- Ankerberg: Next week I would like to talk about the repercussions if something happens, okay, because we’re going from the Middle East and the Daniel passage, as well as about Syria and Egypt, and the Ezekiel 38 coalition. We’re going to talk about how this would affect the world. And maybe we might have a couple skirmishes here that would bring this coalition together. We may be sitting on top of all of this right now. We want to talk about the other nations that are involved, and then how it affects the world economically. And the Bible says the world is going someplace economically, and we can see some of the effects of it right now. And what’s going to happen in terms of the power shifts that are going to happen? So, folks, stick with us. We’re going down the line here, and I think that you’re going to find this fascinating as we look and unravel what God has given to us in Scripture and apply it to the news headlines of our day.