By Nathan Jones
What prophecies concerning war will we be alive to witness?
On Friday, September 27, 2013, I was interviewed on The God Solution Show with Nate Herbst which airs on KDUR 91.9 and 93.9 in Durango, Colorado. Nate's show is special because he's the only Christian program on a totally secular station. With such a fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel with an unbelieving audience, he focuses on apologetics which defend the Christian faith. I came on to share one of the best defenses for why we can trust the Bible as God's word and place our faith in it — fulfilled Bible prophecy.
Gog and Magog
Nate Herbst: Nathan, what are some of the future prophecies concerning war to look out for that we may or may not be here to witness during our lifetime? Don't give us just the general wars, but how about some specific prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled.
Nathan Jones: Let's begin with how the whole focus of the world is on Jerusalem. Israel is what we call "God's Prophetic Time Clock." By looking at Israel, we can see all other end times prophecies kind of swirl around it, for a lot of these prophecies have to do with Israel and the signs related to Israel.
The Bible foretells of a certain number of wars that are supposed to happen that Israel is involved in. One of these wars given in fantastic detail is particularly found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. This war is what's called the Gog-Magog Battle. Ezekiel describes an alliance between Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and all those 'Stan countries. They will come together in their desire to utterly destroy Israel.
Those national alliances are utterly amazing when you think it, for today we are looking at those very national alliances existing today. Those alliances have never existed before in human history. As a matter of fact, Turkey was so broken up for so many centuries since Ezekiel's time, but now all these different ethnic groups in Turkey are combined mostly because of the Ottoman Empire which birthed the united Turkish nation. Now Turkey is making alliances with Iran and Russia, which has a consuming interest in the Middle East.
We can read in two entire chapters about a coming war where Russia and Iran and all these nations come against Israel in an attempt to plunder it. They want to plunder Israel. Now, why do they want to plunder it? Until recently, Israel has some minerals and it has some gold and industry, but it doesn't have anything worth plundering. In the last few years, though, Israel has discovered a tremendous gas find off its coast out in the Mediterranean Sea. It's so large that it's going to place Israel as an economic superpower against Russia and other gas producers.
Ezekiel 38 and 39 points out that this coalition's leader, Gog, from Russia wants Israel's wealth. Gog wants to plunder and so comes down to take over Israel. The army God brings, well the numbers are so many that there's no way Israel could win the fight. Therefore, God steps directly into human history. He defeats Israel's enemies with your typical fire and hail and brimstone, but also the coalition nations turn on each other and their armies start attacking each other. They die according to Joel leaving only a ninth of their armies left to flee back to their countries. But, Ezekiel says that God brings fire down upon their countries as well.
At some point in the future Russia and Iran and these other countries are going to try to destroy Israel, but God steps in and destroys them instead. This prophetic event will totally change the political structure of the world because Russia won't be a big player anymore. Iran won't be the threat that it is now.
Psalm 83 War
When we read about the Gog-Magog alignment of nations, the configuration gives us a hint of another prophetic war which I believe we can find in Psalm 83. All of the nations that currently surround Israel, like Egypt and Lebanon and Syria and Jordan, are not mentioned in the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war. And yet, we read about them in Psalm 83, so there's a hint there that at some point Israel has to deal with the nations that directly border them. Israel cannot continue to have to fight on all those different border fronts.In the Psalm 83 passages we also learn that Gaza will become a nation once again in the end times, and in 2005 Gaza did become a nation once more. So, there's another prophecy that was fulfilled in our time period. There you are, Nate, two prophetic wars right there that focus on Israel. Whether we may or may not live through to witness them, we'll just have to wait and see.
In the eleventh and last part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I will look at prophecies related to the coming Tribulation and glorious return of Jesus Christ.