Friday, May 1, 2015

The Gog and Magog War: Catching Fire

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

After God destroys Gog's invaders, what does He do to their countries?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Calvary Chapel Aventura located in the Miami, Florida area and I will continue our ongoing study of the Gog-Magog War found in Ezekiel 38-39.

Islam, ISIS and the End Times

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Catching Fire

Vic Batista: We read about this leader Gog coming from Rosh. Maybe we can use Google Earth, for people who like to use technology, where they can search and zoom in and find that country? No luck, though, right? The names Ezekiel gives us for the invading countries are little bit different today.

Nathan Jones: Yes, exactly, Ezekiel lived about 600 years before Jesus first came, so around 600 or so BC. It was 600 years before Jesus came. Ezekiel used the names of the countries in his time period. For example, Rosh is the ancient name for the ancient Scythians, or the Russians, as we know them today. Meshach and Tubal were areas of what is today Turkey, and we read Beth-togarmah as well. Magog is all the 'Stan nations like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Put is Libya. Persia is Iran. So, we've got these old national names, but when you translate them, we can know what the modern nations are.

What's fascinating is in Ezekiel 39:6. Not only does God destroy the armies that are attacking Israel, but then He goes back and destroys the nations behind those armies. Verse 6 says:

"'I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,' says the Lord God. 'This is the day of which I have spoken.'"

Wow! Not only are the armies destroyed with all of God's supernatural "arrows," but then He sends fire back on the nations. We are talking about the destruction of Iran, the destruction of Turkey, the destruction of Libya and the destruction of Russia. Think about how dramatically that changes the geopolitical structure of the world today!

Vic Batista: That is indeed something for people to consider. God Himself is talking about how these surrounding enemies of Israel are going to be extinguished.

Nathan Jones: Psalm 83 could prophesy that Israel has to subjugate their surrounding neighbors such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Gaza. But, these other nations, which I will call the outer-ring of nations, comes against Israel and they are absolutely devastated by God. The purpose will be the nations will know that there is a God and He defends Israel.

I believe the world will become so scared of Israel after this nations are obliterated that this prompts the Antichrist to come in. He will fill the new power vacuum. He'll make a peace treaty with Israel according to Daniel 9:27. This treaty isn't for protecting, Israel but to protect the world from Israel.

Vic Batista: That's an excellent insight there. The Jewish people don't understand that God is on their side. Israel may be a small country that is smaller than New Jersey. Even though Israel is small, it is going to be feared, because God is on their side.

On the Wrong Side

Vic Batista: This is why people need to be read their Bibles. Then they will realize that they don't want to find themselves against the people of God. Instead, I want to find myself lined up with Israel.

Nathan Jones: Me, too. There's this really strange idea that is growing called Christian Palestinianism. It is the complete opposite of Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism is the biblically-based belief that God isn't done with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. He has given the spiritual blessings obviously to the Church for a time, but as a people group, God still want to redeem the Jewish people. He still wants them to get saved. He has to do this through quite a number of judgments on the earth, like this Gog and Magog War to get the Jews to turn their hearts and minds to God. Finally at the end of the Tribulation a remnant will accept Jesus as Savior.

Christian Palestinianism, on the other hand, sides with the enemies of Israel. These Islamic enemies hate Israel with a passion. How dangerous it is to side with God's enemies! Christian Palestinianism is just insanity.

Vic Batista: You are absolutely right. I don't know what goes on in their minds, but obviously it is deception, right? The Enemy is clouding their eyes and their minds.

Nathan Jones: It's interesting that you said that, Pastor Vic, because the fact is Iran, Russia, Turkey and all these Magog nations have to put together an army that's so massive in order to destroy Israel. It shows that they are actually terrified that they might not be able to overcome Israel unless they have an army this big. That says something. It's so satanic, because Satan knows that he can't overthrow God. Maybe Satan thinks he can put together an army that's so massive that it could finally conquer Israel. But, the fact that little Israel scares Satan, that shows he really believes in his heart that he can't overthrow God. And, clearly he can't. God destroys the armies and He destroys that nations that the armies come from. Satan loses yet again.

Vic Batista: That's a great point. It's almost like the whole David and Goliath scenario again, right, when Israel sees this giant group of armies coming against them.

Nathan Jones: Great comparison! You are right. These hordes of Gog and Magog are like Goliath. They are coming against little David, and it looks like no way can David win. David was surely skilled with a sling, and he scared away lions and bears and things like that, but there was no way — no way — that he could have taken on Goliath, unless God was on his side. And clearly, God was on Israel's side. As Christians we also need to be on God's side.

Vic Batista: That's right. One of the best ways to be on God's side is first to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and then receive His Holy Spirit indwelling us. That is the only way we are going to be able to win this spiritual battle, otherwise we too will also be deceived. Without Jesus, we are going to follow the ways of the nations, and ultimately be destroyed. Escaping our sin and this messed up world system is through the personal relationship with God's Son alone.

An Invitation

Vic Batista: Nathan, let's put an invitation out there for someone who doesn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How would you encourage them to begin their relationship?

Nathan Jones: I would encourage them to pray from their heart, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Salvation involves repentance which comes from the heart. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ. He is the one who died for you to take away your sins.

When you give your life to Jesus Christ, He promises to forgive you of your sins, take away your guilt, and give you eternal life with Him. You also will be part of the Rapture of the Church, which is the removal of Christians off this planet before all these terrible Tribulation events happen.

Refusal to Repent

Vic Batista: Praise the Lord! You've taken us through this incredible journey told in Ezekiel 38-39. We've talked about a lot of scary things that are going to be coming. We talked about the nations surrounding Israel, along with the modern names for these nations, who will attempt to destroy that little nation. We see God is allowing this whole thing to fall into place. He sees everything. He knows everything.

God has given men opportunity to repent. But, we see that many people will not repent, and they will face the tragedies and the judgments that are yet to come.

Nathan Jones: Yes, that is the sad part about this story. We know that Ezekiel says the nations after this war will know the Lord. It doesn't mean that they will accept the Lord, though. As the Antichrist rises to power across the earth, the nations will pledge allegiance to him and not to God. The resulting persecutions against those who get saved after the Rapture and against the Jewish people will be tremendous. So, yes, people will have no excuse, because the whole world after this war will know there is a God.

Vic Batista: Amen. That's why we are so excited to be able encourage people to please take some time to read through the Bible. Take some time to look at these passages that we are talking about here in Ezekiel 38-39. Also make sure you make your way through the book of Revelation, especially chapter 6, to put this whole end times picture together.

We also want to encourage people to be good students of the Word of God, because all these events that we are talking about are events that are not too far ahead in the future. We believe that we are seeing the signs of the times right now. This battle, this war with Gog and Magog, there may be different opinions and different points of view concerning when it will happen, but we believe the Church of Jesus Christ will not be here to see it happen. Nathan and I believe we will be raptured out before God shifts His focus fully back on Israel.

Nathan Jones: The Rapture of the Church is an imminent event. It could happen at any moment. It's not the events that we just discussed will happen possibly, no, they will happen definitely. So, it's only a matter of when it will happen.

Knowing the future, people need to ask themselves, "Am I ready? Have I given my heart to Jesus Christ?" It is so important, because when these things happen, you don't want to be living through them. Definitely not!

The Cliff-hanger

Vic Batista: Nathan, any last thoughts as we look at Ezekiel 39? Any other quick nuggets there?

Nathan Jones: As we continue our study, we are going to get to a very exciting part in chapter 39 concerning the aftermath of this Gog and Magog War. The aftermath isn't just the Lord returning and all the nations knowing that He exists, but it goes on and gives us details about how the cleanup process goes, and more on what God's purpose is for this.

Vic Batista: Leaving us on a cliff-hanger?

Nathan Jones: You could read Ezekiel 39, so there wouldn't have to be a cliff-hanger.

Vic Batista: There you go! This cleanup process is part of the reason why we believe Christians today won't be here to witness this war. We also believe that events are going to line up with the Church being raptured out of here. God's plan for us once we are done serving here is Jesus is going to take us home, right?

Nathan Jones: Yes, Brother, we are so looking forward to that day for our true home is in Heaven!

In the fourteenth segment of our study of the Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39, Vic and I will look at God's purpose for starting such a massive war.

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