Middle East Meltdown 012 – Ezekiel 38

Middle East Meltdown 012 – Ezekiel 38
Ezekiel 38:10-13a • Dr. Andy Woods • April 10, 2022 • Middle East Meltdown


Middle East Meltdown 012 – Ezekiel 38

By Dr Andy Woods – 04/09/2022

Ezekiel 38:7-13

Alright! Well, let’s open up in a word of prayer and we can get started. Father, we’re grateful for another day to worship you in spirit and truth, which really is our highest calling as Christians and so we don’t take this time lightly or this moment lightly. Just help us to be in a position today where we can receive everything that you would have for us and we do Father take just a moment, personally in a moment of silence just to do business with you, so broken fellowship can be restored, if need be so that we can have unhindered access to you and your Spirit through illumination. Father, we are grateful for the promise of 1st John, 1, verse 9 (1 John 1:9), if we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We thank you that in Christ our position is eternally secure. But fellowship can be broken when we follow the pattern of the world and when that happens we lose out on all the benefits that you want to show us today. So we thank you for that provision. I just ask that you be with our time of Bible study in this hour and in the service that follows, I ask for an undistracted environment so that we can receive from you and we lift all of these things up in Jesus’ name and God’s people said, Amen. 2:05

Well, if you can take your Bibles and open them to the book of Ezekiel chapter 38 and verse 10 (Ezek 38:10) As, you know, we’re continuing our verse by verse teaching through these pivotal chapters Ezekiel, 36 through 39 and a series that we’ve entitled the Middle East Meltdown and as you know, the reason we’re going into it is these are the prophetic chapters that are basically in play right now more than any other part of the Bible I can think of, in terms of the Lord setting the stage for the end time drama.

Ezekiel 33‒48

  1. Ezekiel recommissioned (33)
  2. False shepherds removed (34)
  3. Edom destroyed  (35)
  4. Israel’s restoration: physical & spiritual (36)
  5. Israel’s restoration illustrated (37)
  6. Means of restoration: Northern invasion (38)
  7.  Results of the Northern invasion: conversion (39)
  8. Millennial Temple (40‒46)
  9. Tribal land allotment (47‒48)

Chapter 36 as you know, is a tremendous chapter about Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration in the last days. Chapter 37 is a description of what we had in chapter 36 but in the form of two metaphors or word pictures. The vision of the valley of the dry bones is metaphor number one and the vision of the two sticks is metaphor number two. So we know that in God’s timing, he is going to not just re-gather Israel into her land in the last days, but he’s going to bring her to life not just politically but spiritually and we’ve sort of made a big deal, if you go back into our teachings on this in both chapter 36 in chapter 37, that there’s a twofold restoration. First Israel is re-gathered in unbelief, secondly she is restored to the Lord through national conversion. So there’s sort of a question mark that looms in the reader’s mind as they read those chapters and they say, well how is God going to do this exactly? What’s the means that God is going to use to bring about the regeneration of the nation once they have already been restored to the land in unbelief and that question gets answered in chapter 38. Chapter 38 describes what happens in between Israel’s re-gathering in unbelief and her regeneration. It describes this tremendous northern invasion where God is going to actually draw into the land of Israel various attacking powers and He’s going to put Israel in a position where she has no one to trust in other than the Lord and through that means of restoration, through that, Israel will be brought back to life spiritually, just as she’s already been brought back to life physically; and so that’s how chapter 38 fits into all of these things that we’ve been studying.

Ezekiel 38‒39

  1. Invasion planned (Ezek 38:1-13)
  2. Invasion executed (Ezek 38:14-16)
  3. Invasion defeated (Ezek 38:17‒39:20)
  4. Invasion’s results (Ezek 39:21-29)

So chapter 38 and 39 for that matter, you can divide it up into four parts and we’re just in this first part here, the invasion planned and here we learn that there’s actually two planners of the invasion.

  1. Invasion Planned (Ezekiel 38:1-13)
    1. God’s intention (Ezek 38:1-9)
    2. Gog’s intention (Ezek 38:10-13)

God has planned this invasion, verses 1 through 9. It’s actually God putting hooks in the jaws of these nations bringing them into the land of Israel in the last days so it’s God doing all of this. But Gog, the leader of the invasion, thinks it’s his idea. So you have God’s intention to bring about this invasion predicted in verses 1 through 9, which by the way we finished last time and now we get to verses 10 through 13, which we’re going to try to cover today, which is Gog’s intention. So we know that God ultimately is pulling this off but Gog thinks he’s pulling it off and we get into his mind there in verses 10 through 13. 7:00

So verses 1 through 9 is where we got a description of all of these attackers, you know, in depth, in detail. All of the different strange sounding names that we read about here Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Put, Cush, Gomer, Togarmah and put out of your mind verses numbers 10 through 13 in my outline here cause we will get to those today:

Prior to numbers 10 through 13, all of these invaders, we’ve gone to a lot of labor to identify for you. So we have a description of the invaders. We know exactly who they are. We have a description of God Himself drawing them into the Middle East to attack Israel. We have a description of why God is doing it.

  1. Invasion Planned (Ezekiel 38:1-13)
  2. God’s intention (Ezek 38:1-9)
  3. Gog’s intention (Ezek 38:10-13)

He’s deliberately putting Israel in a position where she’s almost out of necessity having to trust in the God of her fathers and now, as you move into verses 10 through 13, you get into the mind of the human ruler Gog, who is orchestrating these things from his perspective. So notice, if you will, Ezekiel chapter 38, verse 10 (Ezek 38:10): Thus says the Lord GOD, It will come about on that day… So notice that Ezekiel is not saying this might happen, this could happen, it’s not like the weather forecast, you know, where they’re wrong most of the time anyway. This is something that will happen, it says: Thus says the Lord GOD, It will come about on that day… Now on that day is very specific because it’s talking about the specific time in history when these events take place… It will come about on that day that thoughts will come into your mind… Whose mind? The mind of Gog, the orchestrator of this invasion… Thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan… So suddenly a thought comes into the leader of this coalition and he has evil intentions towards Israel and what you’re seeing here is the supernatural motivation for this attack. I mean, why is he attacking? He is attacking Israel at this specific time in history, because wicked thoughts came into his head and he developed this plan. Now, the question becomes, well, who in the world would put wicked thoughts into someone’s mind? I think we all know the answer to that question, right? The answer would be Satan. A lot of people have this idea that Satan cannot put thoughts into a person’s mind. I do not think that that mindset is substantiated by the Bible. This is why we’re told to put on the helmet of salvation, because the wicked one constantly interjects thoughts into the mind of the believer and I would have my own wicked thoughts via the flesh, absent that happening, so wicked thoughts whether they come from the flesh or whether they come from the realm of the fallen demonic world, are realities for the New Testament Christian and Satan would like nothing better than for him to implant into your mind a wicked thought ,getting you to think it’s God’s thought or getting you to think it’s your thought and so these thoughts come into the mind of this this leader, this coalition, this individual named Gog and if you don’t think Satan could do that, I could give you hundreds of scriptures where he does do that and I’ll just give you one. It’s in 1st Chronicles, 21, verse 1 (1 Chron 21:1) it concerns David and it says: Then Satan stood up against Israel and incited… or influenced… David to count Israel… So God, at that particular time in history, did not want the leadership to count the army within Israel. Why not? Because God wanted the leadership to rest on God and not natural means and so Satan says, I’m going to disrupt this and he influenced David to number the troops of Israel. That’s right there in 1st Chronicles, 21, verse 1 (1 Chron 21:1). It wasn’t God’s thought to number the troops of Israel, the Bible is very clear, it wasn’t even David’s thought. It was Satan’s thought and you might remember the conversation between Jesus and Peter at Caesarea Philippi where Peter acknowledges that Christ is in fact the son of God and Jesus heaps all this praise on him for that acknowledgement and says this was actually revealed to you by the Spirit by heaven above and then Jesus starts talking about how he’s got to go to the cross and die and Peter takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him. I mean, it’s an amazing chapter, Matthew, 16 about verses 13 to 23 (Matt 16:13-23), where Peter actually took Jesus aside and tried to correct Jesus, if you can imagine that; and you remember what Jesus said to Peter, Get thee behind me who? Satan. So Jesus was acknowledging that Peter at that point was acting through satanic motivation. 13:26

So Satan does this and here it’s talking about Gog, an unbelieving ruler and suddenly these thoughts come into his mind that now is the time for the invasion and I believe that it’s none other than the devil himself who put these thoughts into the mind of this particular leader at this particular point in history. Why is that? Because Satan hates the nation of Israel. Satan hates the Jewish people. You don’t have to get far in the word of God to see this; there’s a whole description of this in Revelation chapter 12, verses 6 through 17 (Rev 12:6-17), where Satan finally loses permanent access to heaven, midway through the tribulation period, beginning in Revelation, 12, verse 6 (Rev 12:6) and he begins to attack the woman clothed with the sun and the moon and the twelve stars, which is a reference to Israel and it says over and over again in those verses that Satan was enraged with the woman. I mean, rage, that’s how Satan feels when he thinks about and looks at the nation of Israel. Satan has always had a long standing hatred for the nation of Israel and that hatred began, I believe, in Genesis, 12, verse 3 (Gen 12:3). Where God said of the patriarch Abraham: In you… The nation of Israel, in other words… all the families of the earth will be blessed. So God has purposed to bless the world through Israel. First of all, he wants to bless the world, that’s a wonderful thing, Amen. But then He chose the instrument through which the blessing would come and it’s very clear the blessing would come to the world through the nation of Israel. So the fact to the matter is, if you don’t have this happening, all of the benefits that we have today in the year 2022 as Gentile Christians, primarily, we would have nothing if God had not done this thing where He has purposed not just to bless the world but bless the world through the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So what exactly do we have? Because of God’s decision to do this; and by the way, why did God choose the Jewish people? Well, because He’s God and He can do whatever He wants. He made a unilateral sovereign decision to elect a nation and to bless humanity through that nation.  16:20

So what do we have today because of what God said in Genesis, 12, verse 3 (Gen 12:3)?

Israel’s Three Blessings to the World (Gen 12:3b)

  • Scripture (Rom 3:2)
  • Savior (John 4:22)
  • Kingdom (Isa 2:2-3)

Well, the first blessing that we have and there’s three principal ones. The first blessing that we have is the Scripture. Romans, 3, verse 2 (Rom 3:2) of the Jewish people says: To them was given the oracles of God… So had God not worked sovereignly through the nation of Israel, this book that we have called the Bible, I mean, it must be important to us because our middle name is Bible, Sugar Land Bible Church. We’re here to study the Bible, we wouldn’t even have the Bible to study if it weren’t for God working through the Jewish people. So every single author of scripture was not a Methodist or a Baptist or a Presbyterian, they were Jewish. The only book of the Bible that’s even debated on this ground anymore is Luke, a lot of people think Luke was a Gentile, who wrote the gospel of Luke and Acts, but even that one, I think is coming more into question, that Luke was probably a Jew also. In fact, Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his new commentary on Acts, you know, lays out the reasons why Luke could very well have been Jewish rather than Gentile. So my point is, if you don’t have God working through the Jewish people, you don’t have a Bible.

The second blessing that’s come to the world through the Jewish people is the Savior. Jesus, as I said before, is not a Methodist; He was not a Presbyterian; He was not a Protestant. He was Hebrew to the core and Matthew’s genealogy in Matthew chapter 1, clearly documents His heritage as going back not just to David, but ultimately to the patriarch Abraham. In fact, Jesus to the Samaritan woman, was very clear to her, He said salvation is of the Jews. It doesn’t mean God loves the Jews more than anybody else, what it means is God decided to bless the world and when He made the decision to bless the world, He chose the instrument for that blessing.

And then there’s a third blessing, yet to come, is the kingdom blessing, number three, which we’re waiting for. The kingdom will not be headquartered in Washington DC, as you know. No extended commentary needed there, Amen. The kingdom will be headquartered in the city of Jerusalem. It’s right there in your Bible is in Isaiah, 2, verses 2 and 3 (Isa 2:2-3). So you have to understand the nation of Israel from the perspective of the angelic conflict. Satan hates the Jewish people, he hates the Hebrew people not just because they’re Jewish or Hebrew, but because God has decided to bless the world through them and his ambition particularly with number three there, is to blot out the nation of Israel so that the kingdom will never come. 19:39

At the end of Matthew, 23, Jesus is very clear that what brings the second advent of Christ, not the rapture, but the second advent of Christ at the end of the tribulation period will be the nation of Israel calling out to Jesus, Yeshua, as their Messiah. Once they do that nationally, the second advent happens and Satan reasons to himself that well, all I have to do to prevent that from happening is to blot out the Jews. Why would he want to prevent blessing number three from happening? Because he is the current ruler of this world and he understands that once the kingdom materializes, his days as the ruler of this world are over. So he worked in history to prevent blessing number one and two, he failed there, those came and now he’s working overtime to prevent blessing number three. So that then becomes the explanation for all of the anti-Israelism in the world. Whether it comes through BLM, Black Lives Matter, which when you look at their website is actually an antisemitic organization. Whether it comes from the group in the Congress called “the Squad”, whether it comes from a disgusting antisemitic piece of trash that was published, I don’t know probably around a hundred years ago called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, if I’ve got the title right, which blames all of the problems of the world on the Jews, cause the Jews control the banking, we’re told, the Jews control the media so anything that’s wrong with the world is the Jews fault. Whether it comes from people like Adolf Hitler, who came closest to anybody I can think of, to exterminating the Jewish race where he exterminated one third of the Jewish people, think about that. Whether it comes from replacement theologians teaching in denominational churches that basically will tell people that God is through with Israel and the church has taken Israel’s place and then you say, well, excuse me Mr. Preacher then what do we do with the modern state of Israel today? Well, what we do with them is we do BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions. I’m not kidding when I talk about this, there are major mainline denominations, as I speak, that are involved in a boycott of the nation of Israel. Protestant Christianity becomes antisemitic. So it doesn’t matter what the source is, you have to start recognizing it for what it is. It’s satanic, it’s part of the angelic conflict and the reason is part of the angelic conflict is because Satan recognizes the potency of Genesis, 12, verse 3. He hates Israel, because of a sovereign decision God made to bless humanity through Israel. 23:07

So when we come back to our verse 10 and we learn about this leader named Gog, who’s planning this invasion and thoughts come into his mind, I believe that those thoughts come from none other than Satan himself. I think Psalm, 83 and verse 4 (Psa 83:4) describes this perpetual spiritual conflict when it said: They have said… Those are the enemies of Israel… Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation so that the name of Israel will no longer be remembered… Satan has done this many, many times in history, just read the book of Esther to see an example of a plan in the Persian era to exterminate the Jews. It doesn’t matter what era of history we’re talking about, the motivation is ultimately satanic and so God orchestrates this invasion but Satan is at work putting wicked thoughts into the mind of Gog to launch this invasion. It’s an evil plan and then from there we come to verse 11 (Ezek 38:11), which says: and you will say… That’s Gog and his coalition… I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates… Now, what’s very interesting about verse 11 when it describes the security of Israel when this invasion happens, is there’s two Hebrew words used. He says, verse 11: and you will say, I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest… Now, that’s the Hebrew word shacat, which basically means quiet, settled and undisturbed and then you keep reading, very bottom of the screen: …that live securely… and that’s a different Hebrew word batach… All of them living without walls and having no bars and gates… You might remember verse 8 (Ezek 38:8), it uses that identical Hebrew word batach. It says: They are living securely batach, all of them. Now why is it significant to point out that there’s two Hebrew words used? Because a lot of people will tell you that this invasion takes place before the tribulation starts and you say to them, well, how could Israel be living securely? And they would say something like this, look at how well Israel has done in her various wars. 1948, who would have bet on the Jews? But the Jews won. 1967, who would have bet on the Jews? But the Jews won and they would say, this happens before the antichrist even comes on the scene, which puts the burden of proof on them to have to explain the word security and that’s how they will explain it. Now, I quote Arnold Fruchtenbaum favorably in this church all the time but that’s basically what his view is. He basically believes that this invasion is pre-seventieth week of Daniel invasion, a pre-antichrist invasion and a lot of people, a lot of my very good friends in prophecy circles, Dr. Randall Price, Thomas Ice, I can think of countless others, hold to that same view. I believe though that that analysis breaks down when you see that there’s not just one Hebrew word used here. It’s not just the word security, but thrown into the mix is the word shacat which means, quiet, undisturbed, unsettled, tranquil, peaceful. Now, Israel may be very successful in her various wars but she is in no stretch of the imagination living in a quiet, undisturbed state. I mean, even this week, if you follow the Middle East in the headlines, Israel is besought by a wave of terrorism. So verse 11 is indicating that when the invasion occurs, it won’t just be when Israel has security, but she has to be at rest and that doesn’t describe Israel pre-seventieth week of Daniel. I mean, that that detail doesn’t fit. 28:16

So when is this invasion going to happen? When is Israel not only living in security but being quiet and undisturbed? The only view to my mind that makes any sense in terms of the timing, is after the antichrist has come to power, after he has entered into his covenant with her guaranteeing her survival. Once he does that, and by the way that’s the event that launches the seven year tribulation period, once he does that, Israel will not just have batach, but she’ll have shacat at the same time. She’s got to have both going for her in terms of the timing of this invasion. So we know from Isaiah chapter 28, verse 15 and verse 18 (Isa 28:15,18), that this deal is going to be a covenant made with death and Sheol. It’s called a pact, Isaiah, 25, verse 15 (Isa 25:15) and then down in Isaiah, 25, verse 18 (Isa 25:18) it says: Your covenant with death will be canceled and your pact with Sheol will not stand. One of the things to understand about Israel right now is she is in unbelief. She’s looking for someone to help her. Particularly in light of what Blinken said, March 28th I think it was, that the two state solution is back on the table. Now, what is a two state solution? It is pressuring Israel to give up Judea and Samaria in exchange for the promise of peace. That is now, thanks to the current administration, official United States foreign policy. It’s on the table again. The world community is pushing this and Israel is pushed into a position now where she needs security and because probably she gave away Judea and Samaria because that’s what the world community told her to do, and that would reduce the width of Israel by less than 10 miles and my pilot friends say, you need at least ten miles to shoot down an incoming airplane and so that’s what this will do, God forbid, if and when it goes through. So Israel will need security and the antichrist will come along and say, okay, I’ll give it to you and she will reach out for this deal of the century and the moment that happens, the tribulation period starts but Israel enjoys shacat and batach at that point in time and only at that point in time. If you put the invasion before the antichrist, before the peace treaty, you don’t have the ingredients that verse 11 is speaking of. Daniel, 9, verse 27 (Dan 9:27) describes this treaty or this agreement with the antichrist when it says: He… that’s antichrist… will make a firm covenant with the many… That’s Israel, Daniel 11:33… for one week… and once that is entered into the seven year count starts.

Israel has a clock on it of four hundred and ninety years, called the seventy weeks prophecy, four hundred and eighty three years elapsed ending with Palm Sunday. Isn’t today Palm Sunday by the way? That’s kind of interesting and the moment the nation rejected her king, the clock stopped, leaving seven years yet future. What starts the seven years yet future, after the rapture, after the antichrist comes to power is this treaty that I’m talking about. Once they get the treaty, then they have security and tranquility. They have shacat and batach and that becomes the point in time in which the nation is ripe for this invasion. 32:55

So with all that being said, I do not believe that this is some sort of pre-antichrist invasion, pre-seventieth week of Daniel invasion. I think that becomes almost impossible to argue for based on those two Hebrew words found in verse 11. So when will this invasion occur? It happens, chapter 38, I believe, with seal judgment number two, which takes peace from the earth.

You’ll read about that in Revelation, 6, verses 3 and 4 (Rev 6:3-4). Why is peace being temporarily established on the earth? Because of the antichrist’s treaty with the nation of Israel, which is described in Isaiah, 28, verse 15 (Isa 28:15), verse 18 (Isa 28:18), Daniel, 9, verse 27 (Dan 9:27) and I think it’s also being described in Revelation, 6, 1 and 2 (Rev 6:1-2) with the rider on the white horse, the antichrist who brings peace to the earth. So what I’m trying to do is sort to give you a laundry list in terms of timing.

6 Timing Clues

  1. Restoration section (33-48)
  2. Latter times (Ezek 38:8a)
  3. Last days (Ezek 38:16)
  4. After Israel’s regathering in unbelief but before her final restoration (Ezek 38:8b; 39:22, 29)
  5. During God’s wrath (Ezek. 38:18-19)
  6. While Israel is living securely and peacefully (Ezek 38:8c, 11)

I mean, why do we believe or why do I believe in the timing that I do on this? I believe in that because it says the invasion, verse 8, is going to happen in the latter times. So that pushes us into the end of the age-type language and then another reason it happens at that point in time, is it has to happen while Israel is living securely and peacefully and the only time in history that I can think of, when she’s enjoying not just batach but shacat, is after this peace treaty is entered into. So what Israel is going to quickly discover is the deal that she just made is actually with the devil. That’s why Isaiah calls her covenant, a covenant with Sheol, that will be abolished by God; she’s reaching out to the Antichrist thinking he is her savior and messiah. He temporarily gives her what she wants, but obviously the peace that he offers her is very short lived and so you go from there to verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) and now for the first time you get a description of what’s going on in Gog’s mind as to why he is invading. I mean, we know what’s going on in God’s mind. God is drawing the nation’s into Israel like hooks in the jaw. We know what’s going on in Satan’s mind. Satan is actually putting these thoughts into Gog’s mind to wipe out Israel once and for all to stop the manifestation of the kingdom. What we haven’t seen yet, is what’s going on in Gog’s mind. We know what God is doing, we know that Satan is implanting into Gog’s mind, but what is Gog thinking about? He’s not thinking about God, capital G. He’s not thinking about Satan, he may not even acknowledge the existence of Satan. I mean, Russia is an atheistic country. So what is he thinking about? Well, he’s thinking about what carnal people and sinful people think about. They think about money, right? You know the expression follow the money? You want to know the motivations of why people do what they do? Just track the money trail and that’s what the Holy Spirit is telling us to do. Look at the finances involved. 36:58

So that takes us into verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) where Gog says, in terms of his motivation: to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world… What is Gog thinking about? He’s thinking about spoil, plunder, cattle and goods. We know what God is thinking about, drawing these nations into the Middle East to put Israel in a position where she’ll have to trust in him. We know what Satan is thinking about, the eradication of the Jewish people, to prevent the coming of the kingdom and now we’re getting a glimpse as to what Gog, the human invader is thinking about. He is thinking about finances and he’s thinking about money. Gee, isn’t that interesting? Maybe that’s why the Bible says things over and over again like the love of money is the root of what? All evil. Money’s not a problem, loving it is the problem. That’s why Jesus said things like in Matthew, 6, you can’t serve both God and Mammon. I think that’s in Matthew, 6, around verse 24 (Matt 6:24). That’s why Judas himself sold out the Messiah for thirty pieces of silver and by the way, if you want to see that prophecy happen or predicted five hundred years in advance, come out Wednesday night where we’re starting Zechariah, 11, which makes that prediction. It tells you the exact number of pieces of silver that the Messiah would be sold out for. So it’s interesting that people in human history do what they do because they’re after money and they’re after finances and Gog is the exact same way. He is invading Israel because of wealth. Now, is this too hard to envision happening with inflation, gas prices, the fact that we’re no longer as Americans energy independent. You look at all of these things that are sort of, you know, the fuel prices, the price at the pump, you look at all these things happening and you can start to see a scenario where Russia is very interested in wealth. Russia is very interested in money and that’s exactly what Ezekiel, 38, verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) predicts. So that means if Gog invades Israel because of her wealth, that means as a stage setter, Israel must become wealthy. You guys agree with me on that? You can’t invade because of Israel’s wealth, unless Israel has what? Has wealth and I’m here to tell you that your Bible predicts not just the re-gathering of the Jews into their own land in unbelief, but it predicts that they will become phenomenally wealthy in the process. This is something Moses said just before he died on the plains of Moab. He started to make predictions about the future of the nation and the various tribes and he says in Deuteronomy, 33, verse 24 (Deut 33:24) of Asher and there it’s just a matter of getting out a map and looking where Asher is located. She sort of located up in the northwest part of the country very near the Mediterranean Sea, which by the way, as I’ll show you in a minute, a massive supply of natural gas was discovered not long ago. Moses said of Asher: More blessed than sons is Asher; May he be favored by his brothers, And may he dip his foot in oil… And you say well, what does oil mean? Well, at bare minimum it means wealth. Wealth coming to the tribe of Asher and Gog is going to want the wealth. How rich is Israel?

Well, it certainly wasn’t very rich in 1867 when Mark Twain wrote about it, because he calls it a desolate country whose soil is rich enough but it’s wholly given over to weeds. So obviously in 1867, when he toured the land of Israel, Israel was not wealthy. But my goodness how things have changed. 42:11

Charles Feinberg in his excellent commentary on the book of Ezekiel says:

Charles L. Feinberg – The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord, Paperback ed. (Chicago: Moody, 1969; reprint, Chicago: Moody, 1984), 222-23.

“What is it that will allow for the coalition of nations to descend upon and invade the Holy Land?…The plan will be devised because of one important feature of Israel’s occupation of their ancestral home: their wealth…How much we hear today on all sides of national security, social security and financial security. Men’s minds are occupied with plans for security. Thus, the enemy will see the opportunity of the day to invade, overrun with ease and come off with a handsome prize, for the returned people will have come with much wealth (cf. Isa. 60:5–9). The enemy, greedy of Israel‘s wealth, will embark on a campaign quest for gain. It is now common knowledge that the deposits of mineral wealth in the Dead Sea are the greatest in the world. The envious eyes of the foe will not be denied longer; the hour when Israel lives without fear of attack and will be considered the most auspicious for the invasion and plunder.”

So it’s interesting, even recently with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, how much of the discussion by the Talking Heads is about money and it’s about wealth as a motivation for what Putin just did concerning the Ukraine and that’s what your Bible is saying, not with the Ukraine which I think is stage setting, but with Israel. The invasion will occur, because it’s all about money. Now, here’s something from the CIA World Factbook, 2005, and you look at first of all what Mark Twain said, in 1867, a desolate expanse and then you flash forward to the year 2005 and you just compare Israel’s gross domestic product to that of her neighbors and you see this prophecy coming to pass before our very eyes.

Israel indeed is becoming very wealthy. She has a gross domestic product that outstrips her neighbors and these are dated numbers because this was 2005, here’s something a little bit more recent.

This is 2021 and Israel currently has a gross domestic product of four hundred and sixty seven billion dollars. More than Egypt, much, much more several times over, ten times more than Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, etc… Here is one report that says the value of minerals of the dead sea is estimated at five trillion dollars, did you know that?

THE ROTHSCHILD’S PALESTINE, ALL ROADS LEAD TO JERUSALEM http://www.matterofprinciple.net/011/11/rothschilds-palestine.html (accessed December 15, 2011). Although there is a wide variation of estimates, many different sources estimate the mineral wealth of the Dead Sea in the trillions of dollars.

“The value of the minerals of the Dead Sea is estimated at five trillion dollars. This estimate appears to be optimistic but it is supported in part by the report of the Crown Agents of the British Colonies entitled ‘Production of Minerals From the Waters of the Dead Sea’…. This official report estimates the minerals, except oil, in 1925 as follows: Magnesium Chloride, 22,000 tons, value 600 billion dollars; Potassium Chloride, 20,000 tons, value 75 billion dollars; other minerals valued at 1,200 billion dollars; or a total of about three trillion dollars, exclusive of oil.”

And it goes on and it describes all of these minerals in the Dead Sea, which is making Israel very, very wealthy and then here’s another news report:

Todd Strandberg – “Could Israel Become a Major Oil Exporter,” online: www.bibleprophecy.com, accessed 26 May 2015.

In the summer of 2010, “…huge deposits of natural gas were found along Israel’s northern coastline…Israel is actually sitting on top of a vast amount of oil. According to Harold Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, the Shefla Basin holds the world’s second-largest shale deposits outside the United States, from which around 250 billion barrels of oil–about the same as Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves…Estimates of global deposits range from 2.8 trillion to 3.3 trillion barrels of recoverable oil…The technology curb has now reached the point where shale is becoming an exploitable resource…the Shefla shale is in a hospitable location. It also contains oil of the light, sweet variety that is easy to refine into gasoline or other common end products. Most of all, the Jews have proven themselves to be very talented at exploiting resources. If they can’t make shale oil work, I doubt any nation can.”

Huge deposits of natural gas were found along Israel’s northern coastline… Oh my goodness! What tribe was located in that area? It was Asher, that’s what Moses said all the way back in the days of Mount Sinai. Israel is actually sitting on top of a vast amount of oil not just natural gas but oil. According to Harold Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, the Shefla Basin holds the world’s second-largest shale deposits outside the United States, from which around 250 billion barrels of oil–about the same as Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves… Isn’t that interesting that we’re now energy dependent and we’re no longer producing our own sources of energy but importing them. Isn’t that interesting how the United States, God forbid, could participate in this invasion.

Here’s another article talking about oil discovery in Israel.


Globes Correspondent, “Huge Oil Discovery on Golan Heights,” online: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-huge-oil-discovery-on-golan-heights-1001071698, accessed 09 October 2015.

Israel consumes two hundred and seventy thousand barrels of oil per day. Although the existence of the oil in the ground is a fact, the critical phase now is to check how easily it can be extracted and whether it involves high production costs. So according to this article, the oil is there. It’s just a matter of getting it within the land of Israel. The article goes on and says: after more than a year of round-the-clock drilling, large amounts of oil have been found on the Golan Heights. That’s interesting, Russia is going to invade the mountains of Israel. That’s the Golan Heights area… Estimates are that the amount of oil discovered will make Israel self-sufficient for many years to come… The article goes on talking about this. 48:17

Here’s something that comes from the Jerusalem post and it says:

Matthew Kreiger

Jerusalem Post, cited in David Jeremiah, What in the World Is Going On? 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore (Nashville: Nelson, 2008), 175.

“Despite a population of only slightly more than 7 million people…Israel is now home to more than 7,200 millionaires…Of the 500 wealthiest people in the world, six are now Israeli, and all told, Israel’s rich had assets in 2007 of more than $35 billion dollars… Israel’s GDP is almost double that of any other Middle Eastern country.”

You continue on with verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) and it says, concerning the human motivation of the attack: To capture spoil, to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited against the people who are gathered from the nations who have acquired cattle and goods… Now look at this very carefully… who live at the center of the world. Now, almost nobody in foreign policy or politics thinks this way. But if you want to understand prophecy you have to think the way God thinks. The world community looks at Israel as just a tiny little nation in the way of progress. They’re standing in the way of globalism; it’s exactly how Alexander the Great looked at Israel about three hundred years before the time of Christ. They’re just in the way. They’re in the way of the New World order. Alexander the Great was the quintessential globalist and that’s how today’s politicians who are trying to push us into a globalist framework look at Israel. Let’s just get rid of them is their thought process. Let’s get them out of the way and by the way, let’s get our hands on all the wealth they have there and let’s get busy setting up the New World order. But God says, when you do that you better be careful because you’re looking and coming against a people who are literally living at the center of the world. Man doesn’t think the way God thinks. The only way you can think the way God thinks is you have to study His word, you have to have your mind renewed. They’re not going to give you this perspective on CNN, I can guarantee you that much. You’re only going to get it from the word of God and God says, Israel is the center of everything, because He says they’re living at the center of the world. This is not the first time Ezekiel spoke this. He said it back in chapter 5, verse 5 (Ezek 5:5): Thus says the Lord, this is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with the lands all around her… Why is Israel the focal point of everything in terms of prophecy? It’s the focal point because that’s the part of the world where God entered into the Abrahamic Covenant with the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and gave to them, by divine decree, a plot of real estate that we call the land of Israel. Now, the word center here in Ezekiel, 5, verse 5 (Ezek 5:5) and Ezekiel, 38, verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) it’s the Hebrew word for navel or belly button. Just as the belly button is the center of the body. As far as God thinks, the nation of Israel in general and the city of Jerusalem in particular, is the belly button of the whole earth. This is why the return of the Jews to their land in unbelief, is the super sign for the end time scenario, because all the other signs coming into existence now, one worldism, globalism, universal banking, the digital dollar, whatever you want to talk about, those signs don’t mean anything without Israel. But with Israel in the land, now we are in a position to look at all the other signs that are predicted for the end of the age, because Ezekiel says, Israel is the belly button of the earth. Now, I found this fascinating quote from Charles Feinberg, Hebrew scholar and he’s quoting here the midrash, which is Jewish tradition and he writes this:

Charles L. Feinberg

The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord, Paperback ed. (Chicago: Moody, 1969; reprint, Chicago: Moody, 1984), 223.

“An interesting phrase is employed to define the place where God’s people will be dwelling. It is called the middle (literally, the navel) of the earth as explained in 5:5. The land of Israel is in the center of the earth as far as God’s purposes for the world are concerned (cf. Deut. 32:8). Rabbinic literature states: ‘As the navel is set in the center of the human body, so the land of Israel is the navel of the world…Situated in the center of the world, in Jerusalem in the center of the land of Israel, and the sanctuary in the center of Jerusalem, and the holy place in the center of the sanctuary, and the ark in the center of the holy place, and the foundation stone before the holy place, because from it the world was founded.’ Midrash, Tanachma, Qedoshim.”

That’s Jewish Midrash and what they’re saying there in extra biblical Jewish tradition, is the nation of Israel is the center of the entire world, just like the belly button is the center of the body and at the center of the nation of Israel is which city? Jerusalem. So in their way of thinking, Jerusalem is the centerpiece of the land of Israel which is the centerpiece of the whole world. 55:02

Now what’s at the centerpiece of the city of Jerusalem? The temple and what’s at the center of the temple? The ark of the covenant. The most Holy place. So you have God deciding to live in the most Holy place at the center of the city of Jerusalem, which is at the center of the nation of Israel, which is at the center of the entire world. I mean, it’s absolutely fascinating, that’s how the Jewish people see themselves. Now, where are they getting this from? It comes right out of Ezekiel chapter 5, verse 5 (Ezek 5:5), and chapter 38, verse 12 (Ezek 38:12) and this is what the invaders are not counting on, when they just think they’re invading a nation for money. No, you’re invading a group of people that are the belly button or the navel of all the divine activity, because Israel is the center of the world and Jerusalem is the center of the nation of Israel and the Temple Mount is at the center of the city of Jerusalem and the most Holy place is at the center of the Temple Mount. That’s what it’s saying here and I guarantee you when Gog hatches this plan, this is the farthest thing from his mind, because if this is true and your Bible says it is true, do you think God is going to just sit there and let this happen? I mean, you’re tampering with forces, when you do this, that you can’t possibly understand and this is why God is going to act when this happens. So we believe that Israel is the super sign of the end times, because of what I’m trying to explain. This is what William Blackstone in a very famous book, a bestseller entitled “Jesus is Coming”, keep in mind he wrote this in 1908. Now, that’s forty years before Israel’s war of independence and he says this:

William E. Blackstone

Jesus Is Coming: God’s Hope for a Restless World (New York: F.H. Revell, 1908; reprint, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1989), 238.

“Israel is God’s sun dial. If anyone desires to know our place in God’s chronology, our position in the great march of events, look at Israel.”

So we believe Israel is God’s timepiece, it’s His clock.

I have heard it put this way and so I’ll repeat this. When the discussion of the world moves to Israel and by the way, that’s almost all the United Nations talks about anymore, what are we going to do with Israel? When the discussion of the whole planet moves towards Israel, as far as God’s timepiece is concerned, that’s the hour hand. Now, when they stop talking about Israel and they start talking about the city of Jerusalem. Now we’re on the minute hand and when they stop talking about the city of Jerusalem and now they start talking about the Temple Mount. Now, we’re on the second hand. That’s the hour in history in which we find ourselves. 58:54

Verse 13 (Ezek 38:13), this is interesting here: Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say… Now, here Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish are speaking to Gog with his coalition… Will say to you, Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?… Now, here’s what is called by many people, the lame protest. When the invasion happens, not everybody’s going to be happy with it. Actually, there’s going to be some groups that are speaking up against it. Now, it’s called a lame protest cause they don’t do anything to stop it. Kind of like, Russia invades Ukraine and all the United States can do is talk, doesn’t do anything to stop it, doesn’t do anything practical. We won’t even arm the Ukrainians. We can talk, we can unfriend Putin from Facebook, I guess. But as far as actually doing anything tangible or practical to stop the invasion, we just won’t do anything. Now, not to get too far into politics, but I think things were a little different in the Trump administration. I mean, it’s interesting that Putin chose to do this after Trump was out of office. No more extended commentary there. But it talks about these groups that don’t like it but they just talk, talk, talk, talk but don’t do anything to stop it and who are these groups? Sheba and Dedan. Now watch this very carefully, it doesn’t just say Tarshish, it says the merchants of Tarshish. So who are Sheba and Dedan?

You notice we’ve identified all the players in this invasion other than Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish. Who are Sheba and Dedan? Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia, because if you just look at a map, that’s where Sheba and Dedan are located. One of them, you might be able to go a little further south and locate it in nearby Yemen, but it’s that basic area not too far from Dubai called Saudi Arabia, that’s who Sheba and Dedan are and so, the invasion starts and they’re not very happy with it. So suddenly, you start running into headlines like this:



Saudi prince, this is Saudi Arabia “I’ll side with Israel against the Palestinian uprising and Iran”. That’s Ezekiel, 38, verse 13 (Ezek 38:13), that’s what that says. I don’t like Iran, one of the invaders coming against Israel and so I will side with Israel over Iran. Here is another headline. This one goes back to 2017, but you can see a clear pattern here, it says:


online: http://tass.com/politics/932980. December 01, 2017 , accessed 12 December 2017.

“Saudi Arabia intercepts second Yemen missile in a month. Saudi Arabia on Thursday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired from war-torn Yemen, state media reported, the second such attack this month claimed by Iran-backed Huthi rebels.”

So here is Saudi Arabia going against Iran. That is what Ezekiel, 38 and verse 13 is talking about. It’s interesting that Iran is Shiite Muslim, Saudi Arabia is a little different. It’s Sunni Muslim. So that may explain why when this invasion happens, Saudi Arabia doesn’t like it, but there’s one other factor and I’ll briefly just explain this and close with this because this is very important to get this in. I have often wondered why in the world would Saudi Arabia… Why would they protest this invasion? And then something came into existence at the end of the Trump administration called the Abraham Accords.

Are you familiar with those? The Abraham Accords are not peace treaties. That’s the mistake that people make in their thinking, they think it’s just another peace treaty between Israel and an enemy state. That’s not what the Abraham Accords are. The nations that have entered into the Abraham Accords are nations that have not been at war with Israel and typically are very, very small nations interestingly located in the Gulf states, like the United Arab Emirates, I think Bahrain. Right next door to who? Saudi Arabia and when you study the Abraham Accords, what you’ll see is everybody anticipates that Saudi Arabia is the next group to enter into the Abraham Accords. What are the Abraham Accords? They are not peace deals. They are normalization agreements, where Israel says, all you have to do is recognize our right to exist and if you do that we will open up the four T’s. What are the four T’s? Trade, Travel, Tourism and Technology, which benefit the Gulf states and they benefit Israel. They take the Gulf states that have entered into these Accords and they align them with Israel against Russia and Iran. So now when this invasion occurs and Sheba and Dedan protest and we used to scratch our heads. Do you like my invitation here? Scratch our heads why in the world would Sheba and Dedan protest this invasion? Now all of the sudden you don’t have to ask the question, isn’t that interesting? Because these are the groups that have entered into the Abraham Accords with Israel, Israel’s becoming wealthy because of them and they’re becoming wealthy because of Israel and now you have the motivation as to why they would speak up and not like the invasion.

So, all of that to say. I hope we understand, as a church, the time period that we’re living in, where God is taking these little intricate details, these little tiny chess pieces and He’s organizing them in such a way that the absolute specifics of His word will be fulfilled and you say, well, who is Tarshish then? And you’ll have to come back next week for that. So we’ll pick it up with verse 13 next time. Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for prophecy in your word. Help us to be mindful of these things and help this to revolutionize our priorities in these last days. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name and God’s people said, Amen.