Middle East Meltdown 020 – Q and A 1Ezekiel • Dr. Andy Woods • June 19, 2022 • Middle East Meltdown
Middle East Meltdown 020 – Q & A 1
By Dr Andy Woods – 06/12/2022
…We’ll get started. Father, we’re grateful for today and grateful for this special holiday. We commemorate what you have established in Your Word for fathers and fatherhood, we just ask that fathers would be properly given their due here at Sugar Land Bible church in an age where people are sort of trying to blend, you know, everything together with the transgender type of mindset and we seek here, Lord, to get back to Your truth, Your word, what You have established as your priorities and we do ask Father for Your hand of blessing on both the Sunday School hour and the main service that follows. I ask for the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit, so that we might be able to understand Your word and Lord, we’re just going to take a moment, privately, to do personal business with you in case we need broken fellowship restored so that we can receive from Your word unhindered today. We thank You, Lord, for the promise of 1st John chapter 1, verse 9 (1 John 1:9), which does not restore our position, which is eternally settled, but it does restore fellowship since we as your people do sin. Hopefully Lord, we’re sinning less but you tell us in Your Word that we will not be sinless until our glorification and so in the interim we need 1st John chapter 1, verse 9 (1 John 1:9) and so we do ask Father that, as VBS and what was accomplished this week at VBS is presented that we might see Your hand and all of these things at Sugar Land Bible Church. 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. 2:31
Well, if you could, take your Bibles and open them to Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 (Ezek 37:11-14) and as you know, we wrapped up last week our verse by verse teaching through Ezekiel, 36 through 39 in a series that we entitled the Middle East Meltdown that we started the first of the year.
- Ezekiel recommissioned (33)
- False shepherds removed (34)
- Edom destroyed (35)
- Israel’s restoration: physical & spiritual (36)
- Israel’s restoration illustrated (37)
- Means of restoration: Northern invasion (38)
- Results of the Northern invasion: conversion (39)
- Millennial Temple (40‒46)
- Tribal land allotment (47‒48)
So we’ve gone through Ezekiel, 36 which is prophecy of Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration in the last days and from there we went in to Ezekiel chapter 37 which essentially are two illustrations describing the content in chapter 36 and then in chapter 38 we basically saw, and chapter 39, the tools that God is going to use to take His re-gathered nation, Israel, re-gathered in unbelief in the last days and eventually restore them to faith in Himself and the tool that He’s going to use is that northern invasion that you see described in Ezekiel, 38 and then once you get into chapter 39, it kind of doesn’t, as many people would like it to read, doesn’t give you every detail of the tribulation period but it gives you the end results, what God was seeking to do. The end result is a restored Israel and so there’s sort of a flashforward chapter 39, to the end of the tribulation and because these chapters are, I would argue, are in play right now, prophetically. Not in the sense of fulfillment but in this sense of stage setting, we took a careful verse by verse look through those chapters. So with all that being said, what I asked you to do, is to submit to me some questions based on the content that we’ve covered so we can move into a kind of a Q & A this week and most likely next week at least and so many, many questions came in, online. I would just ask you to put into the subject line, MEM or Middle East Meltdown questions or something, so I can discern which emails are what and this is a case where, if you submitted your question late or last, you get the top honors because I started to work my way down through the email. So those of you that were diligent and put your question in early you get pushed to the very end unfortunately. So sorry about that. But here is a question and I wish you can see on the screen I’ve got a list of seven questions they came in, that we’re going to try to walk through in this session, this morning. 6:05
- Matthew 27:52-53?
- Stage setting events?
- Timing of the birds of prey?
- Is Gog killed in battle?
- Second seal judgment?
- Coincides with Rapture?
So the first question deals with the timeline and it says: Taking into consideration the following: (1) The antichrist appears on the scene at the beginning of the seven year tribulation; (2) The abomination of desolation occurs in the middle of the seven year tribulation; and (3) Israel will be burying the dead and burning weapons for seven years. With all that being said, where does Ezekiel’s war fit into this timeline? So I really appreciate that question because the person that asked it kind of lays out the parameters of the tribulation. Let’s see, is my voice again going in and out like it was last week? No? We’re good? I’m getting one thumbs down and several thumbs up. I don’t know if this is because this thing doesn’t have enough battery power, I’m looking at it and it looks like the battery is fully charged, but at this point there’s not a lot I can do about it, apologize. But this particular question lays out the parameters of the tribulation and the only passage we have in the Bible that lays out the parameters of the tribulation period is the seventieth week of Daniel spelled out in Daniel 9:27. If you don’t have Daniel chapter 9, verse 27 (Dan 9:27) in your Bible, then you don’t have the parameters of the tribulation.
So the parameters of the tribulation are: (1) The tribulation period is going to last seven years; (2) What’s going to start the tribulation period is not the rapture, that’s a misconception. People think the rapture starts the tribulation. That is not true, the rapture will happen and then the antichrist will come forward at some point and then He will enter into a covenant with unbelieving Israel and once that happens, the seven year countdown starts and what is going to happen exactly in the middle of the tribulation period will be the antichrist’s desecration of the temple. He will go into the Jewish temple and he will essentially deify himself and he will set up a pagan image in the temple and Daniel chapter 9, verse 27 (Dan 9:27) is very clear that that happens right in the middle of this tribulation period; and then what concludes the seven years, will be the personal return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Not the rapture, which happens before this even occurs, where He comes in the air and we are caught up to be with Him at the conclusion of the church age, but the return of Christ, where He actually comes to the earth and His feet actually touch planet earth, they touch the Mount of Olives, and at that point He will start His thousand year kingdom, which happens after He bodily returns. So, Daniel chapter 9, verse 27 (Dan 9:27) is a big deal because it gives you this outline. The book of Revelation will not give you this outline. The book of Revelation will assume that you already know the outline. This is a problem of starting your study of prophecy with the book of Revelation. You start with the book of Revelation, you have all these things happening and they’re all interesting to study, but you have no framework or parameters to plug the events into. So all John in the book of Revelation is doing, is he’s adding details to the structure that Daniel already established.
He tells you when the seal judgments are going to occur, when the trumpet judgments are going to occur, when the bowl judgments are going to occur, he gives you a lot more information, John does, about the desecration of the temple by the antichrist and he gives you a lot more information about the personal return of Jesus at the end. 10:56
So the question is, since that’s the parameters of the tribulation, where does the Gog-Magog war fit? If you ask two teachers this question, you’ll probably get five answers. So my view on it is not the only view on the block, so to speak, but I believe that chapter 38, the war, happens consistent with seal judgment number two, very early in the tribulation, because and I’ll try to explain this a little later with another question, there’s a transition from peace to war in Ezekiel, 38. That’s exactly what’s happening with the first two seal judgments, you go from peace under the antichrist to war; and then chapter 39, it kind of leaves forward and it starts to talk about things that happened at the end of the tribulation. Like, for example, the birds of prey gorging on the corpses; like a converted Israel and we know from other passages of scripture that those are events that take place at the end of the tribulation. So what I’m seeing is chapter 38 happening essentially with seal judgment number two and chapter 39 essentially transpiring at the end of the tribulation period. So you’ll have the birds of prey at the end, Israel’s conversion at the end and the weapons, at that point, are burned for seven years. The bodies of the invaders are buried for seven months and I see, as I’ve tried to explain in the series, the burial and the burning continuing on into the millennial kingdom. A lot of people don’t like that, they don’t want their millennium messed up with a bunch of smoke and burials but to me it’s not that big of a problem because the millennial kingdom is a renovation and not an ex nihilo new creation. So there’s actually going to be death in the millennial kingdom, amongst the surviving mortals, children of the mortals of the tribulation, those that survive the tribulation, that are believers, that enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies and repopulate the earth. That generation will still experience death. So the millennial kingdom is not a pristine perfect environment. There’s actually going to be animals slaughtered during that time period and essentially what you have happening here, is, since the millennial kingdom is really not an ex nihilo new creation but a renovation, I don’t really have much of a problem seeing burial and burning of weapons happening during that kingdom age. So Ezekiel, 38 is the second seal judgment Ezekiel, 39, most of it, is the end of the tribulation period and then the weapons burning and the burial continues on into the thousand year kingdom. So I hope that helps with that, that’s an issue with timing and that’s a perspective that you probably won’t hear anywhere else other than here, because you’re in a kind of a weird church, Amen? Can I get an Amen on that? 14:42
- Matthew 27:52-53?
- Stage setting events?
- Timing of the birds of prey?
- Is Gog killed in battle?
- Second seal judgment?
- Coincides with Rapture?
Alright! Question number two deals with, this is very interesting, Matthew, 27, verses 52 and 53 (Matt 27:52-53) and Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 (Ezek 37:11-14). So you might want to hold your place in Ezekiel, 37 and flip over to Matthew chapter 27, verses 52 and 53. So question number two is: Did Matthew and him only include the resurrection of the bodies of the saints as a preview and an assurance to the new Jewish believers in the Messiah? Could he have included this event in his gospel as an assurance to the believers of the ultimate fulfillment of Ezekiel, 37, 11 through 14? I ask because Matthew wrote his gospel to new Jewish believers to prove that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, Matthew chapter 1, verses 1 through 18 (Matt 1:1-18). It seems strange that Matthew would include this singular event that none of the gospel writers even mention, unless it was for the purpose of giving encouragement and hope that God will yet, in fact, do what He said in Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 (Ezek 37:11-14), maybe as a preview or a fore view. So let me try to explain this question a little bit. In Matthew chapter 27 it talks about something that took place in the city streets of Jerusalem when Jesus died. When Jesus died there were lots of signs, for example, the veil in the temple was torn asunder from top to bottom, that was a miracle that occurred. So God the Father, was giving evidence that what happened with His son on the cross, was very, very significant in the outworking of His program and if you look at verse 50 of Matthew 27 (Matt 27:50) that says: Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit… In other words, He died and then most of the gospel writers record verse 51 (Matt 27:51): Behold the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split… So miracles were occurring testifying to what Jesus had accomplished and then you go down the versus 52 and 53 (Matt: 27:52-53) and you read something very interesting, it says: The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised… And then verse 53: Coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many… So the question then is: (1) Is Matthew the only gospel writer that records the events of verses 52 and 53? And if Matthew is the only gospel writer that includes those events and he’s writing to a Jewish audience is that sort of a fore view? A Preview, if you will, to what it says in Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14? Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 (Ezek 37:11-14) says: He said to me son of man these bones are the whole house of Israel, behold they say our bones are dried up and our hope has perished and we are completely cut off. Therefore prophesy and say to them thus, says the Lord God, behold I will open your graves and cause you to come out of your graves, My people, and I will bring you into the land of Israel, then you will know that I am the Lord, I have opened your graves and caused you to come out of your graves, My people… And then it says verse 14 of Ezekiel 37 (Ezek 37:14): I will put my spirit within you and you will come to life and I will place you in your own land, then you will know that I the Lord have spoken and done it, declares the Lord… So when you look at these people that came out of their graves in Matthew, 27, they were not resurrected. The term resurrection in Matthew, 27, applies only to the resurrection of Jesus. What was happening in Matthew, 27, verses 52 and 53, is what I would call a resuscitation. They came out of their graves, they were still in their mortal bodies and we presume that at some point they died again. It’s kind of like what happened to Lazarus, you remember in John, 11? Jesus brought Lazarus out of the dead but I’m assuming that when Lazarus came out of the dead in John, 11, he was still in his mortal body and so at some point, he died again. Or else we could go over to Jerusalem and visit Lazarus right and get his autograph. So obviously at some point he died again even though Jesus brought him out of the grave. So what Jesus did with Lazarus and what’s happening with these people that came out of the tombs is not a resurrection. Once a person is in their resurrected body, they will never die again and these people could not have been resurrected because Christ’s resurrection is the first fruits, Jesus is the first one who actually rose from the dead in a glorified body. So this was just a sign that God allowed to happen to testify to the significance of what His son had just done and accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago. Now, I find this question very interesting because there are evangelical scholars today, and I’m going to give you their names because I think what they’re doing is so totally outrageous, they are arguing that versus 52 and 53 never happened. These are not liberals doing this, these are evangelical scholars saying this, and they’re trying to argue that this is some sort of apocalyptic genre where it’s just sort of recording hyperbole but these were not actual resuscitations from the grave. So two of them are actually right here in the Houston area. I think the last time I checked, connected with the apologetics department in one of our Evangelical Houston schools, one of the gentleman that’s promoting this is a man named Michael Licona and another one that’s promoting it and it’s not a matter of hearsay, you can actually go to the internet and you can actually type in their names and Matthew, 27, versus 52 and 53 and you can watch the footage yourself of them denying this as a historical event. The other individual is a guy named William Lane Craig. Both of these gentlemen are promoting themselves as defenders of Christianity. In other words, their whole ministry is apologetics, defending the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and here’s an example where the very people that are supposed to be defending Christianity, are actually denying what the Bible says, because as you read this, it doesn’t indicate at all anything other than this is an actual historical account that happened. It’s not a resurrection, it’s a resuscitation and part of their logic is this couldn’t happen because Jesus is the first fruits. Well, Jesus is the first fruits in terms of a resurrection, not a resuscitation. So here at Sugar Land Bible Church we believe that Matthew, 27, verses 52 and 53 would happen exactly like the Bible says. No, I’m not going to stand up here and play some scholarly game and everybody take whiteout out and erase these verses from your Bible, cause this happened. So the question is: Is Matthew the only gospel writer that records this event? And there’s an easy way to figure that out. Most of you with study Bibles, in between Malachi and Matthew, have something called a harmony of the gospels, which takes all of the gospel events as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and puts them in chronological order. So I use the Ryrie Study Bible as my study Bible, he has a wonderful harmony of the gospels there and when you look at Matthew chapter 27, verses 52 and 53 and you see where this scene shows up in the other gospel writers presentation, you’ll notice that only Matthew records this and that also becomes part of the logic given not by liberals but by so-called leading evangelicals that this never took place. This never took place they say because it’s apocalyptic literature. This never took place they say because Christ was the first fruits so how can anybody rise from the dead, you know, before Jesus and they’re not distinguishing resurrection vs resuscitation and they say, only Matthew talks about this. So I guess, you know, if something shows up in the Bible only once. I guess people are free to pretend like it didn’t happen right? Now, who invented that rule? Man invented that rule. Just because something only shows up once in the Bible, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and to say, it only happened once and therefore we have the freedom and liberty to ignore the clear presentation of history there, is just a man-made rule. I mean, that would be like Eve and Adam in Eden, you know, after God confronted them for eating from the forbidden tree, that would be like them saying back to God, well God, you only told us once. I mean, you only gave us the command about the tree of knowledge, don’t eat from it, you only said it once. I mean, if you’d said it twice or three times, we would take it more seriously. 26:30
So we are living in a very weird time period within evangelical Christianity where the very people that are supposed to be defending Christianity, in fact, are destroying it in some essence, because if this did not happen exactly like it says, it’s not much of a leap to get to, in the same chapter and in the subsequent chapter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, without which by the way, there’s no such thing as Christianity. You don’t have a bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, you don’t have Christianity. Paul makes that point very clear in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, verse 14 (1 Cor 15:14). If, you know, Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is in vain, it’s what Paul says. You don’t have a resurrection, you don’t have Christianity. It’s not that difficult to say, well, if Matthew got it wrong here in Matthew, 27, then maybe got it wrong in Matthew, 28, where it talks about the bodily resurrection of Jesus. So I’m a little bit, you know, on the edge, when I see people in places of influence within the church telling God’s people to not believe certain parts of the Bible, because if you can deny the Bible at a point, you can deny the Bible anywhere. It’s just like a good cross examination in a court of law. I mean, what do the attorneys to discredit a witness, what do they try to do? They just try to find one problem in the witness’s testimony. One contradiction and they don’t have to destroy everything the person said, just find a problem or better yet find two problems and the attorneys are going to think, okay, now the jury when it goes back in and deliberates, it’s going to say, well, if that witness was wrong in point A, maybe the witness is also wrong in point B and point C and point D and point E. So this is the problem of evangelical scholars trying to get people to think that things in the Bible, narrated as history, you know, didn’t happen. So it is true that only Matthew’s gospel records this, it doesn’t make it any less valid of a historical account and it is true that Matthew was written to a Hebrew Christian audience. We believe that Matthew’s gospel was the first gospel recorded. That’s what two thousand years of church history has taught us and people didn’t start second guessing that until, I don’t know, the 1900’s. All the church fathers believed that Matthew was the first gospel recorded and Matthew wrote to the church while it was still a Hebrew Christian audience, most likely before Paul went on his first missionary journey during which the church started to become predominantly Gentile and that may be why only Matthew records this, because he’s speaking to a Hebrew Christian audience who would understand Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 (Ezek 37:11-14) and Matthew is talking about this because he could be saying, you better believe everything you read an Ezekiel, 37, verses 11 through 14 about a future resurrection, not only of the dead but of the whole nation of Israel is going to be brought back to life. You as a Hebrew Christian better believe that because God, you might remember, when Jesus died on the cross gave you a fore view of that prophecy by allowing people, the moment Jesus died, to come out of their graves in a resuscitation. So because Matthew is written to a Hebrew Christian audience and because Matthew could be giving a preview or a fore view to a Jewish audience who would understand Ezekiel, 37 of greater things to come, that may be why Matthew recorded this account, despite the fact that this account is not found in Mark, it’s not found in Luke, it’s not found in John and so the question is, why would only Matthew talk about this? The answer could be he’s speaking to a Hebrew Christian audience who understands future resurrection and he’s saying don’t stop believing in a future resurrection because we have a preview of the whole thing through the resuscitation of the folks from the graves when Jesus died. So that’s kind of the interesting question, I really wasn’t planning on going that direction but I think that’s the answer number two. 31:55
- Matthew 27:52-53?
- Stage setting events?
- Timing of the birds of prey?
- Is Gog killed in battle?
- Second seal judgment?
- Coincides with Rapture?
Number three deals with stage setting events and it says: Could you compile a list of the most major prophetic stage setting events presently taking place? So do you guys have a good eight weeks for me to do that? The good news is well, first of all, what do they mean by stage setting? What we mean by stage setting is God is moving around the chess pieces in preparation for the great chess match.
You can’t have a chess match until someone sets the stage. Somebody has to take the chess board out of the game box and put it on the table. Somebody has to assemble the pieces into their proper places for a chess match to begin and then the respective players or contestants in the chess match have to take their respective seats. So only when those things begin to transpire can you say, Hey! A chess game is ready to start. As long as the chess board stays in the chessboard box and as long as it’s stuck up in the closet somewhere, you know, you don’t have any basis for saying, Hey! A chess game or chess match is ready to start. So in the same way, we do not believe that Ezekiel 38 and 39 is happening right now. A lot of people will teach it that way. They’ll say, Hey! These events are happening right now and that’s not our angle. Our angle is these are future events but probably like no other prophecy I can think of in God’s word, the hand of God clearly is aggressively setting the stage as we speak for the, what seems to be, the very soon fulfillment of this prophecy. So the question is, can you put together all of the events that show us how the stage is currently being set for the eventual fulfillment of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39? And the good news is I’ve already tried to do that in my book the Middle East Meltdown. If you go to chapter six, there’s a chapter there entitled “How?”.
The book is set up in terms of organization by answering the journalistic questions. Who? Who was involved? When? When are these events going to take place? Why? Why will these nations invade Israel in the last days? What? What is going to be the outcome of these things? And then the last journalistic question in chapter six is How? How is the world stage being set up for the eventual fulfillment of this prophecy? So obviously I can’t, in time constraints, give you an exhaustive list of stage setting now. I would recommend chapter six where I try to do that in detail, but let me just toss in a few highlights, if I could. 35:32
The first major stage setting event that’s happening right now before your very eyes is what is called the miracle on the Mediterranean. The regathering of Israel in unbelief after two thousand years of worldwide dispersion, into her homeland. Unless that piece of the jigsaw puzzle is in place, all the other things predicted in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 can’t happen. That’s why we call the regathering of Israel in unbelief into her homeland, her rebirth as a nation, May 14th, 1948 and God’s consistent continual recycle of the Jews back to their homeland in unbelief, that’s the super sign for the end times, because what people will say, is they’ll say, Oh, come on! People have been talking about the end times for two thousand years of church history. Why do you think your generation is unique? I think our generation is unique because of what I just said. No other generation has seen what we are seeing in the Middle East in terms of the rebirth politically, not yet spiritually, of the nation of Israel. Show me one other nation in the history of the world that’s kicked out of their land two thousand years ago, which is what the Jews experienced at the hands of Rome in AD 70 and then they’re pushed in the world wide dispersion and they go right back into that same land with their language intact, their culture intact. Such a thing has never happened and that is exactly what God said He would do in the last days. In other words, if you start seeing that happen, you have to start paying very close attention to Bible prophecy because you’re living in a time period that most Christians in the last two thousand years could never fathom. I mean, most Christians over the last two thousand years saw no evidence of this. In fact, there was nothing in that part of the world for most of the time but a barren expanse and here we’re seeing the nation of Israel alive again. The sociologists tell us that when a nation is dispersed from its homeland, it loses its language and loses its culture within a few generations. They’re assimilated into the host culture, that’s why today we don’t see Hittites, Canaanites, Jebusites, etc., even though they’re all spoken of in the Bible just as the nation of Israel is. But you do see a Jewish nation, which means the Jewish nation is an anomaly. It never disappeared. It never assimilated, it never lost its culture and so when you pick up your headlines and you read anything about the nation of Israel, you automatically should think as a Christian, this is a miracle of God. People all the time are saying, do you think God does miracles today? Are you kidding me? He’s doing one of His greatest miracles right now as we speak that we call the miracle on the Mediterranean and not only will Israel be re-gathered into her land in unbelief but she’ll start getting rich. That’s what motivates this attack. Ezekiel, 38, verse 12 (Ezek 38:12), we’ve studied all the verses, describes the motives of the attackers to capture spoil, to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited. Think about that, God says the land will be a waste and then it’ll be inhabited by the Jewish people and the land will begin to prosper and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods who live at the center of the world. Ezekiel, 38 and verse 13, to the invaders says, God says through Ezekiel, have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder and to carry away silver and gold? To take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil, do you see how it keeps mentioning spoil? Silver, gold, plunder. So obviously in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled, Israel has to exist and in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled Israel has to become very wealthy. So when Israel comes back into existence and Israel in the land that was once desolate, starts to become very wealthy, what do you do with that? You don’t say, well, prophecy is happening right now, cause it’s not. We haven’t seen this prophecy fulfilled but what we do say is someone just took the game board out of the game box. Somebody in the hand of God is rearranging the pieces on the board. The players are taking their respective seats and something is about to happen. That’s how you interpret these things. 41:27
So this sudden wealth coming to Israel is exactly what God says and it’s exactly what happened, the transition from desolation to wealth in that part of the world is happening as we speak.
Mark Twain, I’ve shared this quote with you many times, in 1867 went over there and he said, you know, the holy land is not much to look at. He called it in 1867 a desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given over wholly to weeds, a silent mournful expanse. A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route… CNN will never give you this quote, because they want you to believe that Israel displaced a thriving population. That’s not what Mark Twain says. I was over there in 1867 and we never even saw a single person. There was hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of worthless soil, had almost deserted the country… And look at Israel today.
Look at her gross domestic product in 2005 relative to her surrounding neighbors. Look at her gross domestic product in 2021 relative to her surrounding neighbors and what do you say when you see something like this?
God is setting the stage. Exactly what God said is happening. To fulfill exactly what God said in His word one day by way of prophetic fulfillment because God cannot what? He cannot lie. So how is the stage being set? Here comes Israel back into her land, here comes wealth accruing to Israel and then as we have studied in this series, there’s a group of nations that will invade Israel, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah, Magog, Cush and Put.
Now, other than Rosh, just ask yourself a very simple question, what do all of those nations have in common? They are what? Islamic. Islam has captured a foothold of dominance in all of those nations and what you have to understand about Islam, is Islam furnishes the motive for the attack. I mean, not only are all these nations in existence like God said, but they’re motivated to invade Israel. Why does Islam furnish the motivation for the attack? It’s very simple, to Islam Jerusalem is a holy site. It is according to their current rendering and rendition of their religion, it’s the third most significant holy site in Islam behind Mecca and Medina. Now, it’s very interesting that in Islam, Jerusalem is the third most holy site. That’s why when you see footage of Muslims praying in the city of Jerusalem, they will have their back ends or their rear ends, if I can put it that way, towards the Temple Mount. Now, why are they doing that? Because they are facing where? Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina. Why is your backend towards the Temple Mount and you’re praying towards Mecca and Medina because in Islam, Jerusalem is the third most precious holy site. But nevertheless, they look at it as a holy site. That’s where Mohammed allegedly ascended back to Allah on a steed and I’ve already told you the name of the steed, right? The steed’s name is Barack and this is so bizarre, this whole thing, you obviously know that I’m not making this up, it’s just way too creative for me to make this up, and they hold this position even though the name Jerusalem never appears in the Quran. Now, your Bible mentions the city of Jerusalem eight hundred times. You will not find a single reference to Jerusalem by name in the Quran. Why is that? Because the Muslims really weren’t interested in that part of the world until the Jews returned to the land and made it prosperous. I mean, who wants a bunch of desert? But once you start seeing today’s gross domestic product, suddenly Islam has a great interest in the city of Jerusalem. So as long as Islam thinks this way and they do, current renditions of Islam look at the city of Jerusalem as their third most precious holy site and all of these nations that are described in the Gog-Magog invasion have that mindset, what you have in place is not only the right nations, but you have the right motivation for the attack. That’s why Islam’s proliferation into all these countries is yet another significant stage setting event, that you put alongside of Israel’s rebirth and Israel’s wealth. 47:53
Now, what Ezekiel 38 says is very interesting, not all of the nations in that part of the world are going to cooperate. Sheba and Dedan aren’t going to like it and the merchants of Tarshish aren’t going to like it when this invasion occurs and you see this in Ezekiel, 38, verse 13 (Ezek 38:15), it says: Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages 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… So Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will not like the invasion but they will speak up against it, but they won’t do anything to stop it. That’s what Bible prophecy predicts. Now, who are Sheba and Dedan?
Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia. In fact, the cities of Sheba and Dedan exist in Saudi Arabia on modern day maps.
So what Bible prophecy is saying is this invasion will occur but Saudi Arabia will sort of protest. It’s a lame protest, they don’t like the invasion, they speak up but they don’t do anything to stop it and so you ask yourself why is Saudi Arabia so bent out of shape? And to be completely frank with you, we had almost no explanation for this until the Abraham Accords came into existence. Now, you’ve heard of the Abraham Accords, right? Those are normalization agreements between some Arab states and the nation of Israel and it’s just an agreement that basically says, we will recognize Israel’s right to exist in exchange for the four T’s and I shouldn’t have said there were four cause inevitably I’m going to forget one. Tourism, trade, technology and there we go, I forgot the last T. Three T ‘s. Tourism, trade, technology, somebody help me with the last one, travel! Thank you, you guys are very good listeners. So once that is entered into, all of a sudden, some of these Muslim states are profiting because of Israel and the various states that have entered into the Abraham Accords, would be Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and what’s right next door to Dubai? Saudi Arabia. In fact, all of the analysts, if you watch them, will tell you that Saudi Arabia is the next one to fall in terms of entering into the Abraham Accords. So suddenly with Abraham Accords, you have an explanation why Saudi Arabia won’t like the invasion. Now, what do you do with that? You don’t say prophecy is being fulfilled, what you say is God just got the chess board out of the box in the closet and He’s blowing off the dust. I brought my sound effects with me today. I’ve been working all week with kids in Vacation Bible School. But we had a little thing we did to get the kids to be quiet, we would say waterfall and then, well look at that, we would all go Sh…. So if I catch you talking in the sermon, I’m going to say waterfall, there we go. So blow off the dust off the game board and God just put another piece of the jigsaw puzzle into place, prophetic stage setting and then it says, the other folks that won’t like the invasion, in addition to Sheba and the Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish will not like the invasion. Now, where is Tarshish? Anybody know? It’s in modern day Spain and notice it says, the merchants of Tarshish. The money men, in other words. The young lions of Tarshish are taken to mean either the strong leaders and princes of greedy rulers of those commercial communities, Charles Feinberg in his Ezekiel commentary points out and what is going on in Tarshish?
Not much unless you understand that Morocco, do see Morocco there? Is right beneath Spain.
What was the last nation that we have knowledge of that just entered into the Abraham Accords besides the United Arab Emirates? It was Morocco. Morocco, very close to Spain, is in a trading relationship with Spain. So as Morocco prospers because of Israel, thanks to the Abraham Accords, so does Spain or Tarshish. Aha! We have an explanation now as to why the merchants of Tarshish along with Sheba and Dedan, are protesting the invasion. Now, what do I do with that? I don’t say prophecy is being fulfilled right now, what I say is God is putting another piece of the jigsaw puzzle, or the chess board I should say, into place; and then you’ve got the only non-Islamic country mentioned in this invasion probably the entity from the far north that’s spearheading the invasion, an entity called Rosh and we’ve gone into a lot of detail in the study explaining that Rosh is who?
Rosh is Russia and what’s interesting about Russia is that prior to the communist revolution in 1917, Russia was a Christian Orthodox country. I mean, did you know that? We think of Russia as the evil empire. We think of Russia as an expansionistic aggressive power. No, that was not Rosh’s character prior to the communists in 1917 getting control of Russia, but after the Marxist got control of Russia, they changed the character of the nation almost two thousand five hundred years ago after Ezekiel saw this vision. See, if I was up here trying to explain all this prior to the communist revolution in Russia, you would think I’m absolutely crazy. But now the scenario that I’m presenting doesn’t seem so crazy anymore, because we see a post-communist expansionistic aggressive Russia and by the way, no extra charge for this, but there is a Marxist revolution going on right now in the United States of America. I hope you understand that. It’s trying to change the United States of America culturally from top to bottom. Not the least of which is getting control of the voting machines and just as the Marxist changed the culture and the trajectory of an entire nation post 1917 the exact same thing is happening right now in the United States. So if you want to see what a Marxist revolution looks like, you’re seeing it happen. You know, Stalin himself put on show trials against his opponents. He put them through a sham judicial proceeding where the outcome was already determined. Now what in the world you call this dog and pony show that we’ve seen publicly aired concerning the January, 6, protesters? You know, grandmas and grandpas draped in their red, white and blue blankets so they wouldn’t freeze to death being turned into domestic terrorists where you have a public hearing of a trial where, Oh! By the way, we’re going to put up a witness but no one is allowed to cross examine the witness. That’s not a trial, that’s a show. That’s exactly what Stalin did in Russia. So, we’re also going to select in advance who’s going to speak at the hearing. Don’t worry, we’ll have a couple Republicans in there. Not telling the people that the two Republicans they picked are basically, you know, never Trumper type mindset. So what I’m saying is, you know, we talk about communist revolutions in Russia isn’t that a shame? The same exact thing is happening right now in the United States and there is no possible way that Ezekiel could have seen the character of that nation change but he saw it, because God gave him a prophecy and so as Russia went Marxist, she also became expansionistic. In 2008 Russia rolled right over neighboring Georgia. 2014, Russia did the same thing in nearby Crimea and my goodness! What just happened this year? Russia just invaded the Ukraine. It’s kind of interesting to me that Russia or the Ukraine, I should say, or Ukraine is between Russia and Israel, have you noticed that?
I mean, doesn’t seem to me that as Russia becomes more expansionistic, she’s going like in the opposite direction? It seems like she’s coming down from the north eventually into the Middle East, exactly what Ezekiel said would happen. So you pick up your newspaper and all of a sudden Russia invades Ukraine and you say to yourself, Oh my goodness! Prophecy isn’t being fulfilled right now, but the stage is being set like I’ve never seen before and what do you do with the late great United States of America? Surely the United States of America would ride to Israel’s rescue, wouldn’t she? Well, not so much if there’s a Marxist revolution happening in your own country, because the character of the United States is being altered. It typically starts with changing the values of the children through compulsory education. In fact, I have this on two witnesses, that’s exactly what Fidel Castro did when he deposed Batista and established a communist regime in Cuba. The first thing he went after, in addition to the guns by the way, and what’s in the news all the time? Gun control, gun control, gun control. The whole agenda of Marxism is to disarm the population and then you go after the minds of the children and this is how Fidel did it. He would have his bureaucrats say, okay kids! Pray to God for ice cream and all the kids would sort of bow their heads and pray to God for ice cream and there’s no ice cream truck that showed up. Alright kids, let’s try something a little different, pray to Fidel for ice cream. These little kids, the exact same age of kids that we had in this church during VBS this week, would bow their heads and pray to Fidel for ice cream and look at this, the ice cream truck shows up. Fidel Castro, the first thing he did was to erase all knowledge of God from the culture, which you have to do to bring in a Marxist revolution because as long as a Marxist or a knowledge of God exists, we’ll believe in unalienable rights, that our rights come from who? From God. Well, we got to get rid of God then and that’s why there’s an attack, after attack, after attack on the knowledge of God amongst the youth, particularly in the schools because they’re trying to unseat or undo the declaration of independence. So a country like ours that’s involved in a Marxist revolution is not going to do an awful lot to speak up and stop Russia’s invasion from the north, are they? In fact, one of the entities mentioned is a group called Magog and we basically in our study were very careful to show you that Magog are the various countries of Central Asia:
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and I need to expand that to also include Afghanistan, does that ring a bell? Afghanistan, that’s the part of the world that we pulled out of. Now, anybody with two brain cells to rub together understands that when you pull out of a country, you get the civilians out first, you get our weapons out second and then third, then you get the army out. We did the opposite. We got the army out first. I don’t know if it’s the army but the armed forces, you know what I’m saying. We left behind the civilians and we left behind the weapons. Well, who gets the weapons now? By the way, how many weapons were there?
Eighty five Billion US funding to the Afghan army, seventy five thousand vehicles, six hundred thousand weapons, two hundred aircrafts, who gets the weapons? Oh, the Taliban gets them. So you have the Taliban you know, driving around in all these cool tanks, Hey! This is really neat. Do you realize what the United States of America just did through its pull out of Afghanistan? We just armed Magog. Now, you look at that and you see what do you do with all that? The prophecy is not being fulfilled but the stage is certainly being set. I don’t see America riding to Israel’s rescue here. I see America going in the exact opposite direction, because a communist revolution is taking place in the United States of America. 1:04
So this is all under the category of stage setting and then what Ezekiel, 38 and 39 describes is Israel is going to survive miraculously. Do you realize that we’ve already had dress rehearsals of this? 1948, war of independence nobody bet on the Israelis but the Israelis won. 1967, the Six Day War, nobody bet on the Israelis but the Israelis won. 1973, the Yom Kippur War, nobody bet on the Israelis but the Israelis won. What is Ezekiel, 38, 39 talking about? It’s talking about an invasion of such intensity that everybody counts Israel out and yet Israel wins, because God is on Israel’s side. This scenario that Ezekiel, 38 and 39 is talking about has already been tested before, showcased through various dress rehearsals. I mean, the only thing we’re waiting for is the final act and so when you asked me how is the stage being set, that’s my answer and look at that. I’m out of time. You guys probably weren’t coming to church today thinking you were going to hear something like that but you chose to come to Sugar Land Bible Church.
Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for these prophecies. We’re grateful to see Your hand in history. Help us as we seek to answer these various honest questions that people have submitted so that we can well discern the times that we’re living in and understand Your word 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. Keep sending your questions in by the way.