Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke: “And there shall be…upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:25b). Moving forward deeper into 2015, it becomes increasingly obvious that peace in the Middle East is foremost on the minds of the leaders of the major world powers. Distress over the possibility, even the probability that nuclear conflict might eventuate in the region causes perplexity of the most portentous sort.
Absence of peace in the world, and particularly in the region surrounding modern Israel, creates at this late moment in the fleeting age a vacuum into which the prophesied end-of-days leader will one day vault to power. Antichrist will climb a platform of peace upon which to launch his most terrible campaign of conquest. We get some idea of this supernaturally imbued man’s spectacular rise and reign through the Old Testament prophet Daniel:
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.” (Daniel 8:23-25b) It is a strange, deadly peace that is prophesied to serve as launching pad for the beast, as he is termed in Revelation chapter 13. Paul, the apostle and prophet, gave dire warning about that esoteric peace that will pervade in the days approaching the time of the end: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Paul foretold that this murderous peace will come immediately following the “thief in the night” break-in upon an unsuspecting world of earth’s inhabitants. (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7.) This refers to the resurrection and translation of the saints of the Age of Grace–the Rapture. The apostle, as he did in speaking of the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, used personal pronouns to indicate exactly the people about whom he was prophesying. Concerning those alive at that future time, Paul used “we,” “us,” and “our” to indicate Church Age saints and “they,” “them,” and “those” to indicate the lost–the unbelievers–who will be left behind when the stupendous event–the Rapture–takes place.
There will be a cry for peace and safety leading up to this time of world-rending intervention by Christ, and an even more urgent demand for peace and safety following that calamitous event. I infer from my study in the matter that the left-behind people who “say peace and safety” seem to be saying also that “now we have peace and safety.” I’m convinced that this is the peace of Daniel 8:25 perpetrated upon planet earth by the king of fierce countenance, who will by peace destroy many.
Today, leaders of the planet’s most powerful governments consistently fret over the boiling pot the so-called Holy Land presents in threatening to again bring the nations into world war. Other potential conflicts are cause for concern. But it is the building potential for all-out war between Israel and its Islamic antagonists that has the premiere diplomatic powers-that-be in “distress” and “perplexity.”
Particularly, it is the building potential violence between the Jewish state and a soon-to-be nuclear Iran that brings forth the cry for peace and safety. European Union (EU) leaders, for example, are frustrated over the peace that eludes all efforts.
EU leadership, as well as all other leaderships, have solid ground for concern that the volatility could boil over at any time and ignite conflagration in the region. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, once declared that Islamic nations will one day watch the destruction of its most hated enemy, Israel. He has been quoted on his website for years as saying: “Surely, the day will come when the nations of the region will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime…when the destruction happens will depend on how the Islamic nations approach the issue.”
Concerns about Iran’s nuclear development and the nations’ diplomatic elite’s frustration over not knowing what to do about the threat might remind the student of Bible prophecy of another predicted situation. The current angst over Iran’s threat evokes thoughts of an apparent note of diplomatic protest that will be issued during a future Iranian (Persian) military action against Israel.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:13)
The powers of the West, and even Saudi and others in the Middle East, will send a weak note of diplomatic protest. There will still, apparently, be an inability to deal with the Iranian (and the accompanying coalition of nations’) threat to world peace. The indecisiveness and the cry for peace and safety will ultimately bring the beast to power. He will have the answers to foment the deadly peace people want. It will be such peace that will serve as Antichrist’s launching pad to absolute power.
Israel today stands in the bull’s eye of rage. This is true in the case of being targeted by the Jewish state’s perennial antagonists, the Arab and Persian Islamist enemies. It is true in the case of the entire international community, whose constituent nations see Israel as the congestive blockage to regional and world peace. But it is the growing antagonism by United States presidential administration operatives that is most disconcerting while this beleaguered planet wobbles toward a time of unprecedented trouble.
As a matter of fact, that coming time of unparalleled strife that will bring all nations to Armageddon is termed “the time of Jacob’s trouble” by Isaiah the prophet: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7a).
And, it is Jacob’s trouble–the prophesied end-of-days dastardly treatment of Israel by the nations of earth–that will cause the God of heaven to bring them to Armageddon. This is what the prophet Joel foretells: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
This will be the gathering of the nations of earth predicted in the book of Revelation:
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:14, 16).
This will be the culmination of mankind’s dealing treacherously with God’s chosen people, the Jews. The promise made to Abraham by the Lord includes severe repercussions for anyone who would curse the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
God’s declaration is most dramatically validated by looking at twentieth-century history. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime made hatred of and genocide against the Jew their focus of the unalloyed evil they spewed. The ashes of the Fuhrer and of his Nazi colleagues are scattered in ignominious disgrace across the landscape that Josef Goebbels and the Nazi propagandists arrogantly boasted would be über alles the all-powerful homeland for their thousand-year Reich.
Any consideration in research of Germany’s history involving the last two years of World War II and the years immediately following that most terrible of earth’s conflicts to that point must acknowledge that it was as if the very wrath of God was upon the nation. Such documentation includes black-and-white film footage of German men and women forced by Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower to walk by the skeletal remains of thousands of Jewish corpses–thus, Eisenhower stated, so that the German people and the world would never forget the Holocaust. Its aftermath would forever be recorded.
Yet today, even mainstream news journalists are observably fuzzy-minded in consideration of the genocide that took perhaps six million Jewish lives as well as the lives of other peoples. They show their loss of memory by not jumping full-force down the throats of diabolists like one-time Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who when president of Iran regurgitated the lie that the Holocaust is a fable conjured by the Jews of the world. Rarely is there a repudiation of such blatant lies coming from the would-be destroyers of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
Tragically, the refusal to educate generations subsequent to the time of World War II on the truth about the insane treatment of the house of Israel is leading to a future time of even greater atrocities, thus judgment, according to God’s prophetic Word. The God of heaven will react violently–according to Bible prophecy–more violently, even, than He reacted to the death-dealing of the Nazi demoniacs:
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it… it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:1-3, 29).
We come to the question posed by this article’s title: “Israel Betrayed by U.S.?” The article’s title is in the form of a question because like so much of this American administration’s dealings, the “transparency” presidential candidate Barack Obama and then President Obama promised is not forthcoming. Obama’s intended dealing with Israel is wrapped in an impenetrable fog of political doublespeak.
It is becoming clear, however, that this president is not moving America closer to Israel, but farther away with each day that passes.
By not providing push-back against such betrayal, Congress and the Church, and the American people are complicit in the betrayal. It’s past time to provide such push-back, along with prayers for this once great nation.
Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog prophecy continues to form before the eyes of a world of geopoliticians and media, who are, for the most part, oblivious to just how seriously should be taken matters concerning the oil riches of the Middle East. Central to present day exigencies, relative to those Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies, is the complete lack of belief or understanding that ALL of the region given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob remains now and forever the land of Israel. This refusal by the nations of the world to accept that this land belong to , in God’s Holy View, His people, the Jews, will be the catalyst that will ultimately bring about the Gog-Magog attack, and, as a matter-of-fact, the war called Armageddon.
The scriptures I would like to examine for the moment are the following:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezek. 38: 8-12)
God was foretelling, through his prophet, that this leader from the north of Jerusalem—Gog—would lead a coalition of tremendous numbers against God’s chosen people, the Jews of Israel. Now, the important thing to see, for our purposes in this brief essay, is the designation “the land”.
God has Ezekiel prophesy that the people of the land of Rosh (Russia) will be led by this end time general into “the land”. God also calls it “the mountains of Israel”.
You see, this is All—every bit—the land of Israel, in the View of the Creator of all things. Likewise, the ”great spoil” this end time general called “Gog” will think an evil thought to “take,” belongs to Israel—every bit—according to the land Grant God gave Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This tells us that Gog is coming to take the riches of the Middle East, which we know to be, primarily, the vast oil reserves of the area.
I’m quite aware that Israel presently possesses very little of the oil reserves. How could it, as that land is presently configured, contain much of the oil of the region? Currently, it is but a few dozen miles long, and a few miles wide. But, this is not God’s view of Israel. Remember –Israel is ALL of that vast region outlined in His land grant. And, Gog, and his hordes will—I think it has become obvious—want the oil that pools beneath the whole region.
Today there are indications that the leader of the land of Rosh—Vladimir Putin at present—is eyeing the region God considers “the mountains of Israel. The Russian president is leading his nation to form relationships that might, in the not-too-distant future, become tempting beyond his, and the others of his kind’s capability to resist. Oil just might be the fuel that fires up the prophesied ambitions of the Gog-Magog juggernaut.
On-going news accounts present constant reminders of Putin’s ambitions for the region and beyond. Energy is the topic, and dynamic rearrangements are swiftly taking place. The Russian bear is taking a hard look at where to go next to satiate its voracious appetites. Likewise, China will be a major force in the Mid-East invasion toward Armageddon, I’m convinced, according to the kings of the east prophecy found in Revelation, chapters 9 and 16. It is an oil-thirsty behemoth, with it’s burgeoning industrial base and ambitions. Russia wants to be at the center of controlling its own destiny, in regard to securing fuel for its own ambitions. Vladimir Putin now seems permanently ensconced in the Kremlin, with no internal opposition to thwart his megalomania.
One thing sure, a future leader from the land called in ancient times, “Rosh,” will look southward and think to garner for himself the grand prize of oil reserves. Whether it will be Putin, or a successor, who will get that “evil thought,” oil seems the ingredient for the latter times that will fuel Gog’s ambition.
A friend e-mailed some time ago with a statement I found quite interesting. The person, a citizen of Australia, first reported catastrophic wildfires burning in her country. She informed that many of these were set by arsonists. The few and far between rains had, she wrote, been mostly along the coasts, and when the rain fell further inland, most missed the catchment areas, the basins for catching and storing rain water. The situation was dire, due to many months of drought-exacerbated fires. Much prayer was needed to bring God’s intervention into the situation.
She then said the following, which particularly got my attention:
“We are not only facing a water and fire crisis and a future food shortage. The increase in violence has been great in the last few years. Regular home invasions, street killings and drive-by shootings were not heard of over 5 years ago here in Sydney. The increase in terrorist threats, racial hatred, etc., all add up to an uncertain and unstable future. Despite all this, people have still been flocking to the New Year’s store sales and going on holidays. (School resumes here at the end of January). There is little fear of God or desire to return to godly morals. It is disturbing to me how blind and rebellious, are the people of this nation…”
My friend then thanked me for prayers for her country, then said:
“I’m now praying Lord Jesus please come soon. I’m more than ready to leave. I’m spiritually tired and I am constantly upset by the wickedness that surrounds me each day…”
My thoughts turned immediately to one word that is seldom used in modern times to describe total exasperation with life’s circumstances. The word was used in reference to Lot, during his time living in the infamous ancient city of Sodom. My friend’s words: “I’m spiritually tired and I am constantly upset by the wickedness that surrounds me each day,” were substantially the feelings of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, just before the Lord rained wrath upon Sodom.
The Apostle Peter wrote about this, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Pet. 2: 4-9).
Jesus prophesied that it will be just like those days of Lot in Sodom, just before He comes to take His Church to Heaven.
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Lk. 17:28-30).
My friend in Australia is not alone in the frustration she feels. Looking around us today, I certainly do get vexed, don’t you?
Horror stories inundate our hourly news. More and more those reports involve the most heinous type of activity. Pedophiles and other perverts seem to be proliferating within our supposedly “civilized” society. Terrorism is on the rise, while most Americans seem to be happy with their shopping trips and living in their bubbles of relative affluence. Children are murdered in the womb for convenience, then their remains are sought for use to prop up the rest of us lucky enough to have survived the abortionists.
Israel is at the center of world controversy –even hatred—and no one seems to make the correlation between the fact and the lateness of this prophetic hour.
The name of Jesus is becoming hated and mocked, while false teachers and false gods are aggrandized by Satan-controlled news and entertainment media. It’s all, well, vexing. This is a sure sign we must be nearing that moment Christ will call us to be with Him forever. Certainly, while we must be reaching those around us with the message that Jesus Christ is the only salvation for them, it is time that those who belong to Christ look for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2: 13).