Zola Levitt and I were talking privately, and Zola was thoroughly exercised about the topic of replacement theology. Some mainline denominations were beginning at the time to adopt the rising theological position termed “progressive dispensationalism.” The “doctrine” put forward that Christ’s throne had been transferred to Heaven with the Lord’s sitting down at the right hand of His Father. Therefore, the Davidic throne (throne of King David,) was also transferred from an earthly throne to Heaven. This meant, according to the progressive dispensationalists, that Israel had, in effect, been replaced in matters involving God’s promises to the nation.
This was not much different than pure replacement theology, and Zola was about to address, as I recall, the Pre-Trib Research Center group at Dallas that December on this topic. Such once-conservative seminaries as Moody and Dallas Theological had begun to go strongly toward the progressive dispensationalist viewpoint.
Zola, as anyone who knew him will attest, was passionate like few others about Israel and God’s dealing with the Jews. I have never seen him quite so animated as during that conversation somewhere around the turn of the century, as I recall. He said that he and Dr. J. Vernon McGee had once “gotten into it” on a television program over whether Israel was back in the Middle East for fulfillment of prophecy. Dr. McGee held that while it was interesting that Israel had its nation restored after more than 1,900 years in its geographical homeland, he didn’t believe this meant that Israel was necessarily there for the final time. They could yet be put out of the land and return again at a later date.
This, of course, was like throwing a glass of gasoline on a raging fire. Zola said they really got crosswise. Zola held that Israel was there for the final time–for the wind-up of this dispensation (Age of Grace) and into the Tribulation. I told him that Dr. McGee knew the truth now, his having gone to be with the Lord at age 84 in 1988. Zola’s only comment was: “Well, I would hope so…”.
Boy! Would old Dr. McGee have done a 180 on his view of the situation, if he could suddenly be shown developments since getting his–as Zola would later say of his own impending going to be with the Lord–promotion to that magnificent realm. As a matter of fact, I sometimes have wondered if they have not again had their conversation, with both now being in complete agreement on the veracity of God’s Word in regard to His promises to His chosen people.
Every day that passes brings into focus that truth. Israel is like a laser pointer indicating with pinpoint precision that these must indeed be the closing days of this Church Age. Stage-setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy, as we have pointed out many times, literally fills today’s geopolitical, socioeconomic and religious landscape. Culture and society aren’t just headed toward the cesspool–we have arrived in the septic tank.
The world’s economy is poised to implode, with those in charge of the Fed (Federal Reserve Bank) not knowing which way to turn. to raise interest rates will bring the world’s economy crashing down. To not raise interest rates means that dynamic exigencies as part of the intricately linked world monetary system will heat up even further, making the ultimate crash far worse than any in history when it happens.
The pope is traversing the world apparently spouting strange doctrinal changes in his Catholic system and sticking his papal nose in every free nation’s business. He seems to me in cahoots with the Marxist ideology espoused by those who are said to have mentored the current U.S. president.
Russia looks to be making alliances that will one day -perhaps sooner rather than later–form a coalition like that forewarned by the prophet Ezekiel in his Gog-Magog prophecy. Iran occupies the geographical area of ancient Persia. This Israel-hating state of satanic rage is Putin’s client-state, as is Syria–these and other nations of the Islamist sort prophetically destined to be part of a horrendous end-times event.
Specifically, we must ask whether the most recent movement by Vladimir Putin might be, in fact, the actual staging for this great conflict of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Those who hold to the likelihood that a Psalm 83 war will precede the Gog-Magog attack will say this cannot be the time of that great Ezekiel 38-39 conflict. I continue to respectfully disagree with the proposition that such an inner ring of nations as given in what I believe to be an Imprecatory prayer by God’s chosen nation in Psalm 83 indicates a separate military action. I continue to believe that the prayer offered in Psalm 83 will be answered powerfully and unequivocally by the God of Heaven with the all but total annihilation of the combined Gog-Magog forces of all surrounding nations who come against Israel.
That Russia has inserted itself into the Middle East in ways that trouble America’s top military generals goes without saying. The Russians have said they won’t hesitate to send a large contingent of ground troops into Syria if the request is made by the Syrian regime.
The AP reported September 17 that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Damascus wouldn’t hesitate to ask for Russian troops if needed. At the same time he denied that Russian combat troops were already fighting in Syria. Proof continues to accumulate that the Russians are moving in to stay in the region. Many military and other intelligence officials are asking in television appearances what the build-up means. Ezekiel, we remember, said some would be asking the same question as the Gog-Magog invasion began to take shape.
One respected intelligence advisory writes the following.
The Russian military deployment to the Bassel al Assad air base in Latakia, Syria, is continuing at a rapid tempo, Stratfor can confirm. Previous imagery of the airfield, taken Sept. 4, showed significant engineering works underway. New imagery from Sept. 15, provided by our partners at All Source Analysis, reveals the completion of several large concrete aprons that were previously under construction. A large amount of Russian military equipment has also arrived at the airfield. A battalion-sized Russian contingent now appears to be located at the base, along with artillery and attack helicopter support. Several large Russian transport aircraft are also visible on the runway and the nearby ramps. (Stratfor, “Russia fortifies its position in Syria,” September 17, 2015)
With American fighter jets and other military assets in the same general area, there is growing concern that an incident of dangerous sort could happen whether by accident or by instigation. The Russian and American officials have been shown to be engaging in meetings over developments in the war-torn region.
Are we seeing the beginning of a Russian build-up for the fulfillment of the Gog-Magog assault?
I’m of the opinion that this is indeed a point in the staging for that prophesied war. Just what point is anyone’s guess.
My own thinking is that the Gog-Magog assault will take place some time after the Rapture of the Church. This is because this will be a world-shaking, cataclysmic event. Many other lands besides just this region will be affected. This war, in my view, will take the world out of the business-as-usual state that Jesus prophesied will be prevalent at the time He next intervenes into human history in a catastrophic way. Judgment will fall, the Lord said, that very day, just as in the days of Noah and the days of Lot (again read Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30).
We see developing a sure signal that the Tribulation period is fast approaching. It it time for believers to work hard to bring as many of the lost into God’s family as possible. At the same time, we must remember to lift up our heads and keep looking up!