Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Ezek. 39:17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 
Ezek. 39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 
Ezek. 39:19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 
Ezek. 39:20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD. 

As I was spending time yet once again in this section of scripture, I realized that verse 17 could represent a jump in time similar to the passage from which Jesus read in the synagogue in Nazareth from Isaiah 61:1-2.  He stopped reading at a comma that has represented almost 2000 years at this point in time.  Revelation 19:17-18 seems to mirror this passage in Ezekiel.  

Revelation 19:17–18 “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”

As you can see, the next verse (v21) declares that this sacrifice is followed by God “setting His glory among the heathen.”  I now believe this is in reference to establishing Jesus on His throne in Jerusalem to reign as King of kings.  In fact, the rest of this chapter flows beautifully with that thought.  Verse 22 helped affirm my thinking.  Ezekiel states that “the house of Israel shall know that “I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.”  That statement was always one of those puzzle pieces that just didn’t fit in connection with Gog’s attack.  It fits perfectly, however, with Armageddon and the return of Jesus as King when He fills the people of Israel with His Holy Spirit.

Ezek. 39:21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. 

The word heathen is a reference to all non-Jewish peoples.  God is declaring that His glory, His honor, is upheld before the nations when His word is brought to pass just as He has foretold when He intercedes to defeat the armies of the heathen at this time.

Ezek. 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. 

Also at that time, the people of Israel will again know that YHWH is their God—faithful to His covenants with their fathers.  Though they might not understand why God has chosen to act as He has over such a long period of time, they will no longer doubt that He has been and continues to be in control of their future as a nation.

Ezek. 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. 

This is a very interesting verse to me.  In it God declares that the nations of the world will know/understand that Israel was dispersed among the nations because of their choice to disregard God’s law.  They will understand the reason that God “hid His face” from them for a time and gave them over to the persecution of their enemies that resulted in the death of millions.

In spite of all the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, people still choose to reject the truth of God’s word.  This ties in with other thoughts I have about the rapture and the tribulation.  The information that is available as to the truth of God’s word and the widespread dissemination of that information makes it very hard to understand how the Antichrist will be able to deceive the nations.  How can people continue to reject God’s word when it is playing out before their very eyes?   I am amazed that more people don’t connect events in the Middle East in particular with the truth presented in scripture.  Things such as the strengthening of ties between Russia and Turkey and the purposeful investment Russia is making in other countries identified as part of the Russian-led coalition.  Things such as the Saudis, a strong Muslim nation, publicly recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a nation since Ezekiel declares that they will question Gog’s attack on Israel.  

The prophecies concerning end times that began with the formation of the state of Israel are forthright.  In fact, there is nothing in scripture that would cause people’s expectations to be anything other than for events to come down exactly as foretold.  When Jesus came as the Messiah the first time, the people of Israel were blinded by their expectation of a coming King and deliverer.  There is no room for misunderstanding events as they unfold according to end time prophecies.  Although there is room for different understandings of different aspects as to timing and details, I think the biblical picture is clear enough on the major points as to make them recognizable as fulfillment takes place.  

Ezek. 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. 

Again, it is interesting to note that the Lord is speaking of the events being prophesied in the past tense.  God’s word is sure.

Isaiah 14:24 “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand….”

Again, point is made that God’s judgment of His people is in accordance with their actions; in other words, the punishment fits the crime.  

Also important to note is that God chose to hide His face from them; He chose to allow His people to experience the reality of being outside the fence of His protection and care.  As a parent, and as a child of God on the path of spiritual growth, I understand that to be a loving act on the part of the Father.  

Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Hebrews 12:5–7 & 11 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?…Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

We are so prone to a spirit of pride and independence that we do not seem to learn and grow without experiencing the fire of judgment and/or trials.  Paul expressed this truth in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 5:3-4 "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope….”

Ezek. 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 
Ezek. 39:26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 

These verses declare that this time of judgment upon God’s people is to be of specific duration; it will come to an end.  God is going to again bring His people together as a nation in the land of Israel.   This will be an act of mercy on His part; in other words, their actions deserve more, but the mercy of God will cause Him to intervene on their behalf.  Why?  In honor of His holy name.  

God set Israel apart among the nations and made unconditional covenants with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David.  His honor is connected to the keeping of those covenants.  After causing them to bear the shame of their rejection of Him in spite of His abundant provision for and faithfulness to them, He will again begin to intercede on their behalf.  They were safe in the protection of His arms and had no reason to fear any enemy.  Pride intervened and they began to think themselves outside the sphere of God’s judgment due to their chosen position and His patience and longsuffering.  I believe this is a true statement regarding many “Christians” today.  They presume upon God’s love and patience; they feel their position “in Christ” protects them from the consequences of sin and disobedience.  They haven’t learned the truth presented by the writer of Hebrews quoted above.

Ezek. 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 
Ezek. 39:28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

The time is coming when no one will be able to doubt the holiness of God based on the truth of His word.  Though He has caused His people to be scattered among the nations, He will again bring them back as a whole nation to the land of Israel.  Not one Jewish person will be left outside the land.  No one will doubt that it is the power of God that has brought this about.  This will be fulfilled at the establishment of the Messiah’s Kingdom on earth for 1000 years.

Ezek. 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Never again will the people of Israel experience the withdrawal of God’s hand of provision and protection.  Why?  Because God is going to fill each and every Jew with His own Holy Spirit to empower them.

Ezekiel 36:24–28 “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

Again, this is a very thought-provoking verse to me.  These people will not be in resurrected bodies.  They will still have a sin nature and be subject to the things of the world.

1John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life….”

In other words, they will be living with the same empowerment that we have as Christians today.   This is very convicting to me.  We/I have no excuse to succumb to sin.  True, the devil will be bound and Messiah will be on the throne ruling with a rod of iron.  But we basically say that the power of God is not sufficient if we try to justify our sin for any reason since we possess the power of God within us through the Holy Spirit.  I am certainly looking forward to a new body that is no longer influenced by the sin nature, but until that time I truly want to learn to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit in my life to live a life that honors the Savior.  I have to call it like it is----Success is dependent on taking self off the throne of my life and yielding to God as LORD in my life in every aspect.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


Ezek. 39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 
Ezek. 39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

Interesting to note in these verses is that these weapons are going to supply fuel for Israel for seven years.  One can’t help but try to make a connection with the 7 years being mentioned and the 7 years of Daniel’s 70th week known as the tribulation.  I’ve always reasoned that this would put this war before or near the beginning of that tribulation period, but there is no clarification in this prophecy in that regard.  However, people living on planet earth are still going to need fuel during the millennium, so I don’t think one can be dogmatic. 

Others equate this invasion with Armageddon, but that doesn’t fit the prerequisite condition for Israel.  Israel will be experiencing the despotic rule of the Antichrist at the time of Armageddon.

Point is also made that the Jewish people will gain from the spoil taken from Gog’s armies.  This is another example of reaping what you have sown.  Gog and his armies had attacked to spoil and rob the Jewish people; but they would become the ones spoiled and robbed.

Ezek. 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 

The number of dead from Gog’s armies will be so great that there will have to be a valley in Israel designated as the burial site.  It is said to be located east of the “sea.”  The Hebrew for sea includes a reference to the Mediterranean but also indicates that it could reference any large body of water or even a large river.   Some commentaries try to locate this valley to the east of the Dead Sea, but that would place the burial place in Jordan—not Israel.  The location of this valley is not a significant issue in my mind except that God declares it will be in Israel.  The significant point is that such a large place will be needed to bury the dead of Gog’s armies.

Ezek. 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 
Ezek. 39:13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. 
Ezek. 39:14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
Ezek. 39:15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 

The number of dead will be so great that it will take seven months for Israel to bury them all.  I liked the wording of the NLT for verse 13:  “Everyone in Israel will help, for it will be a glorious victory for Israel when I demonstrate my glory on that day, says the Sovereign LORD.”

All the people are involved in getting the dead buried.  After burying remains for seven months, a search will be made throughout the land to ensure that all the dead have been buried.  Those who notice human remains will set up signs or markers to let the hired workers know that they have work to do at that location.  This does seem to be a very specific process, and is a very interesting description considering today’s nuclear capabilities.

Jack Kelley at made these comments regarding this scripture:  “It will require the combined efforts of all Israeli citizens for 7 months to bury the enemy dead. After that they'll hire professionals, some to decontaminate the land and some to search for any bodies the people may have missed. They won't touch any bones they find, but will set up markers and call the professionals to come take them away. This approach fits modern Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare decontamination procedures to a tee.”

Point is made twice in these verses that this process will cleanse the land.  It’s a reminder to me that God is dealing with Israel under the Old Testament teachings.  Dead bodies were considered unclean.  Everything associated with God, including His chosen land, is to be clean and pure.

Numbers 19:16 “And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.”

This is just another affirmation that the place of burial will be in Israel.

Ezek. 39:16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 
Evidently this valley will be marked by a city called Hamonah, which means multitude in reference to the number of dead.  Again, emphasis is given to the fact that the land will be cleansed.  This emphasis on “clean vs. unclean” would normally accompany temple practices and the keeping of the law as in Old Testament times (which will be the case in that 70th week).

(to be continued…)

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Ezek. 39:1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 

This verse is a repeat of 38:3 (see comments in Post 1).

Ezek. 39:2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 

Again, emphasis is made that God’s sovereign hand is in control of the events taking place.  

“leave but the sixth part of thee” – The natural reading of this verse to me says that only a sixth part of the army that comes against Israel will live through the experience; five-sixths or over 80% of Gog’s army will be destroyed.  Imagine my amazement when I read through eight other translations and found no mention of a sixth part.  So far, of the commentaries I have checked, only Matthew Henry has come to the same conclusion I did concerning this phrase.

Joe Focht explains that the language used was similar to saying that Gog’s armies will be decimated.

Ezek. 39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 
Ezek. 39:4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 
Ezek. 39:5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 

Verse 3 basically indicates that God is going to make the weapons of Gog ineffective.  The Hebrew for fall in verse 4 is a reference to falling down dead.  In other words, most, if not all (depending upon your understanding of verse 2) of Gog’s armies will die on the mountains of Israel; and the birds of prey and beasts of the field will feast on the carcasses. (yuk!)  The armies will not be able to take cover; God will ensure that they fall in the open field.  As He has spoken, so it will be done.

Ezek. 39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. 

Not only will Gog’s armies in Israel be struck in judgment, the Lord will also send fire on Magog (Russia/Turkey), the land over which Gog rules, and upon those “that dwell carelessly in the isles.”  Fire in the Hebrew means just what it says.  I guess the question becomes—What kind of fire?  Of supernatural origin, the forces of nature, the results of war, etc.  Whatever the “source,” it will be coming from the hand of God.

“isles” = a habitable spot (as desirable); dry land, a coast, an island:—country, isle, island.

In my mind, the isles equated to islands or coastal lands, but it is basically a reference to anywhere people live.  Carelessly again seems to reference a false sense of security.  I would think that this would be a reference to the homelands of those that had joined Gog’s coalition, but this prophecy doesn’t clarify that.  The purpose of this judgment is to make the nations recognize God as LORD.  

Ezek. 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 

God’s intervention will cause Israel to once again acknowledge God as LORD.  He will not allow His name to be polluted by the Jewish people as a whole any more from the time that He delivers them from the armies of Gog.  The Hebrew for pollute includes “profane” among other choices.  In my mind, this connects directly with chapter 36:21-23.  

Ezekiel 36:21–23 “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”

No longer will the nations be able to consider the God of Israel weak or powerless regarding His provision for His people.  His Holiness goes hand-in-hand with His truthfulness, and all will be done according to His word.  They will be made to recognize YHWH as God Almighty, THE God of Israel.  I think this will result in part through recognition that biblical prophecy is being fulfilled.

Scripture tells us that when the Lord returns in glory as King, ALL of Israel will be saved and will never again break fellowship with God.  Why?  Because God is going to give them a new heart and a new spirit (cf 36:26-27).

Romans 11:26-27 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

Ezekiel 36:26–27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

Ezek. 39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 

I often have to remind myself that God is outside of time.  Even as He is giving this prophecy to Ezekiel regarding the end times, God considers events as good as done.    In human understanding, God is assuring us of the certainty of these events coming to pass just as He has foretold.  The simple illustration I have heard most often:  God is looking down on the parade of events on earth from a skybox view that allows Him to see the beginning and the end in one gaze.

(to be continued…)

Monday, August 19, 2019


Ezek. 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it

YHWH is stating His awareness of the fact that Gog will recognize the time that Israel is most vulnerable to his attack.  If I am correct, and Gog is the demonic spirit behind the Russian leader, he is one of Satan’s top commanders.  Satan has ever been on the lookout for any opportunity to thwart God’s plan.  He knows the prophecies and the scripture as well as we, if not better.  In his mind, if he can destroy Israel, he can thwart God’s plan.

Ezek. 38:15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 
Ezek. 38:16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. 

These verses reiterate the fact that God will force Gog’s hand, and he will attack Israel with a powerful army of great multitude (cf v9 & 15).  Emphasis is made that Gog will come from the “north parts,” and it will be in the “latter days” (cf v8).

Emphasis is also made that it is God whose sovereign hand is in control of these events.  What is His purpose for bringing about such events?  “That the heathen may know Me.”  The word know in the Hebrew is a reference to comprehending with understanding.  It has always been God’s plan for all peoples to acknowledge Him as Lord.  Because Israel has failed so miserably at fulfilling their chosen purpose before the Lord, it has directly affected how the nations have viewed God.  In human reasoning, it has made Him seem weak and unable to carry out His purposes.  When He intervenes for Israel according to this prophecy, the nations will have to recognize that He has been in control all along and that His purposes will be accomplished in spite of the failings of His people.  I think it is significant to note that this will happen at a time when all nations will be able to watch events unfold “before their eyes” (e.g., television).

Frankly, the “church” hasn’t done much better than Israel in demonstrating the blessings of submission to God as LORD and loving Him with all your heart, soul and mind.  The “church” has taken many actions in the name of God that have dishonored His name and caused people to reject Him.  God’s purposes will be accomplished in spite of the rebellious and apostate church just as surely as they have been accomplished in spite of Israel’s disobedience to and rejection of Him.  

Ezek. 38:17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? 

This is an intriguing verse.  The indication is that God had spoken of Gog in times of old through the prophets of Israel.  The Hebrew for the word old just means those that went before or previous to this prophecy.  A word search quickly shows that there are no other prophecies related to “Gog” in the scripture (other than the one in Revelation).  

Joe Focht explains that God is speaking in the prophetic future tense that indicates that God is talking in the present tense—the time of the attack—and referencing the prophecy of Ezekiel.

There are many prophecies regarding God’s judgment upon the enemies of Israel.  One in particular that stood out to me is found in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 30:1–8 “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.”

These verses do not identify Gog, but they do speak of a time when Israel is being regathered to their nation after being “scattered” by God throughout the nations.  It also speaks of the curses that will be put on their enemies and the fact that Israel will eventually return in obedience to follow YHWH.  Since Gog, in my opinion, is a spiritual power working through a man, as part of Satan’s forces, it is reasonable to conclude that he would be utilizing Israel’s enemies to try and destroy her. 

Ezek. 38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. 

The wording seems to signify that this invasion is one of Satan’s last bold attempts to thwart God’s plan.  Notice that it is referencing “when” not “if.”  That this time would come has been known to God from the beginning.  He is basically reminding Satan through this prophecy that his efforts will be in vain.  This attack of Gog upon Israel is going to make God very angry.  

It is always cause for me to stop and meditate as I see God’s hand at work bringing about a situation and then responding in fierce judgment in response to that situation.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express the thoughts correctly, but I know that these are the actions of a righteous God.  He is allowing man to make choices that correspond to the desires of his flesh and the influence and deception of the enemy to bring about His sovereign plan.  I think we are limited in our ability to fully express the truth adequately from a heavenly perspective—at least I know I am.  

Ezek. 38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 
Ezek. 38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 

It would seem that God is going to intervene at least in part through a great earthquake in the land of Israel.  According to Jerusalem Newswire (Feb. 11, 2004) after a 5.0 earthquake struck Israel and states surrounding it, “Israeli geologists believe a major earthquake could strike Israel without notice, and based on research predict the arrival of ‘the big one’ in the next 50 years.”  The Creator of the universe is in control of the forces of nature and will manipulate them as He so chooses.

Though this earthquake will directly impact the land of Israel, there will be no doubt that it is an act of God and men will tremble at His power.

In reading through this section again, I can’t help but wonder if this is the event that triggers the beginning of “the day of the LORD.”  Peter Goodgame at makes an interesting observation:  “…perhaps Jerusalem, God’s holy city, will be the exact epicenter of this great global earthquake.  The tremors will first be felt in Israel, but then they will radiate outwards, gathering in momentum and intensity until the shaking of the earth affects the entire globe!”

The wording of verse 18 (“my fury shall come up in my face”) makes a strong connection with Revelation 6:17:  “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Ezek. 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 

This verse indicates that the forces of Gog will turn on each other.

Ezek. 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 

Gog’s armies will experience much more than a great earthquake, including the following:
  • Pestilence – The Hebrew references plague (fever and disease).
  • Blood – This speaks of loss of life.
  • Overflowing rain and hailstones – The overflowing rain is reference to what we would describe as a torrential downpour.  It is interesting to note that hail is often associated with God’s judgment and is declared by Job as being stored by God for that purpose.  
Job 38:22-23 “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?”

It was one of the plagues of Egypt. 

Exodus 9:18 “Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.”

He intervened for the troops of Joshua to cause a great slaughter at Gibeon with hailstones.

Joshua 10:10-11 “And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.”
  • Fire
  • Brimstone – burning sulphur  (The hailstones and these last two make me wonder if a volcano could be involved.  Many believe this to be a reference to the use of nuclear weapons.)

Ezek. 38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

YHWH makes it clear that He will be magnified and proven holy and true when He delivers Israel from the armies of Gog.  Again, He emphasizes that the nations will comprehend with understanding that He is LORD because of His miraculous intervention on behalf of Israel.  In other words, whether by destruction through “natural” disaster and/or through the use of today’s technology in weaponry, the people on earth will “know that I am the LORD.”

(to be continued…)

Friday, August 16, 2019


Ezek. 38:7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 

Interestingly enough, the Lord is warning Gog to be prepared—not only to protect himself, but to protect or put a hedge about all his allies to ensure his command of them.  This verse seems to stand out significantly in reference to how Russia is positioning itself in alliance with Muslim nations today—especially Syria.

The strong stance that Russia has taken to support the Assad regime in Syria in alliance with Iran is just another example of how deeply entrenched they have become in the region.   Following is quoted from Dmitri Trenin’s Task Force White Paper of April 2016 as posted at  “For the Russian defense industry, countries in the Middle East and North Africa are important customers. In 2015, they accounted for 36 percent of Russia’s defense deliveries, second only to Asia (42 percent). Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria have been Moscow’s principal arms customers for decades…. Other vested interests include the Russian nuclear industry, represented by Rosatom, which has built reactors at Bushehr in Iran and looks for new contract there. Rostatom is also working on projects in Turkey and Jordan. A Russian private oil company, Lukoil, is active in Iraq. Russian gas company Gazprom is Turkey’s main supplier of natural gas and has had plans for a pipeline going to Southeast Europe via or close to Turkey. Qatar and Iran are, alongside Russia, key members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.”  

The Russians have had a naval base in Tartus, Syria, for a long time that they now plan to make permanent.  It is their only naval base in the Mediterranean.  Consider this quote from dated January 4, 2017:  “In October, Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov spelt out how Tartus fits into the Putin government’s global military vision, when he announced that the port would be expanded to become a permanent base for the Russian navy, at the same time as Russia said it was considering reopening Soviet-era bases in Vietnam and Cuba.”

Ezek. 38:8 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. 

“After many days” and “in the latter years” are a reference to “end times” in the Hebrew.  The rest of the verse is very clear that Gog and his armies are going to invade the reborn nation of Israel whose people have returned to it from “out of the nations.”  At that time the people of Israel will be dwelling “safely.”  After looking at the Hebrew, this could just mean that they are living with a false sense of security and careless confidence of their safety as a nation.  Why?  Because of their confidence in the support of the United States (now that Obama is history)?  Because of their nuclear arsenal?  Tech capabilities?  Because of their treaty with the Antichrist?  Is this why the Arab nations are not involved?  If so, this would indicate that this invasion could not happen until after the signing of the 7-year covenant. 

Note that this negates identifying this attack with the Armageddon campaign.  At that time Israel will be anything but peaceful or without care.

Ezek. 38:9 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. 

This verse indicates that Gog and all his armies (including his allies) will suddenly attack Israel like an unexpected thunderstorm that covers the land with a great cloud (which would seem to reference the magnitude of the combined armies).  Could this reference a vast air attack?

Ezek. 38:10 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: 
Ezek. 38:11 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, 
Ezek. 38:12 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. 

I think the wording of the CJB is clearer for verse 10:  “Adonai ELOHIM says: ‘When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme.”

Gog is going to attack at a point in time in which Israel is the most vulnerable, a time when they are “at rest” (Hebrew = appease, quiet, settle) and their defenses are down or they are overconfident.  Since being reborn as a nation in 1948, Israel has never been in such a position; in fact, they have never experienced this type of rest during their existence since the Babylonian exile.  Point is made that Gog’s plan will be an evil one.

The reason for Gog’s attack—
  • To take a “spoil” – The Hebrew references booty or plunder.
  • To take a “prey” – The Hebrew is basically the same as for spoil but includes the idea of robbery.
Israel possesses things that Gog wants.  Cattle is a reference to livestock, but goods is inclusive of anything that represents wealth, money, or riches.  Special note is made of the “midst,” or central part of the land.

One might ask, what could Israel have that Gog would covet?  I’ve always heard that one of Israel’s great treasures is the Dead Sea.  David Legge stated some amazing statistics in his commentary.

“I don't know whether you know this, but the Dead Sea is full of mineral deposits - to such a great extent that in monetary terms it cannot be valued in today's market! It is priceless! It is saturated with chemicals, the water has untold wealth within it. It's estimated that the Dead Sea contains two billion tonnes of potassium chloride, which is potash, which you sweep along ground that is barren and it sweetens it, it enriches it, it makes it fertile soil, it makes fruit grow lavishly again. Two billion tonnes of potassium! Twenty-two billion tonnes of magnesium chloride, twelve billion tonnes of sodium chloride, six billion tonnes of calcium chloride, and in addition to all of that it has cerium, cobalt, manganese, and even gold in the Dead Sea!”

Add to that, two large gas fields that were discovered off the coast of Haifa—Tamar in 2009 and Leviathan in 2010.  And in 2015, a huge oil deposit was found in Israel in the Golan Heights.

Maybe it is the thought of these riches that is the “hook in the jaw” that will cause Gog to attack.  Maybe it will be due to actions on the part of one of his allies and the need to defend his vested interests that will be the hook.  Again, the future will tell. 

Ezek. 38:13 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? 

This verse tells us that there are nations that will not be part of Gog’s coalition that will protest his actions.  As I read this verse, I though the NLT expressed it best: “But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Who are you to rob them of silver and gold? Who are you to drive away their cattle and seize their goods and make them poor?’”

Who are Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish?  
  • Sheba – The Hebrew connects Sheba with the Sabeans.  The Sabeans are descendants of one of Abraham’s sons with Keturah and are associated with southern Arabia (including Yemen).
  • Dedan – This would seem to be referencing another of the sons of Keturah whose descendants settled in Arabia.  
This would seem to identify Sheba and Dedan as referring to Saudi Arabia and Yemen of today.

  • Tarshish – Tarshish is the name of one of the sons of Javan, a son of Japheth, and probably references the place where his descendants settled.  I have heard many areas taught as being possibilities for the location of Tarshish—from India to Spain to the British Isles.  We know that this is a place that borders the sea since it is the place to which Jonah fled when the Lord instructed him to go to Nineveh.  This would also indicate that it was located about as far away from Nineveh as Jonah thought he could get.  Ezekiel 27 identifies Tarshish as a trading partner with Tyre.

I won’t go into more speculation on the location of Tarshish except in reference to the phrase “with all the young lions thereof.”  Those who postulate that Tarshish is a reference to the British Isles then go on to postulate that the United States would be one of the young lions.  It is understandable for Christians of America to wonder at the obvious lack of mention of our country regarding end times prophecy since we occupy such a prominent position of power today.  This just tells me that America will not much longer occupy that position.  Something will happen that will remove her as a dominant world player when the events associated with this war take place.  I would like to think that it comes about as a result of the rapture, but there are many other more sobering possibilities that could bring about such a scenario.  In other words, there could be much harder times ahead for those of us living in America today. 

I was just about to leave this verse when I noticed the phrase “and the merchants of Tarshish.”  This would include not only Tarshish but all of her trading partners.  It would still seem to indicate that Tarshish is the dominant player among her trading partners.  If, as I believe, this invasion happens just before or at the beginning of the tribulation period, it would be at a time when the Antichrist is just rising to power.  Since God is the One who is going to intervene miraculously on Israel’s behalf, the invasion would not appear to have any effect on the 7-year covenant (except maybe to facilitate its acceptance) that marks the beginning of the tribulation or the continued ascendancy of the Antichrist.

As of August 2019, this also leads me to believe that this invasion has to occur after the U.S. has fallen from a position of military might, since Gog’s coalition seems to know they won’t meet any true opposition to their invasion.

(to be continued…)