The scriptural text is powerful. It magnifies the Lord's interaction with the nations for prophecy students wise enough to be observant, while the last of the last days approach.
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him" (Psa. 2:1-12).
God's dealings with man-made government down through the eons of time is wrapped within those Scriptures. However, these words point particularly to the end of days 'the time just before Christ returns to put an end to humankind's self-destruction. Clearly, the nations of the world provide the most effective profile of these last days.
Nations in prophecy can be expressly identified, and the rest are covered, as demonstrated by the body of scriptural text above. The nations of earth versus God, himself, is the most profound and pronounced arena of prophecy that points to things to be fulfilled in the future. Today's news purveyors are literally everywhere, with sometimes dozens of news organizations covering any given unfolding of a story. Daniel's prophecy, in this sense, certainly applies to the news organizations of our day: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4).
This doesn't always equate, of course, to saying truth will increase. World views have become so skewed because of misinformation, and particularly because of ideological sleight-of-hand from the various points along the geopolitical spectrum, that truth suffers horrifically. Truth can almost never be 100% assured in analyzing what has and has not happened in any given news story. Agendas and flawed ideological perspectives make it more and more difficult for us to get to what really happened.
Despite this unfortunate skewing of the news on a daily, even an hourly, basis, it cannot be denied that the world is shaping a certain way. And "if one is attuned, spiritually, to Bible prophecy, there can be no doubt that the nations of Planet Earth are conforming precisely to the shape of things to come according I'm convinced' to the pre-tribulation rapture, pre-millennial view of the return of Jesus Christ.
The news organizations run to and fro, but their knowledge, while increasing in looking at the swiftly developing geopolitical situations and events, is sorely lacking when it comes to having an accurate understanding of history. Revisionists are running amok. This fact is most manifest when it comes to their understanding of history concerning the Middle East and the "Holy Land" and Jerusalem in particular. The media conglomerate, as a whole, has an amazingly shallow understanding/view of facts about the "Palestinians' right to the land. And this inadequacy highlights the chief reason that the region is the prophetic center, the nucleus of the problems involving the nations of the world and their rebellion against God Almighty. This world view, completely muddled by luciferian spiritual brainwashing, is what will, ultimately, bring the nations to the Valley of Jezreel for Armageddon.
Chief Reason for Ignorance
World diplomats and global media alike dismiss what the Bible has to say about Israel's right to a home in the region the world has come to call Palestine. There never was such a land so named in God's Word. This fact, of course, is of no consequence to the international community, as indicated in Psalms 2:1-12 given above. No other people, as a race, have been in the Middle East region now called Palestine longer than the Jews. At times, they have been there in large numbers. Sometimes they have been there in very small numbers. But, despite the fact that the race has been scattered into all the world several times, there have been at least a few Jews living in the area for more than 3,000 years.
People who have been around a long time usually have made many friends. But they have also met some unfriendly folks along the way. Quite possibly, they"ve made an enemy or two as well. The Jewish nation Israel has very few friends today. Israel has, it seems, more than its share of unfriendly neighbors and violent enemies. That fact is reflected in news reports on the ongoing Israeli-Arab troubles that dominate international headlines. Many accounts point to the hatred at the center of the matter of Mid-East rumblings of war.
God's Word on Israel's Islamic Enemies
None of the current hatreds raging against His chosen people have taken God by surprise. The psalmist looked millennia ago down through the corridors of time at the tiny nation and its enemies"whose god is Allah. The prophecy anticipated the diverse Islamic peoples who now occupy the territory promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah" (Psa. 83:1-8).
Nations of Prophecy Troubled by Israel
Current issues and events that look to be harbingers of the biblically prophesied apocalypse bombard this generation of earth's inhabitants. Jesus" Olivet Discourse prophecies, foretelling things to come in the time of "great tribulation," seem to leap from news reports that are becoming so routine that they no longer shock. No signal is more prophetically significant than present circumstances involving the city where Jesus was crucified nearly 20 centuries ago.
This is as the Old and New Testament prophets said it will be just before Christ returns to a planet that is home to a world of rebels against God. That rebellion is scheduled, the prophets forewarn, to culminate in history's final and most destructive war. Armageddon will be triggered because of both Satan's and fallen mankind's determination to install themselves upon the single spot on earth dearest to the heart of God.
Mt. Moriah sits at the southern end of the ancient city, crested by a golden dome that represents hundreds of millions whose religion demands of its adherents blood-vowed opposition to God's chosen nation, Israel. This is the place God picked to have His temple on earth constructed. It is the precise location where the third temple will sit 'the temple that will be desecrated by Antichrist, earth's last and most beastly tyrant. Even more importantly, the Temple Mount will be the home of Christ's Millennial Temple. Moriah, then to be known as Zion, will be supernaturally elevated by the tremendous topographical changes caused when the Lord's foot touches the Mount of Olives at His return.
Diplomats of the world have, for the past four decades, engaged in effort after effort to bring stability to the region, at whose heart the city of Jerusalem sits. We remember the many jettings to and from Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and other capitals of the Mid-East. From Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, and Colin Powell to Condoleeza Rice " America's secretaries of state have burned mega-gallons of jet fuel in trying to find the formula for peace that would diffuse the Armageddon bomb. And, the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, immediately upon resigning, was named by the so-called "Quartet" (US, EU, UN and Russia) as the overseer of continuing efforts toward constructing Mid-East peace, which has eluded mankind for thousand of years.
All of that diplomatic shuffling is a mere prelude to the fretting that is about to take place over this, the most important, thus most volatile city on Planet Earth.
Zechariah the prophet foretold in Zechariah 12:1-3 the end-time anxiety that we believe is, observably, now on the precipice of gripping the international community.
Good Reason for Worry
There is good reason for the building anxiety. Israel's terrorist-sponsoring neighbors to the north strive mightily to develop nuclear bombs and missiles that will deliver them. No one doubts in which direction these missiles will be pointed, should Iran be successful in producing such weapons of mass destruction.
Israel's one common declaration, amidst all of the political infighting, remains the core of its defense: " Never again!"
The following summary of atrocities to the Jewish race presents compelling evidence why "Never Again!" must be their passionate declaration, backed by nuclear strength:
"Due to [Israel's] disobedience the Jews have suffered terribly. They were ruled by Rome in Christ's day but rebelled in A.D. 70 and 250,000 were killed. They rebelled again in A.D. 135 and again Rome smashed them killing even more and scattering them throughout the empire. Since then they have been bitterly persecuted. Forcibly expelled from England in 1290 and from France 1306. In 1298 more than 100,000 were killed in Europe. From 1648 to 1658 some 400,000 were massacred. From 1939-45 Hitler's Nazis killed more than 4 million" In its history Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyrian Kings, Babylonian rulers, Persian satraps, Greek Hellenists, Roman Caesars, Holy Roman Emperors, Roman Catholic Pontiffs, Medieval monarchs, Christian Crusaders, Spanish Inquisitors, Nazi dictators, Communist commissars, Arab sheiks and United Nation delegates have all turned against the Jew yet they still survive."1
The Jewish people of Israel collectively declare they will never again let themselves be enslaved within regimes that want them erased from the earth. Never again will they allow the genocide they have suffered through the centuries. Their national vow is backed by the ominous 'samson Option." This last-ditch military imperative is not lost on the leaders of the international community, which is headed by the G-8 nations (America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Russia ).
These leaders of this enlightened age might not believe the Bible is the word of God, but, they know the story of Samson and what happened when he was finally put in a predicament in which he could no longer be free. The world's diplomats "at least those of the western world"have no doubt that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) will bring the house down around them, if it comes to that as Israel's only viable option. The international community "once termed 'the new world order"-- has developed a systemic neurosis involving the bleak outlook for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The "Roadmap to Peace" seems to be the nerves-soothing therapeutic course of action upon which the powers-that-be have chosen to eliminate the possibility of nuclear conflict being triggered over earth's most coveted city. World leaders consider Jerusalem the trigger to Armageddon; they will do whatever it takes to defuse that trigger.
Nations in Prophecy Specifically Indicated
God's Prophetic Word, in addition to predicting in overall or general terms about the nations and their individual dispositions just before Christ's return, gets quite specific, even if through description rather than using the modern names of countries at the end of days. We will look at the scriptural passages we believe refer to the nations in prophecy, then analyze the most recent disposition of each of those countries, in present-day terms.
"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:26-27).
Daniel was given the prophecy for the very end of human history as it is presently known. Daniel prophesies that the "prince that shall come," Antichrist, who will come out of the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish temple, Roman Empire, will guarantee the implementation of a covenant of peace between Israel and its enemies. Great world turmoil will follow that action, until the very end (at the second advent of Jesus Christ).
Those who destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish temple came from the region now inhabited by the nations of Europe and a few Mediterranean areas. Rome is the very heart of where the ancient Roman Empire resided. Antichrist will come out of an area near the center of that general geographical location. The European Union (EU) is comprised of a unification of 25 countries that now represent a growing world power. The EU, many prophecy students believe, forms the matrix out of which the Antichrist regime, as indicated in Revelation, Chapter 13, will grow to become the worst tyrannical government ever to exist upon Planet Earth.
The European Parliament meets on a regular basis now, in many instances usurping national autonomy and sovereignty of the European states that are members of the EU. Some believe the 10-kings economic power bloc prophesied to develop during the tribulation, or just before the tribulation begins, will grow from the EU, which will be its nucleus: "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast" (Rev. 17:12-13). It is wise to observe developments such as the North American Union (NAU) and other such powerful economic trading blocs, in considering this prophecy.
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords"" (Ezek. 38:1-4).
Although there is considerable controversy over the ancient names given in Ezekiel's Gog-Magog war prophecies, there is sufficient etymological evidence to conclude that Rosh is the ancient name of the modern nation we know as Russia. Likewise, the other names of the ancient geographical areas have been scrupulously examined, so as to give confidence that Russia and its leader will be the culprits that will lead this massive end-time attack on Israel and the Middle East, in order to take a 'great spoil.'
China and the Orient
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might
be prepared" (Rev. 16:12).
This prophecy, scheduled to coincide with Armageddon when all the armies of the world will be gathered in the Valley of Jezreel, almost certainly will include the modern nation of China. I view that coming juggernaut as the king of the kings of the east 'the leader of all countries of the oriental world. This Revelation 16 prophecy correlates to Revelation 9: 16-18. China exerts hegemony today over its neighbors. It is a growing international player, harboring strength and potential that will soon vault it into superpower class, equivalent to the US and the EU. China's leadership is still an oligarchy that is maintained and perpetuated by an ever-increasing military. This force is destined "I believe Bible prophecy predicts'to eventuate in the 200-million-man army prophesied in Revelation chapter 9.
'the burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap" (Isa. 17:1).
Syria, under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad, hasn't improved in its attitude toward the much-hated Israel from the days that nation was under the dictatorship of his father, Hafez al-Assad. The country hosts the headquarters of every major terrorist organization in the Middle East. A prophecy that draws interest of prophecy watchers today is the one above. Damascus, capital of Syria, is prophetically scheduled to be completely destroyed, with no chance of becoming a city again. That, of course, smacks of nuclear destruction. There is little doubt that Israel, with nuclear weapons, could accomplish that foretelling with one bomb.
Iran and Others
"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet" (Ezek. 38:5).
Iran, occupying much of territory that was encompassed by ancient Persia, is front and center in the news today. The Ezekiel Gog-Magog prophecy says they will be at the forefront of invading to the south toward Israel to take great 'spoil'. We are left to postulate, of course, that the 'spoil' might be the oil 'the vast petroleum deposits throughout the region. Certainly, it looks as if the thirst for oil might be a catalyst in bringing all nations to Armageddon.
"Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee" (Ezek. 38: 6).
Again we run into controversy when considering the names mentioned here in the Ezekiel Gog-Magog prophecy. Togarmah is most often put forward as the area that now has at its center modern Turkey. Gomer is thought to be parts north and east, in the Mediterranean and east European regions. Turkey is in flux, politically. It is torn between government factions that are secular and at the same time Islamic in nature. The secular, supported by the military, has proven to be the power that rules. The Islamics have recently taken political power, however, but still are controlled by the army generals. Turkey, we believe, will one day join the Islamic world in marching with Russia and the other nations in the Gog-Magog attack on Israel.
Strangely, little is prophesied about Egypt for the end-time period just before Christ's return. There are Scriptures to indicate that Egypt will yet receive blessings from the Lord "but during the millennial era, which will follow the tribulation.
Saudi, England, and Others
'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?" (Ezek. 38:13).
These nations seemingly will observe the Gog-Magog attack from the sidelines. There seems no more opposition offered from them than diplomatic notes of protest. They will not resist the attack. Sheba and Sedan seem to be Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations; perhaps the Emirates and small countries of the Persian Gulf area. The "merchants of Tarshish" and her "young lions" have long been interpreted 'through considerable study'to be the area of the "land of tin" where England, in particular, is presently located. The young lions are thought to be the nations that have come into existence by breaking away from Britain. The United States would qualify as one of the young lions, as would, for example, Australia. As things presently shape up, it is hard to believe that such a massive attack as prophesied by Ezekiel would be allowed to take place by such nuclear powers as Great Britain "and particularly" the United States.
Many believe the rapture of the Church could so confuse leadership of these nations as to make them temporarily incapable of organizing military opposition to the assault into the Middle East by Russia and her coalition hordes.
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every
foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double" (Rev. 18:2-6).
I suggest you also read Zechariah, Chapter 5. That prophecy foretells a time when the concentration of the geopolitical evil of the world will be drawn back to the land of ancient Babylon. The heart of that area is, of course, present-day Iraq. There can be little argument against the fact that the news eyes and ears of the world are concentrated each and every hour of each day upon that region. The United States and its coalition partners"e.g., the leaders"are in a quandary.
If they stay in the region to protect the Iraqi government, which obviously couldn't protect itself against incessant Islamic fanatics, they continue to draw the ire of the world, the political flames fanned by a liberal press that hates the U.S. administration that put the troops there. If the forces are withdrawn, the great oil reserves might fall to diabolist nations "led by the likes of Iran. Babylon is foretold to be a city again, one that will be destroyed in a single hour. Many prophecy scholars disagree with this view, believing that the Babylon of prophecy yet future will be perhaps the greatest (wealthiest and most influential) city of its day, but not the Babylon of antiquity.
'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" (Zech. 12:1-2).
Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, have been at the eye of the growing geopolitical storm since its re-birth into modern statehood on May 14, 1948. Every camera and microphone is focused upon and attuned to that nation while it sits upon a powder keg of potential nuclear conflict. The nation, a tiny sliver of land in a vast region promised it by God, has become marginalized to the point it is rapidly becoming hated by most every other country on earth. This is exactly what God predicts. The United States is Israel's only real friend in a growingly hostile world. When the rapture occurs, and much of the nucleus of support for Israel is instantly gone, God will deal with His chosen people, and with those who will try to destroy them: "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" (Zech. 12:3).
1 A Look at Bible Covenants and Their Meanings, by Charles L. Monk; posted 2/22/03 (Category: Bible Studies; source: Sugar Land Bible Church COVENANTS - 1987).