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As We See the Day Approaching
Prophecy - Signs
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Wendy Wippel

The Prophet Ezekiel arrived in Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar’s last wave of captives, about 597 B.C, along with Israel’s deposed King, Jehoachin (also known as Jeconiah). Not coincidence. The nation of Israel, for the moment, was official history. And Ezekiel was there to make sure God’s people had “the rest of the story”.

Ezekiel is visited by God as he and the rest of the captives are on the banks of the River Chebar, and Ezekiel sees, in a whirlwind, a vision of the Lord’s glory.

He also gets this message:

“Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’  Ezekiel 2:3-4

Not a real enticing job description. If they didn’t listen to God, are they going to listen to Ezekiel? 

And then it gets worse: 

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; …When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, … his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Ezekiel 3:17-20

If it was me, I think I would have followed in Jonah’s footsteps and got out of town.

But Ezekiel bowed to God’s will.  And what follows is revelation after revelation (in both words and in odious allegories that Ezekiel was required to act out) of the judgment that will befall God’s impudent and stubborn children before they finally repent. 

With God saying, finally and ominously, that this rebellious and stubborn people will come to know that He is the Lord only when He “sets His face against them.” (Ezekiel 15:8)

And that’s what Ezekiel was initially given to convey to God’s people prophesied. Judgment. Nothing but judgment for a full seven years ( and 24 chapters), during which time, ostensibly, God’s people had a chance to repent. Through Ezekiel, they had been warned. 

In 587-, however, the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s armies began. And with that, Ezekiel’s messages to the nation of Israel changed. Chapters 25-32 of Ezekiel (following the prediction in chapter 24 that the Temple would be destroyed), consist of Judgments on the surrounding nations.

A reminder, through Ezekiel, that Yahweh, despite his discipline, was still their God and their Avenger.

An Avenger that also promised to restore them:

The hand of the Lord … set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. … and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” … Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! … “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:1-6

Also He said to me, ‘ prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Ezekiel 37:9-10

Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’” Ezekiel 37:11-14

God tells Ezekiel that at this point in time, with nation ruled by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, their people enslaved, and their king blinded and also in bondage the people of Israel feel that hope is lost.  And Ezekiel is tasked to restore their hope:

“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, … and I will make them one nation in the land, . . . and one king shall be king over them all;  I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God…. and  David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” Ezekiel 36:21-28

Curiously what follows those verses are these:

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia,[b] and Libya[c] are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. Ezekiel 38:1-6

Doesn’t that seem weird?  Why the heck are we talking about Gog and Magog all of a sudden?

Let’s Review.  Israel’s people had been captured and taken to Babylon, and their king Jeconiah, had been deposed. Ezekiel’s job from that point on was to remind Israel of God’s faithfulness.  So Ezekiel relayed God’s assurance that the nation would be restored.

And Gog and Magog, apparently, is the methodology.

God tells Gog and Magog that,

“In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” Ezekiel 37:8-9

Note that  God describes the God and Magog coalition coming against Israel in the latter years, after the people had largely returned and are dwelling in safety. Which has to mean sometime between 1972 and now.  (And with the recent deal with Iran, they are safer now than they were a month ago.

At least that’s what Kerry and O would like us to believe. 

“On that day it shall come to pass that … you will make an evil plan: ou will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; … to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Ezekiel 38:10-12

Airplanes made walls around cities superfluous in 1903. 

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? … You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face…. I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” … And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. Ezkiel 38:14-19, 23

Note that Gog and Magog’s attack on Israel comes a long time after the prophecy was made, specifically after Israel’s people had returned and were living in (relative) safety, with the three wars of securing modern Israel behind them. It is at that point that Gog and Magog attack, and God miraculously saves them. And apparently, even their enemies recognize the divine nature of their rescue.

So said enemies embrace Israel as chosen of God, right? 

We all know better.  Their enemies hate Israel’s God as much as they hate Israel, an attitude that the Psalms record:

Do not hold Your peace,And do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” Psalm 83:1-4

That’s been the world’s mantra since God made the covenant with Abraham.

So what happens next? Remember, God, through Ezekiel, links Israel’s final redemption with Gog and Magog.  Think about it.  All the nations hate Israel, and are no doubt  incensed that Israel and their God escaped destruction at the hands of God and Magog. Their next step, logically, would be to join forces (at this point, diplomatically, as implicated in the first seal)  in order to together subjugate Israel to international rule.

That way they could divide Israel’s land and usurp their considerable resources,  possibly, in the process, forcing Israel to sign a treaty with a certain demonically inspired individual in exchange for permission to rebuild the temple.  If you are paying any attention at all it would appear that the stage is being set for these exact events to transpire. 

And being set quickly.

Iran and Russia, pretty much enemies for all of earth history, got all friendly when the Shah abdicated in 1979, and have signed numerous pacts of mutual support since.  In the recent deal with Iran, Russia and Iran acted as one voice. 

Putin’s right-hand man, Zhironovsky, has written a book describing Russia’s intention to rule Israel.

Iran’s leaders have said numerous times that their goal in life is to see Israel destroyed. As have many of Israel’s other neighbors.  And the two neighbors missing in the biblical description of the coalition that comes against Israel—Egypt and Iraq—currently kind of make sense. 

Egypt is virtually the only Muslim country that has signed a peace treaty with Israel: Iraq has enough problems of its own.

And Iran is almost certainly way closer to have atomic weapons than we even think.

But it’s OK.  God’s got Israel’s back. And as for us, anyone else hear trumpets?

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Still in the Dark

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