Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prophecy series #11: Northern Invasion

God is working behind the scenes in all of history. In fact, in the book of Esther we see God's hand in every detail and yet not once is God mentioned in that book. History is HIS STORY.

In recent articles in this series we've seen how God has sovereignly directed in the Dispersion and Restoration of Israel. Ezekiel 34-39 describes how that restoration will take place. Ezekiel 34:11-16 tells us how God will seek out His people, the Jews, from all the nations of the world and draw them back to their homeland of Israel. God has placed in the heart of every Jew a longing and a love for his Promised Land. Psalm 137 describes this longing for Jerusalem that will one day be totally fulfilled. How and when will this happen?

Dry Bones
In the previous article we wrote of the Dry Bones of Ezekiel 37. These bones represent the whole House of Israel. The bones represent Jews scattered around the world. These Jews will return to Palestine and God will breathe spiritual life into them. Ezekiel 38-39 explain how this will happen.

Three Wars
There are three important wars pertaining to end time prophecy.
1. The Russian invasion of Israel. This takes place at the beginning of
the Tribulation and is recorded in Ezekiel 38-39.
2. The Battle of Armageddon. This takes place at the end of
the Tribulation and is recorded in Revelation 14:15-20 and 16:16
3. Finally, at the end of the Millennium, Satan is released from his
bottomless pit and goes out to attempt to deceive the nations of the
world one last time. Satan is quickly defeated and sent to the
Lake of Fire. That is the end of Satan and his demonic power
forever. Revelation 20:8-10

The Russian Invasion
In Ezekiel 38 we are immediately introduced to some strange names. Gog and Magog are ancient names for what is now Russia. Meshech is an ancient name for Moscow. Tubal is an ancient name of the capital of eastern Russia. In the following verses we read of Gog and Magog's allies. Persia is now Iran. Gomer is an ancient name for Germany. Ethiopia, Lybia and Togarmah, an ancient name for Turkey, are also mentioned as allies of Gog and Magog.

This invasion of Israel appears to begin at the beginning of the Tribulation. The Antichrist make a treaty with Israel, promising to protect them. See Ezekiel 38:11 Daniel 9:26-27 Matthew 24:15-22 and I Thessalonians 5:1-3 for more information on this promise of peace. While Israel is basking in this false peace, suddenly the northern hordes invade the land.

Horses, wooden shields and spears
Why such ancient weapons and means of transportation in this nuclear age? I don't know. I only know that Isaiah 54:17 says that "no weapons used against God's people will prosper." These enemies will revert to ancient means of warfare; but to no avail. This is not some new phenomenon. It has always been this way throughout history. Whenever enemies go against God's people, God always comes to their defense. The size of the enemy and the type of weapons used, whether modern or ancient, don't make any difference. God has always protected His people. The only exception is when God uses the ungodly to chasten His own for disobedience and rebellion.

Read the following stories as examples of how God protects His own.
Read in Exodus 14 of how Pharaoh's armies were destroyed when they attempted to come against Israel. Read in Joshua 6 of how God supernaturally worked to give Israel the city of Jericho. Then in the chapter 7, read of how self-confident Israel was defeated in a battle that should have been easy to win. You will see the reason for the defeat was hidden sin within the camp of Israel. Read in Joshua 10 of how God amazingly fought for Israel against the Amorites. The story found in II Chronicles 20 of Jehoshaphat's great victory against Ammon and Moab is one of my favorite stories of how God fights for His own. Israel simply stood still and sang praises to God and He gave them a marvelous victory. God still works that way today.

When Will This Invasion Take Place?
Ezekiel 38:8 and 16 makes it clear that this battle will take place "in the latter years." It has not taken place in the past. It is a battle yet to come.

Why the Invasion?
They will think they are coming for the wealth in Palestine. Besides the oil, the Dead Sea has staggering wealth. Someone has estimated that wealth in the Dead Sea at FOUR TIMES the wealth of The United States. Whether those figures are accurate, I do not know. I only know the wealth of the Dead Sea is beyond our wildest imagination.

But there is another reason why they are invading Palestine. Though they will not know it, God is drawing Israel's enemies in to destroy them and to show Israel his power and love for them. As a result Israel as a nation is going to turn to Christ their Messiah. Read the last two verses of Ezekiel 39. "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 anymore there. 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."

See Zechariah 12:10 and read of this wonderful event when Israel looks on Jesus in His glorified body. Note, it includes the nail prints in His hands just as it did in the Upper Room when Jesus showed Himself to Thomas and invited him to put his fingers into the nail prints and thrust his hand into the spear hole in His side. "And I will pour upon the House of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him¸ as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

Zechariah 13:1 speaks of a fountain opened to the House of David for sin and for uncleaness. Water does not cleanse from sin. Only the blood of Christ is powerful enough to do that. There is no question that that fountain is Christ's blood shed for the sins of the world. When the Jews recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God slain for sin, their hearts will turn to Him as their Messiah and be saved from their sins just as faith in that shed blood saves us from sin today.

Paul explains this conversion of Israel in Romans 11:25-27 In verse 5 Paul writes of a remnant of Israel who will be saved according to the election of grace. In verse 25 he writes of the temporary blindness of Israel. When the last Jew and Gentile to be saved is added to the church, "the fullness of the Gentiles will have come in." The rapture will take place, the anti-Christ will be revealed. He will make a covenant of peace with Israel. Then the northern nations will come down on Israel to conquer them. Christ will destroy Israel's enemies and Israel will turn to Christ. "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." Rom. 11:26 That's good news for Jews; but I have some even better news to share in a coming message when we distinguish between the Bride and the Friend of the Bridegroom.

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June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Prophecy Series

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