Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, October 20, 2019
Shavuah Tov *|FNAME|*,
Yeshua Prophesied We WILL Have Wars – But, When?
(SERIES CONTINUED – Part 2)
October 20, 2019
FUTURE WARS PROPHESIED BY YESHUA AND HIS APOSTLES: Enemies of Israel, America, and other Western countries are rapidly building military might. Some enemies are clear about their intentions to destroy Israel and to destroy America.
Nikita Khrushchev was the U.S.S.R.’s Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party from 1958 to 1964. Several quotations are attributed to him about the U.S.S.R.’s ultimate defeat of the U.S.A. by introducing small doses of socialism to the American population. Use a search engine to find these quotations.
America’s president in 2021 may be a socialist. Many young people prefer socialism to capitalism, if polls can be trusted. Thank you, college/ university professors. Socialism and communism are first cousins. America, as we have known her, may be on her last days.
America has had deep divisions in the past, and is again seriously divided. Half the nation seems to hate the other half. Yeshua warned us of a divided nation (Matthew 12:25): But [Yeshua] knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” God gave us the formula to heal a broken (divided) land (see 2 Chronicles 7:14). National healing requires God, but many Americans are moving away from God, not toward Him.
In the future, I plan to write a RR to answer the question: Is America found in Bible prophecy? Could America be Babylon the Great (Revelation, chapter 18)? America may be doomed, as we sit in opulence and our enemies plot to defeat us. The outcome for a future American president may be written, as was written a message to King Belshazzar of Babylon (Daniel, chapter 5): Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin (translation, paraphrased for America: “God has numbered [America], and finished it; you have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; your [nation] has been divided, and given to [enemy nations].”)
THE ISLAMIC ENEMY: Islamic nations figure prominently in end-time wars. Most Islamic nations are implacable enemies of Israel and America. Muslims pose dire threats because they will happily die for their god, believing death in this fight is the only sure path to Paradise.
Most of America’s enemies have had views similar to ours. In World War II, for example, a German soldier valued his life as much as an American soldier. A German soldier, who grew up as a Lutheran or Catholic, did not believe he would automatically be rewarded with Heaven, if he could only die for the Third Reich. A Muslim believes a sure path to Paradise is to die for Allah in al-harb (war).
Studying Mohammad and Islam is an interesting exercise, but it is too complicated to tackle in this RR. I will mention just a few things to set the stage for the future difficulties we face.
There have been identified 164 “war verses” in the Koran. These verses, with verbatim quotation of the Koran’s text and sura/ ayat (chapter/ verse) citation from the Koran, have been listed in: https://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html . The devout Muslim has been called to wage war against Jews and Christians– Allah’s enemies– because it is “Allah’s way.”
TREATY MAKING WITH A MUSLIM: A Muslim’s concept of sin is complicated, and I feel inadequate to try to explain the concept. Mohammad’s writings in the Koran and traditions of his sayings and daily life practices in the Hadith form the basis for a Muslim’s morality.
Some details of Mohammad’s life and Islam are pertinent:
>> Muslims claim they accept Jesus as a revered prophet. He is named Isa bin Maryam or Isa al-Misah (Jesus Son of Mary or Jesus the Messiah). In a future RR, I may discuss Islamic eschatology (end-time beliefs), some of which mirror and others of which differ markedly from our beliefs. Now, suffice it to say that Muslims view Isa as a prophet inferior to Mohammad. Isa will appear in the end times with the Mahdi to judge Jews and Christians.
>> Mohammad and Yeshua were opposites in character, speech, and actions. Mohammad was a warrior, led an army, and condoned killing in the name of Allah. Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, stressed love for all persons, even enemies.
>> Mohammad created, practiced, and endorsed hudna. “Hudna” is an Arabic word, commonly translated “truce.” Hudna was first used by Mohammad in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (AD 628) to obtain a temporary and false truce between his Islamic army and the Quraysh tribe. As Mohammad marched toward his sacred Mecca, the Quraysh tribe controlled land around the city. The tribe refused passage through their land to Mecca. Mohammad’s army was outnumbered. With Arab guile, a smiling Mohammad convinced Quraysh leaders of his “peaceful” intentions. Negotiating this peaceful treaty, he marched off to land outside the Quraysh. He spent time building up his army. Then, he marched back, soundly defeated the Quraysh, and continued on to Mecca. Hudna, then, is a false truce intended to trick the enemy. To a Muslim, an enemy may be anyone who does not practice his particular “brand” of Islam. Two Muslims– one a Shiite, the other a Sunni– may be enemies.
>> Taqiyya is Arabic for “intentional deception.” A Muslim is permitted (even encouraged) to lie to an enemy to protect himself or Islam. Such lying is not a sin, but a virtue. The basis for taqiyya in the Koran is written in Sura 3:28: The believers must not establish friendship with the unbelievers in preference to the faithful. Whoever does so has nothing to hope for from [Allah] unless he does it out of fear or taqiyah (pious dissimulation). [Allah] warns you about Himself. To [Allah] do all things return.
>> Kitman is Arabic for “to hide” or “to conceal.” This concealment is for malevolent (a desire to do evil to others) intentions. “Holy hypocrisy” is sometimes used as a synonym for kitman.
What significance do hudna, taqiyya, and kitman have? A Muslim is taught that it is virtuous to lie to a non-Muslim, if Allah and Mohammad are upheld. Can a non-Muslim negotiate a treaty with a Muslim? A non-Muslim should know that a Muslim need not speak the truth, if his country or religion is protected. Of course, Jewish and Christian politicians also lie.
Since the founder of Islam is Mohammad; since all Muslims strive to match Mohammad’s character; and since Muslims teach and practice hudna (deceptive truce), taqiyya (lying to an enemy to further Islam), and kitman (lying to an enemy of Islam through silence or omission), can we trust an Islamic nation? When leaders of Iran, an Islamic theocracy, tell our leaders anything or sign a piece of paper, how confident can we be in this agreement?
We have witnessed killing of Jews and Christians– natural enemies of some Muslims– by Muslims in the name of Allah. These acts of terror are often called “jihad” (jihad = holy war, struggle).
To be fair:
>> Muslims and Christians share a similar characteristic. Only a minority (ten percent?) of both Muslims and Christians are “fundamentalists.” Fundamentalist Muslims believe every word in the Koran or Hadith and try to follow these words for their daily lives. Fundamentalist Christians believe every word in the Bible and try to follow these words for their daily lives.
>> The Koran was written in two different phases:
** The first (Mecca) phase was written at a time when Mohammad sought converts to his monotheistic (one-god) religion. He was kindly disposed toward and complimentary of Jews/ Christians, and this is reflected in a peaceful Koran– seeking peace with Jews/ Christians.
** The second (Medina) phase was written after Jews and Christians rejected Islam. They told Mohammad they already worshiped one God, and His name was not Allah. In this phase, the Koran treats Jews and Christians unkindly and contemptuously.
ORACLE AGAINST DAMASCUS: Damascus, the most important city and capital of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), has never been destroyed since its founding in the second millennium BC. Therefore, any prophecy of its destruction must occur in our future.
Destruction of Damascus is prophesied in Isaiah, chapter 17. The Scriptural text speaks of sudden destruction (sudden terror) in the evening, with the city reduced to a ruinous heap to never again be inhabited. A nuclear weapon can cause such destruction.
Syria is allied with Russia and has made powerful enemies, including the United States and Israel. Can we expect a nuclear attack on Syria as part of other warfare?
PSALM 83 WAR (INNER CIRCLE WAR): Many Bible students see two wars against Israel initiated before the Antichrist is revealed. These wars are divided into an “inner circle war” – enemy nations geographically close to Israel (Psalm 83 War) – and an “outer circle war” – nations located some distance from Israel (Battle of Gog and Magog).
Psalm 83, written by poet-prophet Asaph, describes a war that has not yet taken place (that is, a war in our future). Bible students have different views on the date of this war.
This psalm is organized into four parts:
>> First part: A plea for God to awaken to aid His people Israel. God’s (Israel’s) enemies make a tumult. Asaph pleads for God not to keep silent (not hold His peace, not be still).
>> Second part: Haters of God (haters of Israel) “lift up their heads” and take crafty counsel against God’s people (Israel). With one consent, God’s enemies have formed a confederacy against Israel. Islamic nations hate Israel. They have banded together in the Arab League (more than twenty nations). They operate as a dominant force in the United Nations.
>> Third part: Israel’s enemies are named by Asaph. I will not list these enemies with present-day names (space limitation). Internet sources convert ancient names to modern names, such as: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_names_for_biblical_place_names or https://www.wogim.org/anland.htm . A country’s ancient boundaries may not correspond to modern boundaries; and, people in this region may have been nomadic in ancient times. Look at a Middle East map. Named nations form a ring around Israel. This surrounding of Israel by her future enemies is the reason this war is called the “Inner Circle War.”
>> Fourth part: Asaph pleas for God to do to Israel’s future enemies, as He has done in the past.
BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG (OUTER CIRCLE WAR): This war is prophesied in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. It is called the “outer circle war” because enemy nations many miles removed from Israel come against this small nation.
Details are given in Ezekiel, but the time of the Battle is omitted. Six different theories have been offered as to when this Battle will occur, meaning at least five theories are wrong.
Ezekiel names Israel’s enemies. I will not list these enemies with present-day names (space limitation). Consult Internet sources to convert ancient and modern names, such as: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_names_for_biblical_place_names , https://www.wogim.org/anland.htm , or http://www.ltradio.org/articles/?admin=linkto&link=190&&quick=y . A country’s ancient boundaries may not correspond to modern boundaries; and, people in this region may have been nomadic in ancient times.
As you research these names, note this: Gog is the leader of Magog. Could Gog be Vladimir Putin? Magog clearly is Russia. Meshech and Tubal are to the north of Israel. Persia is Iran. Turkey is involved. Cush, Put, and other place names are Islamic nations; as well as, nations which are enemies of Israel; or, nations which need Russia’s favor for supply of petroleum. These alliances are now formed, and the allied nations hate Israel and America.
Some event will trigger this war. “Hooks in Gog’s [Putin’s] jaws” (Ezekiel 38:4) will cause him to turn toward Israel, as a bit in a horse’s mouth cause the horse to turn. The prophecy gives us no clue what the “hooks” might be.
Rabbi’s note: I have always believed that the “hooks” are spiritual fishing hooks to draw Gog (Putin) against Israel even though he knows it will certainly mean his own destruction. Surely he has read the Bible. Hating Israel is something he just can’t help himself not to do because of the “hooks.” End RN.
Massive, terrifying force will be launched by Russia and her allies against tiny Israel. Israel would be doomed to defeat, except she has one “Soldier” more than needed for the war. That “Soldier” is God. He has promised Israel that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will always be victorious in the end times.
Israel is finished, right? No! Read the passage to see the supernatural ways in which Magog, Persia, and others are defeated. Massive losses are incurred by Israel’s enemies. A greatly weakened Russia, Islamic nations, and other nations are actually what will be required for surviving nations to wage Tribulation wars against the Antichrist’s armed forces. God skilfully plays a chess game against Israel’s enemies, and the enemies are outwitted at every move.
Note the interesting commentary in Ezekiel 38:13: Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions (“lions” can be translated “villages”), do not help Israel, but merely ask Magog why this act of aggression occurs. Sheba is an African region (Ethiopia). Dedan is present-day Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is not clearly known. Tarshish was considered far to the west of Israel. Many scholars believe Tarshish was the ancient name for Spain (possibly even Great Britain). The “young lions” could refer to colonies of Spain or Great Britain in the New World (even America). Ezekiel’s debate surely refers to a United Nations Security Council meeting in which a resolution claiming disfavor with Russia is passed.
Should Israel despair, that she has been abandoned by all nations? No. God desires that Israel be abandoned. When Israel achieves victory against overwhelming forces, there can be no question but that victory came solely through the hand of God.
I believe the Battle will occur before the Tribulation. Certain conditions must be met before this war commences. Israel must:
>> First: Be re-established as a sovereign Jewish nation. Fulfilling prophecies of Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37, this event occurred in May, 1948, when Jews from all parts of the world re-settled Israel under auspices of the newly-formed United Nations. Other prophecies are pertinent and have been fulfilled. To add an exclamation point, Israel recaptured the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War in June, 1967. The Third Jewish Temple can some day be built, and this must happen in order that the Antichrist can defile it during the mid-part of the Tribulation. [PROPHECY PARTIALLY FULFILLED – lacking: Third Temple has not been built]
>> Second: Feel secure. Although Israel is now periodically attacked by her neighbors, these attacks do not rise to the level of war. Israel has a most impressive military, and is a nuclear power (whether admitted). [PROPHECY FULFILLED]
>> Third: Be living in relative peace (a nation “without walls,” a “peaceful and unsuspecting people”). Although terrorist and missile attacks still occur, no Israeli feels threatened that his/ her country will be defeated in war. [PROPHECY FULFILLED]
>> Fourth: Be a rich nation. Israel has become exceedingly rich, after starting in the desolate poverty left by the Ottoman Empire. Israel’s fields supply many nations (including Europe) with vegetables and fruits. Israel’s technology is a world leader. [PROPHECY FULFILLED]
Rabbi’s Note: Israeli technology startups are being capitalized at an amazing rate. That capitalization means that the companies are selling their ownership to others at a rate of one billion dollars a month. That’s a lot of Israelis getting very rich very quick. End RN.
Other reasons to believe this Battle occurs before the Tribulation include: Israel will feel relatively secure, but not at total peace (Ezekiel 38:11-12). Ezekiel does not mention the Antichrist, the predominant power during the Tribulation. Israel will spend seven years “burning” (cleaning up) weapons of war after the Battle (Ezekiel 39:3). Since the Tribulation lasts seven years, Israel would not have enough time to cleanse the land after the Battle, if the Battle were to begin midway in the Tribulation.
I am intrigued by one verse (Ezekiel 39:21): [Says the Lord GOD] “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.” What is God’s glory (English glory = Hebrew “Kavod”)? Could it be the “lost” Ark of the Covenant?
In ancient times, the Ark preceded Israelite armies as they marched into battle. The Ark was a central part of the life of God’s people and the symbol of God’s greatness (His glory). Then, the Ark “disappeared. ” The Ark is last mentioned in Jeremiah 3:16: “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the LORD, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.”
Rabbi’s Note: I have always believed that when God wins this war for Israel (God is saving Israel yet again) that Jewish people come to believe in God and the Scriptures which leads them (us) to believe in Yeshua. John 5:46 For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. End RN.
If you are not familiar with the work of the Temple Institute, do yourself a favor and visit its Website: https://www.templeinstitute.org/ . The Institute is preparing for the coming of HaMashiach, which requires building the Third Temple. Click on the “Gallery” prompt at the bottom of the Institute’s Web home page. You will be able to view the carefully researched and exquisitely crafted artifacts (sacred vessels and vestments) necessary for the Third Temple. You can immerse yourself for hours in this beautiful Website!
Has the Ark of the Covenant been prepared by the Institute for the Third Temple? No! The Institute explains in https://templeinstitute.org/ark_of_the_covenant.htm . The Institute does not need to re-make the Ark, as it claims Judaism’s leaders know where the original Ark is hidden. The Institute states: “This location [of the Ark] is recorded in our sources, and today, there are those who know exactly where this chamber is. And we know that the ark is still there, undisturbed, and waiting for the day when it will be revealed.”
Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant will be revealed after many centuries as a sign for Israel that El Shaddai (God Almighty) will not let Israel be defeated by the confederacy of Gog and Magog, but will be led to victory?
Some of the consequence of this Battle include:
>> Israel is the clear victor. Israel will ascend in importance among the world’s nations.
>> Many of Israel’s enemies will be devastated by supernatural forces unleashed by God. Many others will be killed by Israel’s military. These enemy soldiers will fall on the fields of Israel and become food for vultures. Greatly degraded anti-Israeli forces (Russia, Islamic bloc) will slink off in smaller numbers to fight another day.
>> Future Battle of Armageddon combatants– notably the Antichrist’s army and the armies of the Kings of the East (China, etc.) – will arise after the Battle of Gog and Magog in massive numbers.
>> The Antichrist likely will be revealed on the world stage after the Battle of Gog and Magog. This clever, charismatic follower of Satan will promote a “peace” plan. Nations of the world, fearful of more war, will marvel at his brilliance and rush to follow him.
>> I suspect part of the “peace” plan will involve dividing the Temple Mount to provide access for Jews/ Christians and Muslims. This division in the last days is consistent with Scriptures. The plan will surely permit building of the Third Temple– the goal of all Jews, Christians, and Believers– and preservation of the Dome of the Rock– one of the most sacred Islamic sites. At one time, Jewish scholars believed the Temple must be built on the present site of the Dome (which would require that the Dome be razed). The latest research I recall indicates that the Temple should be built dozens of yards from the Dome (preserving the Dome for Muslims’ satisfaction, preventing clashes with Muslims, while still fulfilling Biblical prophecy details). Both holy sites can exist side-by-side for a time. There seems to be one problem. Built at this site, there is no room to include the outer court. But, God has already known this. He told future builders to leave off the outer court, so that it may be trampled upon by Gentiles (Muslims?) for three and one-half years (see Ezekiel 40:17ff and Revelation 11:2). In a future RR, I will try to remember to explain the significance of the arrangements of the Temple and the Dome. (As you read the Bible, I hope you are amazed at how future events fit together as a Divine jigsaw puzzle, with God knowing where every puzzle piece is located.) Shalom and Maranatha.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Father: We are saddened, as You surely must be, that evil abounds in men’s hearts. We are saddened that so many listen to Satan, and not You. We have been forewarned of great wars in the future. Thank you for the warning. May we take the time to prepare ourselves, our families, and our neighbors to be ready to meet Yeshua in the clouds. As the Apostle Peter wrote, we know that You are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. May we have this same concern for our family and neighbors and do whatever possible to share the Gospel message with them. Amen.