STRIKE ON IRAN: BIBLICAL PROPHECY OF WAR OF GOG & MAGOG?
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After threatening to strike Israeli and U.S. interests if attacked, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards test-fired nine missiles, including one that Iran claims has the range to reach Israel. Many Bible scholars believe this could be the beginning of the apocalyptic War of Gog & Magog predicted by the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel in 593 B.C.
Iranian State-run media, said the tests near the Strait of Hormuz included long- and medium-range missiles, among them a new version of the Shahab-3, which Tehran maintains can hit targets 2,000 kilometers, or 1,250 miles, away.
The reported tests coincide with increasingly tense negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, which Iran says is for civilian purposes but which many Western governments suspect is meant for building nuclear weapons. At the same time, U.S. and British warships have been conducting naval maneuvers in the Gulf – apparently within range of the launch site of the missiles tested. Iran’s Supreme Leader boasted that Iran will hit Tel Aviv, U.S. shipping in the Gulf and American interests around the world if it is attacked over its disputed nuclear activities.
“The first bullet fired by America at Iran will be followed by Iran burning down U.S. vital interests around the globe,” the students news agency ISNA quoted Ali Shirazi as saying in a speech to Revolutionary Guards. Many people in the United States, Israel, and European Union intelligence agencies and believe Iran is building nuclear weapons. Yet, Tehran says its nuclear energy program is peaceful.
“The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned,” Shirazi was quoted as saying. Shirazi, a mid-level cleric, is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards. “The Iranian nation will never accept bullying. The Iranian nation is a nation of believers which believes in jihad and martyrdom. No army in the world can confront it,” he added.
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman, Mark Regev, refused to comment on the threat to hit Tel Aviv, saying only: “Shirazi’s words speak for themselves.”
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in San Diego, at a private briefing held by Pastor Leo Giovenitti. I asked Prime Minister Olmert directly about the threat of Iran, and the danger of “giving up land for peace.” In fact, immediately before the Israeli-Lebanon war, Prime Minister Olmert sent me note that he had ready my book where I outlined the historical results of what happened when Israel gave up land for peace. Despite his outward diplomacy, I believe Prime Minister Olmert, and Israel will no longer tolerate a threat to its survival in the form of a militantly Islamic-state of Iran whose leader continually threatens to annilate Israel. The term Jewish term “Never Again!” has fresh meaning for the nation of Israel whose very existence is threatened by a nuclear-Iran!
Seymour M. Hersh, writing in an article entitled “Preparing the Battlefield,” in the New Yorker Magazine, said, “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.”
Many intelligence experts believe that President Bush may well want to strike Iran before he leaves term as President of the United States in 2009. In fact, the Stratfor Intelligence Report published a briefing entitled “The War In Iraq Is Not Over,” by Dr. George Friedman. In the analysis, Dr. Friedman argued that the United States has two fundamental reasons for invading Iraq. First, “To transform the psychology of the Islamic world, which had perceived the United States as in essence weak, and unwilling to take risks to achieve its ends.” Second, “To use Iraq as a strategic base of operations from which to confront Islamist regimes that are either incapable of or unwilling to deny al Qaeda and other Islamist groups access to enabling resources.” Dr. Friedman continued;
“Iran: the extraordinarily complex game that Tehran is playing makes Syrian foreign policy transparent. Iran has positioned itself in such a way that its pro-Iranian Shiite groups in Iraq could wage a guerrilla war against the United States, while Tehran holds open the possibility of reaching implicit accommodations with the United States — all at the same time. Iranian subtlety notwithstanding, Washington regards Iran as the single most potentially dangerous regime in the region, because of both its resources and the complexity of its politics and policies. Iran has positioned itself to be fundamentally unpredictable — and having achieved this goal, it concerns the United States tremendously.”
The build-up of Iran’s nuclear weapons program continues to make Iran a threat to the nation of Israel, and the United States of America.”
To those of us who take Bible prophecy, and the Bible literally the words of the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel Chapter 38 appear to be coming alive in our generation:
“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, and Libya 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.
“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. 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.”
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’ 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. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”’
“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? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 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, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Thus says the Lord GOD: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them.
“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. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 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.”’
Although, the timing of Ezekiel Chapter 38 is a matter of debate among Bible scholars who hold to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. The majority believe that Ezekiel Chapter 38 or the War of Gog and Magog happens after the Rapture of the Church. However, there are some Bible scholars who believe that Ezekiel 38 is not part of the War of Armageddon, and therefore could occur before the revealing of the Antichrist, and the Rapture. It is interesting to note that in either Eschatological time frame, it clearly means we could be approaching the Seventieth Week of Daniel, or “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” If Ezekiel Chapter 38 were to occur before the Rapture, this could signal the major defeat for militant Islam, and cause many people globally to turn to the God of the Bible. If Ezekiel 38 happens after the Rapture of the Church, then we are on the verge of seeing a convergence of prophetic events occur. These events include merging of the United States into a globalist Revived Roman Empire whose headquarters could be a high-tech Babylon in Iraq.
If you view the Bible literally, and not through some distorted grid of “pre-understanding,” popular in many theological seminaries, the Bible speaks clearly for itself. The Prophet Ezekiel predicted a future War of Gog and Magog where Russia, Iran, Syria, and other Middle Eastern nations attack Israel. Theologians believe that through this event the Biblical God intends to magnify ( reveal Himself )to many nations, including Islamic nations. In addition according to the Old Testament, this is done by the Biblical God as a partial fulfillment of the everlasting covenant He made with Abraham. In this covenant God specifically gives the land of Israel to the physical descendants of Abraham.