I’ve been pretty interested lately in the failure of US foreign policy with regard to Syria and the Islamic State, and in the movements of Russia to build up military resources in Syria (see the above linked National Post commentary for an insightful analysis of these current events). It does seem like the famous Gog prophecy in Ezekiel 38 might be getting closer. Reading about Russia moving troops, tanks, planes and other equipment into Syria brought an image to mind of Ezekiel’s “Gog”, Israel’s last-days nemesis, taking the first couple of halting steps in its predicted southward march. That prophecy seems to be parallel in some respects to a prophecy at the end of Daniel 11, in which Ezekiel’s “Gog” might be the bad guy in Daniel 11:40-45.
In 2011 I published a post on this blog, outlining a few major events to watch for if Russia really is the so-called, “King of the North” in Daniel 11:40-45:
- Watch for Russia to dominate much of the Middle East, but not most of the Kingdom of Jordan (see the link above for my reasoning on this).
- Watch next for Russia to gain control of oil/natural gas resources throughout the region, including North Africa (Egypt & Libya in the prophecy) and either Iran or Sudan (Cush in the prophecy).
- Watch after that for Russia to establish some kind of embassy between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea (possibly in Gaza).
The point of these observations is not to predict what will happen, but rather to throw out some things that can be watched for that would confirm the accuracy of this way of interpreting these biblical prophecies. If they don’t happen, then my interpretation of these prophecies in Daniel 11 is incorrect.
In: In the Bible, In the News · Tagged with: Daniel 11, Ezekiel 38, Gog, King of the North, Russia
To all my Grandkids.
As you all, know, I have been watching recent unfolding world events through the lens of Biblical prophecy, and I am amazed and deeply humbled at the privilege I have to be observing first hand what may be the culminating events of history before the establishment of Jesus’ kingdom on earth.
And at the same time I have been very troubled, even angry, at how the Church in general has lost its vitality and so many Christians have become sedated and drowsy because of Satan’s deception and most Christians’ willingness to accept unquestioningly what they absorb from popular christian literature and from superficial christian teaching. There, I’ve said it.
Let me explain:
For eighteen hundred years scholarly Christian men , enlightened by the Holy Spirit, used Bible prophecies to shed light on the historical events engulfing them and to encourage them with the assurance that the same omniscient God Who had foreknown ( actually planned) history so accurately was the same omnipotent God Who was with them through the most severe trials and would bring them through victoriously to present them faultless at Jesus’ coming. This was the message of assurance, hope and victory which enabled and empowered countless thousands of Jesus’ followers to remain faithful through experiences of persecutions, tortures and martyrdoms, so sadistic and beastly that they are no longer even discussed in Christian churches because they are too politically incorrect.
It was their understanding of the key principles of bible prophecy that enabled Godly men “ to understand their times “ in such a way as to recognize and expose “ the man of sin “ and so to lay the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.
The Protestant Reformation saw the re- birth of all the freedoms that we so blithely take for granted today, among them freedoms of speech, worship, education, career, scientific discovery, political choice, and more. It also saw the death of the political power of the papal dynasty that had ruled the world “ in the place of Christ “, the self-styled “Vicar of Christ” for over one thousand years.
So great was the blow to the pope’s political power that he focussed all the powers of his administration on reconquering his empire, and he recognized that this was not possible so long as the dynasty of papal powers was recognized by ordinary people to be “ the man of sin “ described in the New Testament.
So he initiated a new order, the Jesuits, as a counter – reformation agency, with the express mandate to do whatever was necessary to undo the effects of the Reformation.
Whatever you may think of the modern day Jesuits, their history is totally infamous. Their schools and colleges had the highest educational standards in the world. Their priests were highly trained and educated , authoring many very scholarly books. However, over the years they have been expelled from almost every country in the world because of their illegal, nefarious activities.
One of their authors was the Jesuit priest Ribera of Salamanca, who in 1585 published a commentary on the book of Revelation in which he took great pains to deny the application of the prophecies concerning antichrist to the existing Church of Rome. Cardinal Bellarmine, nephew of Pope Marcellus II, considered to be “ the most powerful controversialist in defence of popery that the Roman church ever produced”, elaborated Ribera’s teachings, arguing that antichrist would be a particular man, a Jew, that he would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, would claim to be the Jewish messiah, and would conquer the world – Jewish, Muslim and heathen – all in the space of three and a half years, sometime in the distant future, hence the name “ Futurism “. Later, in Spain, the Jesuit priest Manuel De Lacunza, writing under the pseudonym of Rabbi Ben Ezra, ( to give his deception more credibility ) expanded on Ribera’s writings into his own book which he published in 1791.
Although this radically new idea did not gain much traction in England, (for example, note the text of “ The Westminster Confession Of Faith “) a renegade minister of the Presbyterian Church named Edward Irving translated Lacunza’s book into English and taught it as truth to the cult he had formed after being dismissed from the Congregational Church. Among his cultish following was a fifteen year old Scottish lass who had a dream of the church being secretly snatched away before a period of terrible trouble , and from this unlikely source sprang the un – Biblical doctrine of the Secret Rapture. Irving told the story to his disciple John Darby at a conference in Ireland in 1830 where Irving was teaching Futurism. John Darby was a co – founder of the Plymouth Brethren church in Plymouth, England, in 1831. He made several preaching tours of the U.S. during the 1860’s, and he propagated the message of futurism and the secret rapture wherever he went.
Cyrus Ingersoll Scofield served under General Lee in the Confederate army, was wounded in 1863, attended law school, later became District Attorney of Kansas .
Subsequent to his conversion in his 30’s by D.L. Moody, he was exposed to the teachings of John Darby and was deeply influenced by them. Becoming himself a strong advocate of dispensational futurism, he pastored several churches and in 1890 started his Comprehensive Bible Correspondence Course which later became incorporated as Moody Bible Institute. Using the material from his correspondence courses, he published the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909, which became the primary medium of futurist propaganda among North American Christians for the following century. ( Incidentally, in his writings Scofield gives himself a “D.D.” degree after his name, although there is no documented evidence of his ever having been granted an honorary doctor of divinity) With the establishment of Moody Bible Institute the idea of futurism was given “institutional permanence”.
In 1907 B.I.O.L.A was founded by Lyman Stewart and T.C.Horton, who , provided additional “Institutional permanence “ to the doctrine of dispensational futurism by requiring a statement of belief from all the teaching staff.
Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, a disciple of C.I. Scofield, in 1924 founded what later became Dallas Theological Seminary, containing explicit dispensational futurism in its constitution, and together these three schools have produced most of North America’s best known preachers, teachers and authors.
So why am I angry?
Someone gave me Joel Rosenberg’s C.D. Set of “Epicentre” for Christmas.
Rosenberg has written several novels based on a Futuristic understanding of End Times, but also on his extensive inside knowledge of intelligence gathering both in Washington and in Israel, and so is able to hold the reader spell-bound with his plots. I have enjoyed all his books.
Unfortunately, “Epicentre” is not a novel, but a purported documentary in which he reveals the “facts” upon which he based his novels. One of his sources of facts is what he calls “the lens of bible prophecy”. Using this lens he explains how the pertinent chapters of Ezekiel have accurately foretold recent and current events pertaining to the nation of Israel,, and he then goes on to use his Futurism lens to foretell, dogmatically, without any equivocation, a whole sequence of events about to take place. I found myself continually wincing as I listened to the C.D.s in my truck on my way to and from the ranch.
I was also given one of Dr. David Jeremiah’s books for Christmas. Something about : Six Clues to Understanding Current World Events, or something like that.
Dr. Jeremiah is a graduate of Dallas, and I have heard him give some excellent sermons, but when he talks about end times he remains totally true to the Dallas constitution and spouts John Darby with the same total assurance with which he quotes scripture. Totally dogmatic about one-world government, description of antichrist, sudden disappearance of the Church before things get too bad, etc.
Again, I found myself wincing. Why? Don’t we have freedom of speech in this country?
This is not a freedom of speech issue. This is a matter of truth, teachers and liability. With respect to truth, teachers are held to a higher standard. Rosenberg not only set himself up as a teacher, explaining fulfilled events from Ezekiel, but he then became a prophet, using his own faulty lens through which to foretell future events. The test of an Old Testament prophet was the accuracy of his prophecy. There was only one penalty if the prophecy did not come true.
So this is really serious stuff.
I found myself growing angry, first, because of their blatant dogmatism and the implications for themselves, as false teachers, second, because of the terrible black eye it gives the church when their predictions don’t happen. Futurist eschatology is one of the few things that mainstream American media understands well regarding evangelical Christians, and instead of being effective as an incredibly powerful apologetic, their (and the thousands of similar ) prophetic utterances will have precisely the opposite effect as those watching will recognize them as false. And thirdly, it will serve to reinforce the false teachings that American Christians have absorbed from their pastors, TV evangelists, Hal Lindsey and Left Behind Series plus many more, and blind them to the real significance of whats happening all around them.
Genes are determinative. Pedigree counts. And when one traces the pedigree of the doctrine of Futurism to its source, he finds himself in Dante’s Inferno.
On the other hand, the Historicist school of interpretation which maintains that God gave the prophetic word to his people in order that they would understand His “ways and His works” throughout the unfolding of human history and therewith encouraged and fortified for the hardships they would certainly face; that both the nature and the time periods of the prophecies were coded to conceal them from the casual reader but reveal them to the serious student; that the key to understanding the symbols was given by the Angel Himself who interpreted Daniel’s visions; and that one day stated in the prophecies represents one year in history, as confirmed by the fulfilment of the Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel chapter nine.
So how about the pedigree of Historicism?
Starting in the second century with the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, Iraeneus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine in the fifth century.
Through the middle ages there were Bede and Ansport, Andreas and Anselm, Joachin Abbas and Almeric.
While it is true that these early expositors did not understand the time code, ( God’s apparent design was that every generation of Christians would be watching for Jesus’ imminent return ) they did understand the roles of Rome pagan and Rome papal, and the meaning of the seals and the trumpets of Revelation as those events unfolded.
It was for the scholars of the pre- Reformation period to start to recognize the immense periods foretold by the prophecies, and to understand the day/ year
interpretation, among them the Albigenses and the Waldenses, Wycliffe and the Lollards, John Huss and Jerome of Prague.
All the reformers , including Luther, Zwingli, Melancthon, Calvin, and Knox gained their inspiration and motivation from their certain knowledge identifying the man of sin of Revelation with the false papal church of Rome and that God’s judgment would begin to fall at the end of her 1260 year reign over the kings of the earth.
It was not just preachers and scholars who held to this view. What of the millions of Christian “heretics” who were tortured and martyred, holding to the true faith in opposition to the power they recognized as antichrist. Would they have held fast and endured if they believed their Bible to be silent with respect to the thousand plus year reign of the persecuting papal power?
Continuing with the post – Reformation church scholars, the long list of Puritan theologians, the famous Mede and Moore of England, Sir Isaac Newton himself;
Jonathan Edwards who is recognized as one of the most brilliant minds of modern times; Bengel, Alford, and Wordsworth, Birk and Bichesteth, Faber and Elliott.
And many more. We don’t recognize most of these names, and we grossly underestimate the debt of gratitude we owe them.
Two pedigrees. One starting with three unscrupulous Jesuit priests who had been ordered to undo the work of the Reformation, finding fertile ground within a cultish Christian group in England where it was reinforced by the dream of a fifteen year old girl. Carried to the New World by a minister with questionable credentials, at best, where it was imbedded in the founding principles of the major evangelical schools by men who had been tutored and discipled by C.I Scofield, and then throughout North America in the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible. Most of the Christian teachers, preachers and authors that you are familiar with were educated in schools where Futurism was taught as dogma.
The other starting with the early church fathers and continuing through the ages with a long line of Christian theologians representing the “ Who’s Who” of Protestant theological scholarship, whose views were confirmed by the unfolding of historical events and their faith continually strengthened as they watched the ongoing fulfilment of God’s word.
My grandchildren, listen to me.
I am drawing on the authority which is part of my grandfatherly prerogative.
You do not have the option of ignorance, because you are aware of the prophetic legacy you have inherited from your parents, grandfather, great grandfather and beyond, to Guinness, Elliot, Sir Isaac Newton and back through church history to the early fathers.
You do not have the option of saying it doesn’t matter because it is not an essential of the Christian faith. Should not God be the judge of that? Roughly one -third of the Bible consists of prophecy. Does God think it important?
You do not have the option of Pan-millennialism, ( it will all pan out in the end. Cute, but dangerous). Because you are intelligent people, you have all been exposed to the basics, you have easy access to tons of material on the subject, and God holds you responsible. To whom much is given shall much be required.
Nor do you have the option of absorbing without question what you may hear, read, be taught , even though it may be coming from highly educated men you respect greatly.
You do have the option of starting with what you have and building on that foundation with careful study of God’s Word, history, the writings of qualified Christian men, and paying particular attention to the fulfilment of Bible prophecy in historical events, and in so doing you will become increasingly amazed at God’s goodness, wisdom and sovereignty, your own faith will be strengthened, and you will find yourself better equipped to lend a helping hand to those you meet.
And that is my grandfather’s prayer for each one of you.
In: In the News · Tagged with: David Jeremiah, futurism, Historicism, Joel C. Rosenberg, Protestant Reformation
By Noel Haynes
The European economy continues to self-destruct.
The merchants of the world were watching with baited breath last Friday for some word from the European summit that would reassure them .
The solution proposed consisted of getting the 27 EU nations to agree to imposed fiscal and budgetary austerity measures that would meet Germany’s conditions for allowing the European Central Bank to ease the money supply. Unfortunately, getting agreement will be both lengthy and iffy, (Britain already said no), besides which, additional austerity measures would simply exacerbate the problems for the PIIGS economies which are already in recession. In any case, it wasn’t sufficient to restore investor confidence, and the pall of doom and gloom hovering over Europe deepens.
Greece requires another 200 billion dollar bailout, even after having her loan burden cut in half, and she is facing imminent default. The banks that took a fifty percent write down on Greek debt are now required, in addition, to increase their capital reserves by 150 billion dollars.
The countries of Italy, France and Spain together must raise 20 billion dollars per week through 2012 just to service existing debt.
The outlook for Europe is deteriorating week by week.
For those of us relating current world events to Bible prophecy, the other hot spot of course, is the Middle East. The events of the past week are sobering, to say the least.
American foreign policy under Obama, vis a vis Israel and the Islamic world, has been an unmitigated disaster.
In effect, that policy has been to insult Israel, arm her enemies, make nice to the Islamic world, support the Arab Spring, gently persuade Iran to stop making nuclear weapons, and ask her nicely to return the downed drone.
So far the results are Shariah governments being installed in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, Iran negotiating with Russia and China to trade top secret drone technology for military and diplomatic assistance, Israeli leaders talking openly about the need to take out Iranian nukes, Iran threatening to destroy NATO’s missile sites in Turkey and ready to launch a test operation to close the Straits of Hormuz. Syria staging massive war games in the north and continuing the genocide of her own people in defiance of international pressure . Turkey threatening to invade Syria, the American Sixth Fleet doing exercises off the Syrian coast, Russia with two frigates anchored off Tartar in Syria alongside the three guided missile frigates she sold to Syria in November, and waiting to rendezvous with Russia’s aircraft carrier and support vessels on their way to join them. The last American troops are leaving Iraq, with some of them being diverted to Jordan just south of the Syrian border.
Zechariah 12: “On that Day, —- I (God) will gather all the nations of the world against Jerusalem”
Its interesting to note that ten years ago Turkey was a westernised, secular Islamic country, closely allied to the West. NATO established the Southern Europe Air Command there, with twenty -four missile bases. In the last election Prime Minister Erdogan was elected on a platform of moderate Islam. He wasted no time in forming a hard line Islamist regime, cut off diplomatic ties with Israel, and began a variety of diplomatic initiatives designed to place him at the helm of a revived Ottoman Empire. He is rapidly developing a reputation as a radical Islamic egomaniac.
Its also interesting to note that apart from Iran and North Africa, the people groups named in Ezekiel 38 were associated in ancient times with the area which is now Turkey. And Turkey lies directly north of Israel.
A final interesting note, and I don’t know what the significance is , if any, is that all the seven churches addressed in the book of Revelation were located in what is now Turkey.
The King is Coming! He is Coming Soon!
In: In the News · Tagged with: Armageddon, Iran, Israel, NATO, Obama, Russia, Syria, Turkey
By Noel Haynes
A month ago I [preached] a sermon I delivered in our church in Merritt.
I just want to update it now.
The situation in Europe is worsening every day.
Greece is scheduled to repay 30 billion dollars this month. Her total
income is less than that. Her one year bonds are offered at 300 %.
Which means that she is beyond hope.
I said then Italy was on the verge, and since then would have
collapsed if the IMF had not intervened.
The US, UK, and Canada last week made cheap dollars available to the
banks so they would prop up the European countries wit more loans.
All of the European countries have had their credit rating downgraded this week.
The leaders of Germany, France, and the European Central Bank meet
tomorrow to design a fiscal regulatory system for all of Europe, with
sufficient teeth in it that Germany will be willing to provide
financial backing for the other countries through the issue of Euro
On friday they will try to sell the plan to the other countries. The
other leaders will have a very hard time accepting the new
regulations, and if they do t, they must get their parliament to
approve ( and some of them most likely won’t), and if they do there
will be riots in every country in Europe because the austerity
measures will be so harsh.
If they can do all that , it could buy them a bit more time, but the
really bad news is that except for Germany, all Europe is going into
recession, so that more austerity measures will not only cause social
unrest, but will exacerbate the downward economic spiral in countries
with already sick economies.
Italy is Europe’s third largest economy. Its population is aging,
workers retire young on very generous govt. pensions, wealthy people
are afraid to invest in their own country and are sending their money
out, instead of creating new jobs, and most Italian’s have found ways
to avoid paying taxes.There is no longer any reasonable hope for
Italy. The world is watching her burn.( Rev. 18 ) And she is going to
take the rest of Europe down with her.
The U.S. has borrowed and spent itself into such a precarious position
, and her financial position is so highly integrated with Europe, that
when Europe collapses the U.S. will also probably collapse. Unless
possibly she is able to borrow massive amounts from China. But the US
is already borrowing 44% of every dollar she spends, and why would
China bail her out when she is determined to replace the U.S. as world
leader? The U.S. is a very resilient country , with huge resources.
Whether she can survive the coming tsunami with only a depression
remains to be seen, but it appears that four more years of the current
administration’s policies would be catastrophic.
In my sermon I referred to the situation in the Middle East as it
relates to Israel. Each day there are new developments.Tunisia and
Egypt now have Islamist governments, dedicated to the destruction of
Israel,as will Libya very soon. Iran probably already has one or two
bombs and is developing the technology to fit them on to medium range
missiles. Every few weeks there are reports of explosions at nuclear
sites, assasinations of key Iranian scientists, and computer worms
which compromise parts of the nuclear technology. Israeli officials
are now talking publicly about the possible necessity of a preemptive
nuclear strike against Iran, and at the same time seem to be trying to
delay the evil day with a variety of covert actions.
I realize that I have belaboured the point a bit, but I want you all
to know that there is a whole lot of historical and current evidence
that we are in the very end times as described by both the Old and New
Testament prophets. So what should we be doing? How Then Shall We
Jesus told us to stay awake.
We need to be aware of events unfolding around us.I can’t believe how
many Christians I meet that are totally unaware.They seem to neither
know, nor very much care, that Armageddon is so imminent.
Jesus instructed us to be faithful.
Our consciousness of the shortness of time remaining should be
powerful incentive to be about our Father’s business, the discipling
of our neighbours and the nations.
Jesus told His followers to take evasive action.
He told them to flee, when they recognized the signs leading up to the
destruction of Jerusalem, to the hills,in order to “avoid the wrath to
History tells us that the Christians in Jerusalem in 69 A.D. did
exactly that, and that no Christians were caught in the terrible
slaughter that followed.
Given all the evidence, reasonable people should be expecting at least
a short period of intense social upheaval. It seems to me that those
same reasonable people should have a strategic plan of what they will
do when the web is compromised and the grid is down in order to
survive themselves, and be able to care for those around them.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Europe, Revelation 18
The historic speech delivered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week to the United Nations General Assembly carries strong echoes of the same man’s speech in a televised debate 33 years ago.
Many thanks to Peter Godspeed of Canada’s National Post for digging up this old video. He introduced this younger Netanyahu with these words:
How little things change over time.
Thirty three years ago, when a Boston PBS station broadcast a debate on proposed Palestinian statehood on a show called The Advocate, the producers called a 28-year-old future Israeli prime minister to argue against the proposal.
Ben Nitay, a graduate of MIT and Harvard was working as an economic consultant in Boston at the time. Today, he has abandoned the Americanized version of his name and appears regularly on television as Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the mock, televised trial in 1978, the young Mr. “Nitay” is introduced as a “a graduate of MIT, an Israeli and a man who has written widely on the question [of a Palestinian state].”
When asked whether the issue of self-determination is at the heart of the Middle East conflict, he replies: “No, I don’t believe it is. The real core of the conflict is the unfortunate Arab refusal to accept the State of Israel. . . For 20 years the Arabs had both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and if self-determination, as they now say, is the core of the conflict, they could have easily established a Palestinian state, but they didn’t.” [SOURCE]
In: In the News · Tagged with: Israel, Netanyahu, Palestinians
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…” ~ Isaiah 9:2, quoted by Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech to the United Nations on September 23, 2011.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Israel, Netanyahu, United Nations
A startling series of events in recent days has gone all but unnoticed in the mainstream media. Canada’s respected, National Post ran this article:
Peter Goodspeed, National Post
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
When WikiLeaks made thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables public last fall, Turkey’s Aksam newspaper dubbed the document dump “The Sept. 11 of Diplomacy.”
There was a definite note of anxiety in thousands of cables sent to Washington describing how Turkey, for the first time since becoming a republic in 1923, was moving to become an active player in the Middle East.
The diplomats described Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, as an autocratic Islamist who surrounds himself with an “iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors,” who understand little beyond Ankara and foster “exceptionally dangerous,” “neo-Ottoman Islamist fantasies.”
Mr. Erdogan, 57, a former Istanbul mayor, who as a youngster sold snacks on street corners in that city’s tough Kasimpasa neighbourhood, may be the most successful leader in modern Turkey since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. But U.S. diplomats focused on his “overbearing pride,” “unbridled ambition” and “the belief God has anointed him to lead Turkey.”
They also discussed his “overweening desire to stay in power which, despite his macho image, renders him fearful and prone to temporizing, even at moments which call for swift and resolute decisions.”
One U.S. ambassador insisted Mr. Erdogan has “an authoritarian loner streak,” while another said he “simply hates Israel.”
All of which suggests Barack Obama, the U.S. President, was braced for a “frank and forthright exchange of views” when he met Mr. Erdogan Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
With a booming economy that is the envy of the Middle East, Turkey is poised to carve out a muscular new role in the region.
Last year, its gross domestic product grew 9%, second only to China. The Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development predicts Turkey will have the fastest growing economy in the group until 2017.
As a NATO member, with Europe’s largest standing army and U.S. military bases that are critical to U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Turkey is already a strategically important U.S. ally.
Just last week Ankara cut a deal with Washington to place a missile defence radar in Turkey to protect against Iranian missile attacks.
But in the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring, Turkey, with its new confidence and growing wealth, is also beginning to consider itself a leader of a politically transformed Islamic-rooted Middle East.
Ahmet Davutoglu, the Foreign Minister, talks openly of Turks being the “New Ottomans,” noting that like Britain with its Commonwealth of former colonies Turkey might reassert influence in corners of the old Ottoman Empire, in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Mr. Erdogan voiced a similar ambition last June, when he delivered a victory speech on the night of his third consecutive national election win.
“Believe me, Sarajevo won today as much as Istanbul,” he said. “Beirut won as much as Izmir; Damascus won as much as Ankara; Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, the West Bank and Jerusalem won as much as Diyarbakir.”
In the absence of any strong Arab leaders, the Turkish PM believes his unique combination of political power, self-confidence and Muslim piety have positioned him to assume a powerful new role in the region.
That could only be reinforced by the hero’s welcome he received last week when crowds in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia hailed him as the “saviour of Islam.”
“Erdogan’s tour warmed the hearts of millions of proud nationalist Turks, who enjoyed the spectacle of their Prime Minister, as in their words, ‘King of the Arab street,’ ” said Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Ankara’s posture in the Middle East — and the Arab world’s apparent receptivity to it — simply confirmed what Erdogan had been telling Turks for some time: A prosperous, powerful and democratic Turkey can influence the world around it.”
But the new assertiveness is also straining relations with the United States.
Tensions between Turkey and Israel, which Mr. Erdogan last week publicly condemned as “the West’s spoiled child,” were expected to dominate Tuesday’s talks with Mr. Obama.
Washington wants to prevent any further rupture between its two closest Middle East allies.
But Mr. Erdogan’s emphatic support for the UN granting statehood to Palestine has also placed Washington and Ankara on opposite sides of another crucial issue.
Both countries are struggling to find common ground on a multinational bid to end the repression in Syria and depose President Bashar Assad.
As Syria’s immediate neighbour, Turkey will play a crucial role in enforcing sanctions and could apply additional pressure on the country’s business elite.
Yet another bump in relations is an emerging crisis over Greek Cyprus’s decision to drill for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey refuses to acknowledge the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government. Before he left for New York, Mr. Erdogan announced Turkey will launch its own oil exploration off the north coast of Cyprus.
As an emerging regional power, he also said Turkey will step up monitoring the region around the island with jet fighters, frigates and torpedo boats.
firstname.lastname@example.org – SOURCE: http://www.nationalpost.com/m/news/blog.html?b=fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/09/20/peter-goodspeed-u-s-grapples-with-newly-muscular-turkey
If Turkey’s Prime Ministery Erdogan makes good on his ambitions of raising Turkey to even some of the military and regional prominence of the former Ottoman Empire, it’s worth taking a fresh look at the prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39 to see if modern-day Turkey fits with the interpretation of that passage.
Ezekiel, in his remarkable prophecy spanning chapters 38-39, lists several names as allies of Gog in the last-days invasion of the land of Israel. In order, they are, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-Togarmah.
Genesis 10 lists Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah among the descendants of Noah’s son, Japheth.
I’ve talked on this blog, or on Historicism.com, about most of these before. But let’s take a fresh look at them again, taking our cues from Moody’s Bible Atlas.
Magog – “[Magog]..must be situated in central or western Turkey. Josephus equated Magog with the Scythians (people known to have lived in the vicinity of the Black Sea).”
Tubal – “The Tubal, or Tabali, are a people group linked to Anatolia in the vicinity of modern Caesarea (Mazaca).”
Meshech – “Known as the Mushki/Mushkaya in first-millennium b.c. Akkadian texts,36 this is a people located in eastern Asia Minor, in the area later known as Phrygia. [See map 112.] Herodotus placed the Meshech in eastern Asia Minor, and Josephus equated them with the Cappadocians.”
Gomer – “Gomer is mentioned in cuneiform sources as Gimirrai and in classical texts as Cimmeria, referring to a nomadic people living in north-central Turkey. After being defeated by the Assyrian monarchs Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal,29 they conquered Gugu/Gog of Luddi (Gyges of Lydia; cf. Ezek. 38:2) and colonized that area of Cappadocia. According to Herodotus30 they were displaced by the Scythians and eventually settled in the area around Lake Van. The Behistun trilingual inscription equates the Gimirrai with the Saka/Scythians,31 and Josephus states that the Greeks referred to the descendants of Gomer as Galatians.”
So, according to Moody’s atlas, these names refer to places that can be found on the map in “central or western Turkey”, “modern Caesarea (Mazaca)” (in Cappadocia, according to Wikipedia), “Phrygia” or Cappadocia, “north-central Turkey” or “Lake Van” (in Van Province of far eastern Turkey, according to Wikipedia) or Galatia.
So what about “Beth-Togarmah“, or the “house of Togarmah” in Hebrew? The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia gives this information:
Probably Armenia or a Tract Connected Therewith:
In Ezek 27:14 Togarmah is mentioned after Tubal, Javan and Mesech as supplying horses and mules to the Tyrians, and in 38:6 it is said to have supplied soldiers to the army of Gog (Gyges of Lydia). In the Assyrian inscriptions horses came from Kusu (neighborhoed of Cappadocia), Andia and Mannu, to the North of Assyria. Both Kiepert and Dillmann regard Togarmah as having been Southeastern Armenia, and this is at present the general opinion. The ancient identification of their country with Togarmah by the Armenians, though correct, is probably due to the Septuagint transposition of “g” and “r” (Grk: Thorgama for Grk: Togarmah), which has caused them to see therein the name of Thorgom, father of Haik, the founder of their race (Moses of Khor, I, 4, secs. 9-11). Ezek 27:14 (Swete) alone has “g” before “r”: Grk: Thaigrama. The name “Armenia” dates from the 5th century BC.
Given Prime Minister Erdogan’s visions of grandeur, it is not hard to imagine Turkey, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, gaining influence over Armenia, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia–much less Palestine and Syria. A Turkey like that presents a serious threat to Israeli national security. A Turkey like that could even mean that most commentators in the past were mistaken to think that Gog would be Russia, much less Gomer the European Union or France. This does not mean it’s time to scrap previous speculations, but it does mean we should keep our eye on these new and dangerous developments. As you consider these things, let me leave you with these chilling words, excerpted from the National Post article above:
In the absence of any strong Arab leaders, the Turkish PM believes his unique combination of political power, self-confidence and Muslim piety have positioned him to assume a powerful new role in the region.
That could only be reinforced by the hero’s welcome he received last week when crowds in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia hailed him as the “saviour of Islam.”
In: In the Bible, In the News
6 Ah, sword of the Lord!
How long till you are quiet?
Put yourself into your scabbard;
rest and be still!
7 How can it be quiet
when the Lord has given it a charge?
Against Ashkelon and against the seashore
he has appointed it.”
It is Jeremiah himself addressing the sword of the Lord. The Philistines may be pagans, and they may often have oppressed Israel, but now they are about to get pounded—and by the Babylonians, Judah’s premier enemy. So Jeremiah intercedes for the Philistines. But the final verse shows that he understands perfectly well that he cannot command God’s sword. The Lord himself has commanded it, the God of just judgment, and it will do its work. So also on the last day.
For The Love Of God, http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/2011/08/18/1-samuel-10-romans-8-jeremiah-47-psalms-23%e2%80%9324-2/
In: In the Bible · Tagged with: Jeremiah 47
On our little Historicists FaceBook group, people occasionally post things that aren’t really in line with traditional Historicist teaching. So I wrote this little article (mostly just by copying and pasting) in order to protect the focus and purpose of the group. In case you’re interested in joining the group, you can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/117589194924802/doc/?id=261635517186835#!/groups/117589194924802/
Before you ask to join this Facebook group, please read this introduction to the interpretation of Bible prophecy we call, "Historicism". The purpose of this FaceBook group is to draw together and encourage people who hold these views, and to introduce others to these views. Any posts or documents on this page that promote other views, or ideas contradicting the main points of premillennial Historicism (as seen below) will be removed. It’s not hard to find other groups and pages on Facebook where experimental ideas about Bible prophecy are welcome. This is not one of those groups.
One of the most respected writers on the subject of the Historicist interpretation of prophecy in the last half of the 19th century was Henry Grattan Guinness–a famous missionary, and an acquaintance of Hudson Taylor’s, Charles Spurgeon’s, and A. J. Gordon’s. The following two excerpts are taken from two chapters in his groundbreaking book, The Approaching End of the Age (1879):
EXCERPTS FROM THE APPROACHING END OF THE AGE
The [Historicist] or PRESENTIST interpretation, is that historic Protestant view of these prophecies, which considers them to predict the great events to happen in the world and in the church, from St. John s time to the coming of the Lord; which sees in the Church of Rome, and in the Papacy, the fulfilment of the prophecies of Babylon and of the Beast, and which interprets the times of the Apocalypse on the year-day system.
This view originated about the eleventh century, with those who even then began to protest, against the growing corruptions of the Church of Rome. It grew among the Waldenses, Wickliffites, and Hussites, into, a consistent scheme of interpretation, and was embraced with enthusiasm and held with intense conviction of its truth, by the Reformers of the sixteenth century. In their hands it became a powerful and formidable weapon, to attack and expose the mighty apostasy, with which they were called to do battle. From this time it spread with a rapidity that was astonishing, so that ere long it was received as a self evident and fundamental truth, among Protestant churches everywhere. It nerved the Reformers of England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden, and animated the martyrs of Italy and Spain; it decided the conscientious and timid adherents of the Papacy to cross the Rubicon, and separate from the so called Catholic Church; and it has kept all the Reformed churches since, from attempting reunion with Rome.
It was held and taught by Joachim Abbas, Walter Brute, Luther, Zwingle, Melanchthon, Calvin, and all the rest of the Reformers; by Bullinger, Bale, and Foxe; by Brightman and Mede, Sir Isaac and Bishop Newton, Vitringa, Daubuz and Whiston, as well as by Faber, Cunningham, Frere, Birks and Elliott; no two of these may agree on all questions of minor detail, but they agree on the grand outline, and each one has added more or less to the strength and solidity of the system, by his researches. During the last seven centuries this system has been deepening its hold on the convictions of the Christian church, and has been embraced by some of her wisest and best guides and teachers. It originated with martyrs and confessors, exerted a sanctifying and strengthening influence over those who received it; it tended to revive the hope of the premillennial coming of the Lord, which had long lain in abeyance, leading naturally to many false anticipations of that event, which have been disproved by time, as well as to many very remarkable approximations to the truth, as to the time of other events. It met of course with intense and bitter opposition from the church it branded as Babylon, and the power it denounced as Antichrist, and to this day is rejected by all who in any way maintain or defend these, as well as by some who do neither.
Nor are the claims of this principle of historical interpretation in the least invalidated by the fact, that interpreters differ among themselves as to the precise application of some of the visions. Nearly all the writers of the first fifteen centuries of the Christian era, entertained the view that the Apocalypse was a comprehensive prophecy, reaching from the date of its publication to the end of all things, and endeavoured consequently to find its historical solution. It can be no wonder that, as the page of history has unrolled itself, greater accuracy should have been attained, than it was possible for early students to possess. At the time of the Reformation, and subsequently, the great body of commentators still interpreted the Apocalypse on the same principle, but naturally with a far closer approximation to the truth, though they were by no means unanimous in their expositions of detail; and many are the points of controversy which still exist. But the essential agreement, more than counterbalances the minor differences, and it would be strange indeed if such differences did not exist.*
We extract the following note from an admirable little pamphlet by P. H. Gosse, F.R.S., entitled, "The Revelation How is it to be Interpreted?" (London: Morgan and Chase, 23, Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row) which we earnestly commend to the consideration of those who hold Futurist views.
"The following list of Presentist expositors of the Apocalypse includes, so fay as I have been able to ascertain, all of any note from the era of the Reformation to the publication of the Hore of Mr. Elliott: Luther, Bullinger, Bale, Chytrnus, Marlorat, Foxe, Brigbtman, Pareus, Mede, Vitringa, Daubuz, Sir Isaac Newton, Whiston, Bengel, Bishop Newton, Bicheno, Faber, Frere, Irving, Cunningham, Habershon, Bickersteth, Birks, Woodhouse, Keith, Elliott, twenty-six in all. Out of these there are agreed as follows:
1.That seals I. to IV. are the decline of the pagan empire .
2.That seal VI. is the fall of paganism under Constantine .
3. That trumpets I. to IV. are the Gothic invasions
4. That trumpet V. is the Saracens.
5. That trumpet VI. is the Turks
6. That the little opened book refers to the Reformation.
7. That chapter xi. is the papal persecution of saints as heretics
8. That chapter xii. is the depression and recession from view of the true church during the papal ages
9. That the beasts are aspects of the Papacy
10.That the vials are the great French revolution and its results
11.That chapter xvii. is Rome
12.That chapter xviii. is the Papacy
13.That a day is the symbol of a year
It is right to observe that, the first four seals and first four trumpets referring each to several things, the agreement must be understood as admitting some diversity in details. Also that the application to the French revolution of the vials, could not possibly be made by expositors who wrote before the close of the last century. that is more than half of the whole number. Sir Isaac Newton and Whiston, however, shrewdly foresaw the great infidel revolution, as the e
arthquake of the seventh trumpet, "that infidelity was to break in pieces the Antichristian party which had so long corrupted Christianity." (Whiston, p. 46.)
In: In the Bible · Tagged with: FaceBook, Guinness, Historicism
One question visitors to Historicism.com (the parent site of ProphecyBlog.net) have asked me over and over again throughout the years is something like, “Why do you say all time periods in Bible prophecy should be interpreted taking a year of history for every day in the prophecy?” In other words, why should all Bible prophecy chronological predictions be interpreted using the scale 1 day : 1 year?
I was sure I’d written something on this subject before… but I’m almost 40 now so my memory is not what it used to be! (or so I’m told.) But having searched my own site (Historicism.com) I can’t find something good enough to recommend to people asking this question. So here is my solution: an excerpt from The Approaching End of the Age, by Henry Grattan Guinness, in which he explains “the year-day system” of interpreting Bible prophecy.