Posted by: adventlife | February 29, 2012

Russia warns Israel not to attack Iran, by Nic Samojluk

When I read the following dire warning issued by Gennady Gatilov directed atIsraeland theUnited Statesabout the seriousness of an attack againstIran, I immediately remembered the prophetic predictions found in Ezekiel, chapter 36 though 38. First, take a look at Russia’s warning, and then consider some of the salient points contained in said biblical chapters:

“Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a UN nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic program.

Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference.

It was one of Russia’s starkest warnings against resorting to force, an option Israel and the United States have not ruled out if they conclude that diplomacy and increasing sanctions will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

I hope Israel understands all these consequences and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves, Gatilov said. I hope a realistic approach will prevail, along with a sensible assessment. …”

Now lets consider what the Bible has to say about the roleIsrael,Iran, andRussiaare expected to play in the final events of world history. If you think that this prophetic predictions have already been fulfilled, I would like to know when; and if they are still in the future, then could it be that they are being fulfilled in the present and will extend into  the near future perhaps:

<< Ezekiel 36 >>
New International Version 1984

The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

16Again the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness in my sight. 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. …

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. …

24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. …

33“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. …

Someone may argue that these predictions were fulfilled already when the Jews were allowed by providence to return toJerusalemfollowing the Babylonian captivity. Could it be that history was repeated when the State of Israel was reborn from the ashes in 1948? Many insist that the Jewish nation was rejected by the Lord as his chosen nation following the death of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, and the stoning of Stephen. This may be partially true, yet we should not ignore that Paul the Apostle did predict the possible reinstatement of the Jewish nation as an integral part of God’s people on earth. Notice the following additional dramatic prediction:

<< Ezekiel       37 >>
New       International Version 1984

TheValley   ofDryBones

1 The hand of the Lord   was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was   full of bones. 2 He led me   back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the   valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked   me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign Lord,   you alone know.”

4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to   them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!   5 This is   what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones:   I will make breatha enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will   attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I   will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I   am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was   prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came   together, bone to bone. 8 I looked,   and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was   no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy,   son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and   breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I   prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and   stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the   whole house of Israel.   They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore   prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your   graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then   you, my people, will know that I am the Lord,   when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will   put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own   land. Then you will know that I the Lord   have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

<< Ezekiel 38 >>
New International Version 1984

A Prophecy Against Gog

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince ofa Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince ofb Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cushc and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Tekamah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

[The references to Meshech and toPersiaare significant, I believe. Some scholars believe that Meshech is a reference toMoscow, and the modern name ofPersiaisIran, of course. It is interesting to note thatRussiais now warning about any military action againstIranbyIsrael.]

7 “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

[The mention of the “after many days” phrase is significant, I believe. Is this a reference to the past, or rather the present and the not distant future? Even if this were a reference to the past, we should not deny the possibility that history does repeat sometimes. We should not assume that biblical predictions have a single fulfillment in history. Notice how many times the Jewish nation sinned against heaven, then repented and was blessed by the Lord over and over again. Repeated fulfillment of prophetical predictions is should not be ruled out. A good example is Jesus prediction about the destruction of the city ofJerusalem, yet we accept that said prediction also apply to future vents.]

10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars.

[Did you notice the reference to “unwalled villages” and people … living without walls”? Can this be a reference to the past? The city ofJerusalemwas surrounded by protecting walls, which leas me to conclude that these predictions are mainly directed at future evens.]

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16You will advance against my peopleIsrael like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. …

[What about the reference to the “far north”?Persia—modernIran—would probably not described as far north.Russia, on the other hand matches such description.]

18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in theland ofIsrael. …

I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

<< Ezekiel 39 >>
New International Version 1984

1 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is   what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against   you, O Gog, chief prince ofa Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will   turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and   send you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I   will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your   right hand. 4 On the   mountains ofIsrael   you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give   you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. ..

7 “‘I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I   will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I   the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. 8 It is   coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of.

9 “‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go   out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up—the small and large   shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they   will use them for fuel. 10 They   will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests,   because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who   plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord.

[If   you still think that this prophecy was fulfilled following the Jewish Babylonian   captivity, then how come this portion of the prediction does not fit into the   historical events after the captives inBabylon  returned to the destroyed city ofJerusalem?]

11 “‘On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in   the valley of those who travel east towardb the Sea.c It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and   all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.d

12“‘For seven months the house of Israel will   be burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13All the   people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a   memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord.   …

25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now bring Jacob back from   captivityf and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I   will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They   will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when   they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I   have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the   countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight   of many nations. 28 Then   they will know that I am the Lord their God,   for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to   their own land, not leaving any behind. 29I will no   longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house ofIsrael,   declares the Sovereign Lord.”

[If you disagree with my views on this,   can you tell me why? Adventist preachers used to talk about biblical   prophecies like this one and many others, but for some reason this habit has   been vanishing from our pulpits.]


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