The Mountains of Israel Populated while Gog Prepares for Herself
Russia Asserts its Power via the Pipeline while the Jewish Cities on the Mountains of Israel Grow.
January 12, 2007 - Audio, 8.00 MIN
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Russia cuts oil supplies to Europe this week for three days over a row with Belarus. This is Dave Billington at www.bibleinthenews.com with the weeks Bible in the News. Europe receives close to 30% of its oil and 40% of its gas from Russia. In a news analysis on the BBC website entitled: "Oil row highlights changing ties" we read the following:
"Moscow has been supplying cheap energy to Belarus for decades. Why the sudden change of heart now?
"Moscow also knows very well that the government of Alexander Lukashenko can ill afford the price hikes Russia has suddenly imposed.
"The Belarusian economy is in a parlous state.
"Without cheap oil and gas, that economy - and the Lukashenko regime - will almost certainly be plunged into crisis.
"And that, some in Moscow will tell you, is exactly what the Kremlin wants.
"That still begs the question - why? Why further jeopardise Russia's own reputation as a reliable partner and energy supplier for the rest of Europe.
"Why deliberately destabilise a neighbouring country?"
What is Russia up to? It certainly doesn't seem too worried about Europe going elsewhere for energy. It would be worthwhile to look at the Bible in the News from October 25, 2006 where this topic was discussed. In Ezekiel 38 it is prophesied that in the later days a great confederacy will come down upon the mountains of Israel. The timing of this prophecy is explicit, verse 8: "After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them." It is after "many days", in the "latter years", it is at a time when the mountains of Israel have been desolate for many generations, it is after the restoration of Israel. There is no doubt that the prophecy applies to the times in which we live.
It is not very difficult to understand which nations are included in this confederacy. The principal nations are all sons of Japheth, who, it is fairly easy to ascertain populated Europe. In 1 Chronicles 1:6 it is recorded that Gomer had a son called Ashchenaz. The Jews of Europe are called Ashkhenazi, as they were exiled in Europe. It is possible to find the names in Ezekiel 38 in ancient historians writings such as Josephus and Herodotus and identify them more closely with Russia, Germany and France. The non-European nations also with Gog are easy to identify: Persia or Iran, Ethiopia and Libya.
In Ezekiel 38:15 God says to Gog, that he would come out of his place, "out of the north parts". The King James does not capture the full sense of the hebrew word translated here as "parts". Both the Jewish Publication Society and Rotherham's catch the sense better as "uttermost" or "remote parts of the North". Gesenius says that the hebrew phrase translated "north parts" means: "the extreme regions of the north". Make a line from Israel to the extreme regions of the north and you will be in Russia.
The prophet Ezekiel is also particular about the part of the land that Gog invades. It is the "mountains of Israel" and the "midst of the land". The "midst of land" also has the idea of the "height of the land", the lofty area of the land. This is the central mountainous part of the land of Israel that the tribes of Israel first took when they invaded from the east under Joshua. The mountainous center was always much easier for the Israelites to hold onto, than the coastal plain where the Canaanite chariots were so foreboding. This is the part of the land that is the focus of Gog's invasion, it is also the invasion of this piece of real estate that causes God's fury to come up in his face and cause a great shaking in the land of Israel. A shaking that will usher in a new era--the era of the re-establishment of the kingdom of Israel and the building of the temple. This piece of land is already at the center of a world-wide controversy--it is known as the west bank. It is the biblical heartland of Israel, retaken by the Jews during the six day war 40 years ago.
Which brings us to a good piece of news this week. The Jewish population increased 6% in Judea and Samaria in 2006. That's an increase of 14,631 Jews in just one year and a population increase close to three times the national average. The process of populating the cities of Judah is increasing at a steady rate, despite the fact that Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert began 2006 with promises to destroy communities in these areas.
Oh, and the Palestinians have been fighting each other again. Hamas and Fatah are at each others throats. One fact is clear, at some point they will have to go elsewhere. The territory of the kingdom must be clear of Gentile nations by the time the throne is established in Zion. About a hundred and fifty years ago John Thomas wrote in a article entitled: "The Kingdom of God", which was republished in a collection of his work entitled: "The Faith in the Last Days", concerning the elements of the Kingdom of God that: "These are the dissolved and scattered fragments of the kingdom of God. Their reunion is a matter of promise, and consequently of hope. The Gentiles must be expelled from the territory; the twelve tribes must be replanted upon the land; the sleeping heirs of the government must be awaked, and the living believers in this kingdom changed: and to effect all this, God's Heir, the Restorer of the Kingdom, must come and subdue all things to himself."
To put Ezekiel's prophecy into todays terms, a Russian led confederacy of European and Islamic nations that will come against the West Bank which has always been waste for centuries, but the Jews have been brought forth out of the nations and dwell there, having returned in the year 1967 as the result of a miraculous 6-day war. But the confederacy will meet its sudden and unforeseen end in an event that will make the 6-day war seem insignificant.
The Bible is in the News, as Russia prepares for herself (Ezekiel 38:7); while at the same time the Jewish people are gathered back to the desolate places that are now inhabited, to the mountains of Israel. Come back again next week to www.bibleinthenews.com!
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