Gomer and all his bands with them arise from the ashes of Paris
France Looks to Strengthen ties with Russia in wake of Paris attacks.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
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It has been a week since the horrific attack in Paris. World leaders have been reeling in formulating a response. There is much consternation in the world as the conflict from the Middle East has once again reached into the comfortable lives of Westerners. The atmosphere is similar to that of the time period directly before the overthrow of Judea in AD 70, as prophesied by the Lord Jesus Christ:
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25–26)
While the world is reeling in dread of what is coming, Bible prophecy students have comfort of the scriptures to know the end of the situation:
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2–6)
Prophecy tells us the end of the situation, and lets us know that God is in control of the nations:
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
God tells us that he reveals what he is doing through the prophetic word:
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, But he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
So what do the prophets reveal about the situation at the time of the end? Ezekiel paints the picture of the alliance hostile to Israel that will form the invading force along with Russia:
“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:2–6)
In this alliance, Gomer and his bands are mentioned. According to the historians, Edward Wells writing in 1708:
“… the colonies, which coming from the nation of Gomer, in process of time spread themselves further and further, and settled themselves in several parts of Europe… This colony of the Cimmerii increasing in process of time, and so spreading themselves still by new colonies further westward, came along the Danube, and settled themselves in the country, which from them has been called Germany….
Out of Germany the descendant of Gomer spread themselves into Gaul or France…. Josephus says that those called by the Greeks Galatæ, were originally Gomerites. Which words may be understood, either of the Asiatic Galatea, commonly called by us Galatians, or by the European Galatæ, commonly called by us Gauls.”
So historians identify Gomer of the Ezekiel with the Gauls of France and with the Germans. Ezekiel states that these nations will be with Russia (Rosh) at the time of the end in their invasion of Israel.
When we watch today’s news – we are seeing the alliance predicted in the scripture in embryo stages of formation. Following the Second World War and the fall of Nazi Germany and the collaborating Vichy France, the French have been in the hegemony (or influence) of the Western powers, specifically America.
They have been a member of NATO since its inception in 1948 and formalization in 1949. During the Cold war, France withdrew from NATO’s military agreement under Charles de Gaulle’s presidency in 1958, while remaining a member of NATO. Under President Nicholas Sarkozy France negotiated the return of France to the integrated military command.
The horrific attacks in Paris have provoked an understandably visceral response from France – with some interesting outcomes. The French President addressed both houses of the French Parliament at the Palace of Versailles, the second time in history a President has done this stating:
“France is at war... We're not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism, which is threatening the whole world…”
“Friday’s acts of war were decided and planned in Syria. They were organized in Belgium and perpetrated on our soil with French complicity with one specific goal: to sow fear and to divide us,”
“Syria has become the biggest factory of terrorism the world has ever known and the international community is still too divided and too incoherent.”
Hollande then called upon Russia and America to join forces in the fight against ISIL:
"We must combine our forces to achieve a result that is already too late in coming."
Hollande’s speech isn’t just rhetoric. This week they sent their “ships” in, as the Los Angeles Times reported:
The French have sent their largest aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, from southern France to the eastern Mediterranean. Including the carrier force, the flagship of the French navy, France will have a total of 40 warplanes in the conflict, according to the defense ministry.
What is extremely significant, is that rather than looking to NATO and evoking Article 5, France has become the first nation to invoked the mutual-defense clause of the European Union Treaty which states:
"If a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have toward it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power." (Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union)
The Wall Street Journel reported the EU response:
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the tool is mainly intended to intensify bilateral cooperation but that the EU is given some role in coordinating those efforts. She said many ministers had already announced offers of “material assistance” that could help free up French capabilities.
It isn’t entirely surprising that France would look elsewhere for support.
The day before the attack in Paris Obama was claiming to have “contained ISIS”:
…from the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We've made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters. Part of our goal has to be to recruit more effective Sunni partners in Iraq…
Obama has come under much criticism for stating that America has been effective in containing ISIL. However, Obama is holding to his policies in the Middle East, even after the Paris attacks. During his press conference in Turkey’s G20 Summit he claimed his policies are working:
As I outlined this fall at the United Nations, we have a comprehensive strategy using all elements of our power -- military, intelligence, economic, development, and the strength of our communities. With have always understood that this would be a long-term campaign. There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback. Even as we grieve with our French friends, however, we can’t lose sight that there has been progress being made.ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I have said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.
Well world round, the Paris attacks are being described as France’s 911, many have criticized Obama’s response describing the Paris attack as a “sickening setback” as being insensitive. The Washington Post claimed:
Mr. Obama… may be the first president since the end of World War II who simply doesn’t care what happens to Europe.
Even though Obama claims “France is our oldest ally”, France is looking elsewhere for support.
Meanwhile in Canada, a recent election seated Liberal Justin Trudeau in the prime minister’s chair. Arutz Sheva reported,
Despite the deadly attacks in Paris, Canada is committed to withdrawing six fighter jets bombing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
Arutz Sheva’s David Reuben had the following to say:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after less than a month in office, is hastily living up to his reputation as the northern Obama. His announcement that he is determined to keep his campaign pledge to welcome in at least 25,000 Syrian migrants is raising many eyebrows, as the terrorist threat from such newcomers becomes more and more apparent with the most recent Islamic terrorist massacre in France.
So with both America and Canada moving to the sidelines, other players are stepping into the void.
France called on both Russia and America to join forces, but in the wake of limited American response has had to focus on Russia. The Wall Street Journal carried an article the headline, “France Wants Alliance With Russia… French seek to broaden coalition fighting Islamic State after Paris attacks”. The article reported:
Mr. Hollande redefined France’s goals in a speech on Monday… also said “our enemy, our enemy in Syria, is Daesh,” using another name for Islamic State.
The LA Times Reported:
Hollande's overtures have been received warmly by Putin's government, which is eager to be seen as a partner of Western Europe, especially against the extremist threat it has warned its public about.
The French approach is "exactly what [Putin's] been dreaming about," said Alexander Gabuev, a Moscow-based foreign policy expert for the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace.
SkyNews reported on Tuesday:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to set up a joint military operation with France to combat Islamic State.
Moscow says the move follows a telephone conversation with French President Francois Hollande, who had earlier urged the US and Russia to join a coalition to destroy the extremist group.
Mr Putin has apparently ordered the Russian Navy to contact its French counterparts, to work together as allies.
It isn’t just France that is turning to Russia. The Wall Street Journal last week reported:
Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has praised “illiberalism” and made common ideological cause with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In Germany, a whole class of businesspeople, politicians, and current and former government officials, led by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, presses constantly for normalized relations with Moscow. It sometimes seems, in Germany and perhaps in all of Europe, as if the only person standing in the way of full alliance with Russia is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Now the Syrian crisis has further bolstered Russia’s position. Although Europeans generally share Washington’s discomfort with Moscow’s support for Mr. Assad and Russia’s bombing of moderate Syrian rebels, in the wake of the Paris attacks, any plausible partner in the fight against Islamic State seems worth enlisting. In France, former President Nicolas Sarkozy has long been an advocate for Russia, but now his calls for partnership with Moscow are echoed by President François Hollande, who seeks a “grand coalition” with Russia to fight Islamic State.
… former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer recently put it, the U.S. “quite obviously, is no longer willing—or able—to play its old role.” Mr. Fischer was referring specifically to America’s role as the dominant power in the Middle East, but since the refugee crisis and the attacks in Paris, America’s unwillingness to play that role has reverberations and implications well beyond the Middle East. What the U.S. now does or doesn’t do in Syria will affect the future stability of Europe, the strength of trans-Atlantic relations and therefore the well-being of the liberal world order.
So political leaders in Europe – from France, Germany, Hungary and elsewhere are seeing America’s lack of leadership as a reason to make alliance with Russia in for a future world order!
Once again… the Bible has told us the story well before the politicians move in the direction the angels are pointing them.
The European Union has been pushing for closer integration with the proposal of a European Army being brought up in March of this year. British Prime Minister David Cameron has opposed this move, and the week before the Paris attack announced Britain would be looking to renegotiate its membership in the European Union and hold a referendum on British membership in the EU.
Cameron seems to support European membership, but on a renegotiated basis he believes he can achieve. However, he has clearly stated that if Britain cannot renegotiate, it will vote on membership, and the vote will be irrevocable:
“We believe very strongly that if a major member state has major concerns, concerns which it has been voicing in a measured and constructive fashion over a number of years, then it is entitled to expect those concerns to be addressed. At the heart of this negotiation is actually a very simple question: “Is the European Union flexible enough to address the concerns of its member states?”
So I have every confidence we will achieve an agreement that works for Britain and works for its European partners. And if, and when we do so, as I said three years ago, I will campaign to keep Britain inside a reformed European Union. I will campaign for it with all my heart and all my soul, because that will be unambiguously in our national interest.
But if we can't reach such an agreement [on reforms], and if Britain's concerns were to be met with a deaf ear, which I do not believe will happen, then we will have to think again about whether this European Union is right for us, and as I’ve said before I rule nothing out….
Ultimately it will be the judgment of the British people in the referendum I promised that I will deliver. You will have to judge what is best for you and your family, for your children and grand children, for our children and our future. It will be your decision whether remain in the EU on the basis of the reforms we secure or whether we leave. Your decision, no body else’s. Not politician’s, not parliament’s, not lobby groups, not mine, just you. You the British people will decide. At that moment you will hold this country’s destiny in your hands. This is huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes. And it will be final the final decision….
The renegotiation is happening right now. And the referendum that follows will be a once in a generation choice, an “IN” or “OUT” referendum.
When the British people speak, their voice will be respected – not ignored.
If we vote to leave, then we will leave. There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum.
Cameron may well be willing to campaign with all his heart and soul… all we can say is “Good luck”, because the angels will also be at work, just like they were in Daniel’s day, when we read Gabriel’s words:
“The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Micahel, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13)
This reminds us of the words of John Thomas in Elpis Israel when it comes to Britain’s politicians and their policy:
“The finger of God has indicated a course for Britain that cannot be evaded”
Daniel recalls Gabriel’s resolve:
“Now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Daniel 10:20).
We know the end of result of Britain’s membership in the EU. They will be forced out by the angelic hand to fulfill the role God has appointed to them. Britain is with the America, Canada and its Arabian allies protest the invasion:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
France will continue to shore up its solidarity with the EU and Russia to fulfill the role outlined for it:
Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer (France & German), and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:5–6)
Russia and Europe will inevitably be judged as it joins the little horn of Daniel’s vision, and invades the land of Israel as Ezekiel and Daniel describe, and eventually makes war on Christ as the book of Revelation dictates:
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shal overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
So as we continue to watch events unravel in France, Europe, Russia and the Middle East, we see the Bible in the News a the prophetic had is moving the pieces around the chessboard, and lining them of for the final play.
Let us double our resolve to be faithful for to the call of the gospel so that we can be part of the “chosen” when the great contest takes place between Christ and the nations of the world.
For the Bible in the News this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.