Ezekiel 38:1-3a, “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 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 …”
When it comes to the war described by the Prophet Ezekiel in the 38th and 39th chapters of his book — often referred to as the War of Gog-Magog — there often seems to be a circle of Bible prophecy teachers that keep repeating the same general theories over and over in an effort to impose a specific preconceived idea or timeline into the battle. Instead of allowing the full counsel of Scripture to provide the timing of this war for us, Gog-Magog is characterized as a war that will happen either just before or immediately after the start of “Daniel’s 70th week”. All too often, students of Biblical eschatology who study the positions of a particular author or teacher may then refer to a couple of others who say essentially the same thing for “inquisitive” reinforcement. These students are subsequently conditioned to conclude that these authors and teachers must be correct because they have “all” come at the same conclusion from the text, one that is further strengthened in the student’s mind when the very same teachers also echo similar rebuttals outlining why any opposing position cannot be correct. But as the Bereans in the Book of Acts were called noble because they searched the Scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was so, we too also need to mimic the Berean example.
Instead of repeating the common misconception outlined above, authors and teachers such as Joel Richardson (read his position here) and Dave Hunt & T. A. McMahon from The Berean Call radio ministry (listen to a segment from their radio program discussing Ezekiel 38 and 39 here) have presented serious, if not devastating, challenges to the more “mainstream” position of Evangelical Christians by offering compelling reasons why Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog war does not describe a “pre-Armageddon” battle. Upon a much closer and careful examination of Ezekiel’s text, it becomes increasingly clear that we can ascertain — simply by comparing Scripture with Scripture — why Gog-Magog is a battle that will, without a doubt, culminate in the war of Read more…
Daniel 9:26, “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Many have traditionally believed that since the army that destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD was considered Roman then this, therefore, must mean that according to Daniel 9:26 the Antichrist would rise out of Europe. The majority of popular Biblical eschatology teachers today, even in light of events happening on the global stage, still teach an Antichrist who comes out of Europe, a charismatic leader that rises from within the European Union to then lead a One World Government. Writers have published novels such as the “Left Behind” series promoting it, even Christian movies have been inspired and produced by this very idea. However, although the people of the prince to come mentioned in Daniel 9:26 may have been considered “Roman” soldiers merely because they were (supposedly) under the command of Rome, many of these same teachers have either ignored or were just not aware of the following very significant fact. Read more…
Dr. Michael Brown: “I am not interested in speculation but I am very interested in information, and we need to understand what is happening in the Muslim world and how, perhaps, what is happening in the Muslim world ties in with what is happening in our neck of the woods and what ties in, perhaps, with what’s even written in Scripture.” Downoad the MP3 here.
“Meet Joel Richardson, and hear his perspective on the importance of the Middle East, Israel, and Islam in the unfolding of the end times events! Could the Islamic “messiah” be the antichrist? In the second hour, Dr. Brown sifts through different end-time theologies!
Hour 1: Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is a redeemer. He will come and establish His kingdom on the earth, and every knee will bow to Him, every tongue will recognize that He is Lord. And He is not the one that the Muslims call “the redeemer,” He’s the one they wrongly call “Esau,” rejecting the Son of God. He will come, and Muslim knees will bow, Muslim tongues will confess that Jesus is Lord. Let’s pray that God will hasten that day!
Hour 2: Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: God will keep His promises to Israel, and they will be literally fulfilled. God wants us to be living in light of the return of Jesus; He will appear, and we will become like Him, and we will be with Him forever. How, then, should we live today? Let us live righteous, holy, and godly lives, as we look forward to and hasten the day of His appearing.” Link: The Line of Fire Radio.
Many Christians today can be eschatologically myopic. This is particularly true for many of us who live comfortably in the West, working comfortable jobs and making enough money to enjoy a fairly comfortable living while Christians in other parts of the world, especially the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia where Islam is the dominant religion, live under the constant threat of persecution and even death simply because of the very fact that they are Christian. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) estimate that approximately 176,000 Christians were martyred between mid-2008 to mid-2009. This, according to the authors, compares to 160,000 martyrs in mid-2000 and 34,400 at the beginning of the 20th century . And it’s getting worse.
I believe that we are in the last of the last days and are being plunged into a time that Christ described as “great tribulation” in Matthew 24. I do not believe, however, in a seven-year-tribulation nor do I believe that we, at any imminent moment, will be whisked away in a secret rapture to avoid any and all persecution that may be coming to our shores, as much as I would love for that to be the case (read here to find out where Paul and John place the rapture of the Church in Scripture, and here to find out what the Church is according to Jesus).
As the end of the age approaches, the picture of radical Islam and its role in the Last Days is becoming increasingly clear (cf. Daniel 12:4), and just as our Christian brothers and sisters on the other side of the world are today being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, shot, blown up and beheaded for the faith of Jesus, I believe that we, too, will continue to witness all that is taking place. As such, I hereby present to you a commentary on Revelation 13 for your consideration that I believe reveals to us the time in which we are now living today, and the time that will soon be upon us.
John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Many of us have often assumed that when Jesus spoke of the “Father’s house” in John 14 He was referring to Heaven and was referring to the rapture of the Church when He promised that we would be received unto Him. As such, many have understood the text to infer that, as believers in Christ, we would all be whisked away to Heaven to live in a “mansion just over the hilltop” before the world is tossed into the abyss of a seven-year tribulation just prior to “Daniel’s 70th week.” But is this what Jesus was referring to when He says “My Father’s house”? And was Jesus telling us that He would take us to Heaven when He promised to come again to receive us unto Himself? Let’s take a moment to explore the text and compare Scripture with Scripture to determine if this is the picture that the Word of God paints for us, or if the Word paints a different picture for us altogether. In the end, I believe we may see that there is much more to these three verses than many of us have often assumed. Read more…
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
And there it is. Two of the — if not the — most popular “rapture” passages in the entire Bible. Yet when many Christians read about the timing of the “rapture” at the “last trump” they are either unaware, or because of an already preconceived assumption on this very subject, refuse to even consider if the “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is a direct reference to the 7th and last trumpet that John describes in the 10th chapter of Revelation. But why? Admittedly, even I was not aware of the significance of Revelation 10 for many years, but am now more than convinced that we can corroborate through the context of text that this is indeed the last trumpet that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the church in Corinth.
For a moment, if you will, toss aside any preconceptions you may have on the timing of the rapture and approach the text as if it were for the first time. Approach it with the heart of a Berean so that together we may search the Scriptures. Read more…
Revelation 13:16-17, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The most popular view today regarding the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13 is that it is a literal mark physically placed in the forehead or right hand of those who worship Antichrist. Many teachers of Biblical eschatology will even refer to modern 21st century technology and point to some type of tattoo or implantable microchip under the skin when attempting to explain the mark. But why? What is in the text that leads many to believe that this mark must be physical when, after all, virtually every one of us would agree that while the book of Revelation speaks about the dragon, the Beast, the “Whore of Babylon” or the mark of Christ upon the elect etc. that these descriptions are not referring to a literal dragon, a literal animal, a literal prostitute or a literal seal of Christ? This is obviously figurative language pointing to something completely different. On the other hand, so to speak, is there anything from Scripture to indicate for us that this mark need not be a physical mark at all, but could instead be something else entirely?
After careful consideration, I believe that the Mark of the Beast is very likely a spiritual mark just as the mark of Christ upon the elect is spiritual. Since many will resist the suggestion that a figurative Beast will also have a figurative mark, despite the fact that there is nothing in the text stating that the Mark of the Beast must be physical, it is important to rightly divide the Word of God and study, from the whole of Scripture, the significance of the hand and head and how it often relates to man’s condition in the Biblical text. Read more…