Today’s students of eschatology nearly unanimously agree that we are living in the “last days,” to use the Biblical term. We can all agree that the world seems to be careening down a path of no return. What is not fully agreed upon in the eschatology community are the specific meanings and possible connections of current world events related to as-yet-unfulfilled Biblical prophecies.
Living most of the time in Israel, we fall somewhere in the middle between those who see prophecy being fulfilled in nearly every world event and those who don’t see any real connection of world events compared with Biblical prophetic language.
But there are some things that have been happening recently which portray alliances and geopolitical wranglings in ways that are eerily similar to those written about in the Bible. From our view in the Front Row Seat, we’ve decided to publish those connections which we find of interest—those which might not be “prophetic” at this moment, but which tend to give us real life examples of how events might be unfolding. Here are a couple of pictures for this week:
Prophecy in Pictures – 101: Ezekiel 38-39
These three gentlemen have met together more than once in the recent past, and none of them ever seem to be up to any good. This picture brings to mind the passage from Ezekiel 38 and 39, which reads in part, “And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out…Persia…with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you.”
Now you might be asking why I didn’t include “Gog, of the land of Magog” from “the uttermost parts of the north” in my reference, since many believe those terms represents Russia in some way. It is possible that these names mean modern day “Russia” but that has not yet been proven to my satisfaction. However, we do know that Russia has close relationships with two other actors mentioned in this same passage: Sudan (biblical Cush) and Libya (biblical Put). So, Russia could definitely be involved in this alliance.
Easily proven are two of the remaining “big names” in the photo: Turkey and Iran. The ancient name Beth-togarmah represents an area today we know as Turkey and adjacent areas around the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshech are well attested in Greek and Assyrian records as also located in the area of modern day Turkey.
“Persia” in this list is much easier, since we all know that Iran was known as “Persia” until 1935.
So, is this a fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39? I don’t think so, but if it happens in our lifetime, we can take a look at this picture and say, “Remember when…?”
Prophecy in Pictures – 102: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
This photo was taken about a week ago. Although Jared Kushner is in the photo, he’s not what I want to draw your attention (although he has been involved in this Middle East Peace process since Trump became president.)
Instead, take a look at the logo of the conference: Peace and Security in the Middle East.
When I first saw this, my mind went immediately to the term “peace and safety,” which I used to see in many English translations of the Bible. I thought, “Wow, that’s really close to that verse in Thessalonians!” Then, I opened up my ESV (our preferred translation these days), and it read:
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,‘ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
Just as Neville Chamberlain prematurely exclaimed, “peace for our time,” after meeting with Hitler in 1938, I can imagine delegations from all over the world exclaiming “peace and security!” some day in the not-so-distant-future when a “peace agreement” is negotiated between Israel and other nations in the Middle East.
I don’t believe this conference in Warsaw is what Paul is referring to, but if you see this declaration happen in the near future, “…you know that he is near, at the very gates.” – Matthew 24:33
Stay tuned for more from the Front Row Seat!