Full Episode 047: Is The War of Gog & Magog Coming? Part 2 | Inside The Epicenter

Joel C. Rosenberg addresses the growing speculation that Putin and Russia are at the center of the Old Testament prophecy of Gog and Magog.

Rosenberg provides clarity on the subject, having researched this topic for more than 20 years, and gives listeners answers about “Last Days” events and what prerequisites are now in place for those things to happen.

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TRANSCRIPT: 
- Coming up on this episode of Inside The Epicenter.

- People ask me is Vladimir Putin, Gog? And the answer is, I don't know, why? Because we haven't seen Vladimir Putin do the things that Ezekiel 38 tells us will happen as the war begins to be prepared and then launched. Now, I can't say he's Gog, but let's say he is Gog esque. He seems to have the personality and the characteristics of a person that would fit the concept of God. He an evil dictator who invades his neighbors, builds alliances, all that's true. And of course, we're seeing that horrifically in Ukraine where he's guilty of horrible, horrific war crime.

- Do the current alignments of world governments and their willingness to justify invasions and war signify a biblical fulfillment of prophecy? What about the war of Gog and Magog? And what do we see in the current war in Ukraine? The new alignment in Israel and the Arab nations and the increasing threat of a nuclear Iran. Well, welcome to Inside The Epicenter with Joel Rosenberg, a podcast of the Joshua Fund, a ministry dedicated to blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. I'm Carl Moeller, Executive Director of the Joshua Fund, and I'm joined today by our founder, Joel Rosenberg from Jerusalem. Today, we wanna continue our conversation on the war of Gog and Magog. Joel, welcome. So glad to have you again, brother.

- Well, I appreciate it so much, Carl, and you know, I think of all the years that I've been teaching on Ezekiel 38 and 39, the war of Gog and Magog, and yet I've never been teaching it and explaining it at a time where Russia is actually invading a country and leading the largest land war in the history of Europe since World War II. And I mean, a lot of people are asking these questions, is there any biblical prophetic significance to that? Is it leading to a Ezekiel 38 and 39? I just think the timing is for me, having written books about this and a documentary film about this and speaking about it all over the world, but the context here is different than at any other time that I've been speaking about it for, you know, almost 20 years.

- Exactly, it's amazing. And the convergence of those things. Now, we did a podcast earlier on this theme of the war of Gog and Magog, but maybe you can catch us up briefly on that and basically who are Gog and Magog today, you know, in some of our understandings?

- Right, so in Ezekiel 38 and 39, this is a prophecy written by the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel almost 2,600 years ago. So, you know, not yesterday, you know, to recap what we talked about in the previous podcast, there are a number of ancient names that are used in the prophecy that often and understandably baffle, modern readers, and sometimes they're like, yeah, I don't really understand that that's all gobbledygook you know, so they move on and they just skip it. But actually, if you do a little historic detective work, you can figure out what it means, and in my book, "Epicenter," from which this podcast is named, that goes back 15, 16 years ago to 2006. That's the first book I wrote that as a non-fiction book that walked us up through. So short version, Gog is not a name of a person. It is a figure, it's a character in the prophecy, but it's not someone's last name. We're not looking for Bob Gog or Fred Gog or Dimitri Gog. Gog is a title, and it's like a Pharaoh or d'atzar in that sense that it's a... What we see in the text is he's the ruler of a whole territory. He's the leader and ruler, maybe grand strategist of a coalition of countries that are gonna do something evil. The text tells us that he has an evil thought, an evil scheme. And we know that he is a military leader. He's gonna gather a group of military forces from his own country and from other countries. Now, what country is that? Well, Gog is the leader of Magog, and you're like well, that's not helping me any. No, I get that, but if you do the historical detective work, we learn from ancient history, particularly the ancient historian Josephus that the Magog knights, the people of Magog are the people whom the Greeks called Scythians. That's interesting because the Scythians, there were more Greek historians that wrote about the Scythians than Jewish historians that wrote about the Magog knights. Short version is the Scythians are the people who moved from the Middle East migrated Northward and settled North of the black sea, North of the Caspian Sea in the region we know today as Russia.

- Got it.

- Now, is it possible that Magog involves more territory than just modern day Russia? Yeah, that's possible, but we can't be definitive about it.

- Got it.

- So we're looking for a dictator, an evil dictator, a military leader, and a coalition builder, who's in charge of Russia at least. And he builds a coalition with other countries. Again, some of them are, are complicated names, but the main one, the first one that's mentioned is Persia, right? Well, that's an easy one to decipher, because until 1935, Persia was the official legal name of the country today we call the Islamic Republic of Iran. So to sum that up, what do you have? You have 2,600 years ago, a Hebrew prophet looking down the corridors of history, saying there's gonna be a Russian Iranian military Alliance that's going to form an attack Israel in what the text says is, "The last days" that phrase is actually used in the prophecy. And then very briefly, there are a number of other countries, they include ancient name for the countries we today called Turkey, Libya, and a number of central Asian countries, possibly Turkmenistan, maybe some other central Asian countries, possibly Ethiopia, and possibly Algeria. So there is some wiggle room though things that we can't be sure and precise about, but some of the countries are absolutely definitive once you study the history of these names and the names, just to be clear, come from Genesis 10. These are not names that are randomly generated.

- Sure.

- Ezekiel's referring to a group of tribes, descendants of Adam, and then eventually Noah that spread out from the Middle East and go take up territory all over the world. And then the key is to trace the history of those tribes, where they were at the beginning, but where they had ended up over time. And that's the picture that we get of this Russian, Iranian, Turkish, et cetera alliance.

- Interesting, this is so fascinating. And we talked last time about the difference too, between the two wars of Gog and Magog, one in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and one in revelation 20, just briefly again, you know, what are the two distinctions between those two things and which one are we really kind of talking about today?

- Right, so the revelation prophecy describes a war of Gog and Magog, and which involves every nation of the earth coming together against the nation of Israel. And this is at the end of the thousand year millennial reign of Christ on earth, okay?

- Okay.

- So those are the specific elements that tell you, okay, that seems different from Ezekiel 38 and 39. Why? Because Ezekiel 38 and 39 describes a limited coalition. Fearsome, but limited. It gives us specific tribes and therefore countries that we can say okay, that's in the coalition. Ezekiel does not describe this as an entire global Alliance.

- Got it.

- And the other thing is that at the end of the revelation version, literally when God wins and defeats all these forces, that's the literal end of the Earth's and the heavens, as we know it, and then God destroys the heavens on the earth and creates a new heaven and earth. That's not what happens in Ezekiel. So if you just, the concept Gog and Magog, you might think, well, that's the same war. But if you look at the details you say, no, that's different, why is it different? Because the war of Gog and Magog, the one that I think is coming, whether it happens in our lifetime, that's a different question, but it could, it could, and it's gonna be so dramatic as we're gonna talk about. So catastrophic, so definitive in world history that the next war like it, even though it's gonna be worse, the next time it's gonna be larger, they're gonna refer to it as a war of Gog and Magog.

- Interesting. Sure, it's gonna have a sort of a same thing as World War I and World War II that kind of thing. So wow, this is so fascinating. Well, let's take us a little further then. So what do you think Joel, about the recent convergence of most of the pieces of this puzzle in prophecy? Tell us about what we could call the last days or the end of days. Well tell us about what these different pieces are now? And what does it mean?

- Yeah well, one of the reasons that many people think that maybe we're getting close to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39, or at least to setting the stage for it to happen. One of the reasons that a growing number of Christians believe that is because if you look at a list of some of the prerequisites that the text talks about, we're seeing those things seem to happen. So for example, you can't have a Russian Iranian Turkish Alliance to attack a country that doesn't exist, right? So Israel has to be reborn as a country in the last days. Well, that is exactly what's prophesied in the two chapters that proceed this. Ezekiel chapters, 36 and 37. And those two chapters give enormous amount of specificity and detail of the type of things that will happen when Israel is reborn. Obviously when we say reborn it's because Jews were kicked out of the land in 70AD, right? And so the question is well, they have to come back. The Jews have to come back by the millions from exile, come back to the holy land, rebuild the ancient ruined, make the deserts bloom, establish a sovereign nation state. And according to Ezekiel 38, the country is prosperous and the Jews feel like they're living securely. It doesn't say that they have full peace with everybody, but they're feeling secure. So for much from 1948 to just a few years ago, you'd say, well, Jews don't feel secure here, but now we six Arab Isralian peace treaties, including the Abraham Accords, right? Israel is the most prosperous nation in the region, even without oil, the most high tech and the most secure. The Bible speaks of an exceedingly great army in Ezekiel 37. Well, Israel has the strongest military in all of the Middle East. So, and we have an Alliance obviously with the world's only super power, the United States strain though, that is as you and I speak. But when you look at all those things you say wow, Russia has an Alliance with Iran and Turkey increasingly, I describe that in the book, "Enemies and Allies," Israel's reborn and all these things, and you start going, well, maybe God is checking off the list.

- Right.

- And setting the stage or arranging the chess pieces on the board for the strike and the attack that's coming.

- Wow! That is so fascinating. But there must be some thoughts about what are some of the things that still yet need to happen before this war of Gog and Magog takes place?

- Well, right. So first of all, people ask me quite often, and they're certainly asking me in the last month is Vladimir Putin Gog? Okay? And the answer is, I don't know. I don't know, why? Because we haven't seen Vladimir Putin do the things that Ezekiel 38 tells us will happen as the war begins to be prepared and then launched, okay? Now people have been asking me this for, you know, almost 20 years. So, and I think I said it in my book, "Epicenter." Vladimir Putin, I can't say he's Gog, but let's say he is Gog esque. He seems to have the personality and the characteristics and the resume of a person that would fit the concept of Gog. He's an evil dictator, who invades his neighbors, builds alliances, all that's true. And we, of course, are seeing that horrifically in Ukraine where he's... You know, guilty of horrible or horrific war crime.

- Yeah.

- Rape and murder and bomb civilians, and just the raping and pillaging of this wonderful country, Ukraine. That's all suggestive of a Gog as character, okay? But there was a couple things. And I will say just for some context, my friend, Pat Robertson, the founder and the entrepreneur that built the Christian Broadcasting Network. he actually came out of retirement a few weeks ago to go on the flagship program of the CBN Network called The 700 Club. And he said that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia was setting into motion, the war of Gog and Magog.

- Personally, I believe that's premature. He may not be wrong, the invasion of Ukraine is nowhere to be found in the text.

- Yeah.

- Yeah, so that's one thing we don't... We are not seeing yet Putin actively threaten Israel or formula a coalition specifically to destroy or invade Israel. Generally the Russians have under Putin has been tried to be actually working fairly closely with Israel on some things.

- Yeah.

- I wouldn't call Russia under Putin, an ally of Israel, but it's not directly an enemy yet. So these are the reasons I say, let's be cautious. And what if, even while we record this or in the weeks ahead or months ahead, what if Putin is assassinated?

- Right?

- What if Putin is overthrown? If we say that he's Gog, we're being definitive, and we just, in my view cannot draw that conclusion. But we should be watching carefully. because he certainly has the characteristics that would not surprise us if he emerges as Gog. But one more thing as you and I record this. Putin is losing in Ukraine. That's something we wouldn't expect if he wins in Ukraine and everyone terrified of him, God forbid he uses tactical nuclear battlefield weapons, and everyone's like, oh my gosh, what? This guy's a madman. And then decides to look for another target. Then we might say, wow! Then we gotta, but we're not there yet.

- Well, I want to get to that in a second because we have to take a quick break here, but the war of Gog and Magog, what does it mean for the nation of Israel? And we're gonna talk about that when we come back, Joel.

- Our verse of the day today is found interestingly in Ezekiel 38, verse seven, "Get ready, be prepared. "You and all the hoards gathered about you "and take command of them." In this episode, we really do want you to pray. And the prayer request we would love for you to pray are these, pray for the piece of Jerusalem, Israel, and the greater Middle East, pray for the conflict in Ukraine, and for those that are impacted both by the warfare and as refugees, and pray that many would come to know Jesus as savior of the world.

- One of the reasons that is Ezekiel 38 verse seven, touches me is because the verse is describing God, speaking to Gog, the enemy of Israel saying, "Get ready, be prepared." Meaning whether building an Alliance, getting your military force ready, all your strategy, all your intelligence, you do what you gotta do for me to pull you into a war and then I'm gonna judge you. That's a very interesting concept, right? But get ready, be prepared.

- Yeah.

- Now, I've always thought if God is saying to the enemies of Israel, "Get ready and be prepared." Shouldn't the followers of Jesus Christ, the church, and those of us who love Israel, shouldn't we be getting ready, and being prepared? And while we don't know if this prophecy is gonna happen in next few years or in our lifetime, we can certainly be a blessing to Israel today, we can strengthen the church, we can plant the seed of the gospel to everybody in the region. Those are things we know the Bible tells us to do anyway. And we ought to do them knowing that since we don't know when this judgment is gonna fall, that we're gonna describe in a moment, how does the war Gog and Magog end, big spoil alert coming. Since we don't know when that's gonna happen, we better use our time wisely today. You know, a lazy farmer sleeps through, you know, the season of planting and then doesn't have any crops. We need to be planting the seeds of the gospel and the seeds of the word, strengthening the local church to be a witness because maybe this will happen in the next few years.

- Yeah.

- And we think, well, thank God we were faithful when we could be make the most of your time for the days are evil and night is coming.

- Yes it is, and you know, being a watchman, being alert is one of the key functions. I think of those of us who spend time thinking about Middle East ministry and the relationship of Israel and just watching these things take place. But Joel I gotta ask, what does the Bible say? Now, we're not talking about what current political, or geopolitical events are, but what does the Bible say about what the war of Gog and Magog means for the nation of Israel?

- Sure well, there's a couple things. First, the war does not go well for the enemies of Israel. Okay, that's an understatement. What we see in the second half of Ezekiel 38 is a description of God's supernatural judgment of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and these other countries. The Bible does not describe it specifically doesn't describe is the Israeli military defending itself. The Bible specifically doesn't mention any allied nation coming to Israel's rescue. We don't see the United States step in, we don't see NATOs step in, the United Nations, or the European union, nobody comes to Israel's defense. Israel is all alone and right at the moment where the drama of the story seems most intense. The moment where you think all is lost for the Jewish people, the state of Israel, and nobody's defending her and Israeli forces themselves are you know, why I would you go pick a fight? Even if the Russians and the Iranians, they were all surrounding Israel, Israel would think, are we really gonna go to war with a nuclear power? There must be some diplomatic way out of this.

- Right.

- And right at the moment where all is lost, the Bible describes God's reaching his hand into history. He sets into motion, earthquakes. He reigns fire down from heaven on the enemies of Israel. He sends diseases, horrific pestilence diseases throughout the enemy camp to cause death and destruction. And so by the beginning of the chapter 39 of Ezekiel, what do we see? We see all of the enemy forces have been destroyed, and there are so many bodies to bury that it takes seven and a half months for Israelis to find, you know, not just find bodies 'cause they're everywhere, but to bury them, so it's not creating a whole plaque of disease and destruction on the land. And then Israel gathers so much weaponry on the battlefield. You're seeing a lot of this by the way in Ukraine right now where farmers will find a tank that's been abandoned and they'll just hook it up to their tractor and pull it.

- Pull it.

- You know, Ukraine actually has more tanks today, battle tanks than they had when the war started, why? 'Cause there's so much wreckage or they're not all wreck. They're just the crews have been killed. And in the Bible it describes that there's so much military hardware that's been left behind by the enemies of Israel, that it takes seven and a half years for Israel to burn all the weapons 'cause they don't need that there's so much weaponry they don't need it. That's the immediate aftermath. And then in a moment you can, you know, feel free to ask me more, but then there's a spiritual dynamic as well.

- Right. Because obviously these events are leading up to at least in some context, the culmination of all of history, God's plan for Israel and all of the nations. So again, let's see, and I know we're not saying, you know, this is that, or this goes after this and so forth. I think it's one of the great hallmarks of my conversations with you around these things is that we're very reluctant to say this is that because we need to let God be the author of this narrative. And I think that there's a very real implication for us to be able to be definitive about all of that. It puts ourselves in a place that's not necessarily the place we wanna be. But there are some prophetic implications I think, maybe you can talk about them about Russia's actions, the sort of way that the west is responding or not responding to this aggression. Talk a little bit about that, if you would. And maybe where we go to understand more about what this alignment of nations and the violence that we're seeing is giving us prophetically?

- Right. Well, one of the things I teach people, pastors, and ministry leaders and lay people, if you're gonna teach Bible prophecy, you need to be careful in a couple ways. First, teach what the text actually says and then explain what it means. And then you can certainly draw an application, but be careful when you're sharing to not be injecting all the time or even at all, how you think it's gonna play out, you can get to that point, but you have to separate for your listener or your reader the difference between what the text is actually saying and what that means, interpretively and the implications of it from you know, your scenario of how you think it's gonna play out as a war game, because people will gravitate, they'll remember that you said, oh, it's gonna happen exactly this way. And if you're wrong and you're proven wrong, then you have just discredited the whole concept of Bible prophecy rather than saying, this is what the text says, this is what it means. Here's the implications for us. Now, how might it play out? Well, let's look at some possible scenarios, but we don't really know and we won't know until it happens. So that's one of the reasons I wrote a novel, the Ezekiel option about how it might play out. But I'm not saying that's the way. So that's first thing. The second thing is again, just go to the text. What are some of the things the text tells us? Well, one of the things that's fascinating in Ezekiel 39 verse 21, The living God, the God of Israel says, "I will set my glory among the nations "and all the nations. all the nations "will see my judgment, "which I have executed and my hand, "which I have laid on them." Meaning on Russia and Iran and Turkey and these other countries, what does that mean? Historically, you'd say you know, I mean, for the last 2,600 years, it's like how in the world could God show people in every nation on the planet, his supernatural destruction and judgment of the enemies of Israel and it's impossible, right? If you think back to the story of Rehab in Jericho, in the Bible, she tells the two spies that come, "Hey, we've heard about your God, "we've heard how God did all these miracles and judgments "against the people of Egypt. "And we're terrified that you're coming "and you have that God with you"

- Yeah.

- They didn't see it, they heard about it. And they were still scared. Now we live in the first generation in all of human history, in which the miracle of satellite television technology and our phones and for some people are our watches almost, you know, what Rogers asked, we actually could watch this war happen.

- Wow.

- In live real time that no other generation in human history would be able to. And so that's a net for me, it's another prerequisite. And we're there, okay? I mean, now maybe it's 50 years away, maybe it's 100 years away, but maybe it's next year or the year after, we don't know. But that's interesting, one more piece. And that is the text particularly in chapter 39 is very clear. God says to Ezekiel, I'm doing this to show first, the nations, my love for Israel and my judgment of those who hate her. This goes back to the founding versus of the Joshua Fund that we get from the Abraham at covenant, right?

- Genesis 12.

- Genesis 12 versus one through three, in which in part it says, God says, "I will bless those who bless the nation of Israel "and the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "I will bless those who bless thee, "but those who curse thee I will curse." Now, it doesn't mean the first moment that you know, a nation or an individual curses, Israel, they're gonna necessarily be judged immediately, but that's what's happening here. So then we have to ask one more question. Why would God be setting into motion the judgment of these countries? Now Iran, we might say, well, they're actively cursing Israel every day by millions of people are out there saying death to Israel. And the leaders of Iran are saying, we're gonna wipe Israel off the map. they're threatening genocide, a second Holocaust against Israel. In a upcoming podcast we're gonna talk about a very interesting poll that you and I commissioned in which... You know, is this gonna work or not these Iran nuclear deals and so forth. But Russia, we won't go through every country, but why Russia? Why is God gonna judge Russia? And for 20 years, Carl I've had to relive for people, the history of Russia, the rise of the Soviet Union in you know, demanding that everyone's an atheist killing persecuting, jailing, terrorizing Christians and Jew, I might add, exporting atheism all over the world. You know, all the tens of millions of people who died under Stalin and the whole... It's a disaster. But for most generations today, that feels like such ancient history. And you're like, well, you know, God's gonna judge that feels like, you know, that was like 100 years ago or 50 no, it wasn't. But for some, it feels that way. But when you look at what Putin is doing right now to rape and pillage and murder Ukraine, audiences this month are in a very different situation. And I don't have to explain as much why God might judge the nation of Russia and you add one more peace. Russia has historically over the last 100 years, 75 years, for sure armed and assisted every enemy of Israel. So many Jews, many of his raiders have died, not at the hands of Russians, but as a result of Russian weaponry.

- Russian weapons.

- And now Iran become a nuclear armed country. And so there's a lot of reasons why God would judge Russia.

- Well, I wanna do that for a second. I wanna just pivot a little bit of the conversation towards Russia and Iran. And recently Russian officials have said that they're losing patients with Israel in their military strikes in Iran, that there have been actions that Israel's taken. And Russian officials say that they're losing patients with Israel. What do you think this could mean for, as we look down this historical biblical prophecy?

- Yeah. Well, you're right to pick up on this because for the first time this month in all the years that I've been writing and speaking about this topic, there are a growing number of quotes by Russian officials, expressing concern, disapproval, and even anger at Israel. In Russia, Putin's been in power for 22 years as you and I record this and he's visited Israel. He has invited Israeli prime ministers, usually twice a year to come to Moscow and have consultations. And it's not like we're warm and cozy, but there's been an active dialogue discussion even in Syria where Russia and Iran are operating. Russia has allowed Israel to strike an Iranian arms, depots, caches, and you know, other ballistic missile facilities and so forth to try to keep Iran from establishing military bases in in Syria. And Russia has allowed this, but things are starting to change and you're also watching, anyone who's watching closely anyone who's following the news coverage we're doing on All Israel News sees that the Israeli government is walking a very fine line on the Ukraine war. Our hearts are with Ukraine. There's 200,000 Jews there, you know, we have several hundred thousand at Ukrainian Jews living in Israel as Israeli citizens and so forth. And we see the rape and pillage and murder of Ukraine and it it's making our blood boil.

- Brings back national memories.

- Exactly, yeah. Yeah, there were I think 30,000 I think Jews murdered at Babyn Yar in Ukraine during the holocaust's gunned down, I mean, murdered. It's horrible. But you see that our prime minister here in Israel, Nat Bennett has been trying to be a mediator between Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Jewish prime minister or president rather of Ukraine, and trying to say, "How can I help you guys end this war?" So the fact that Israel is trying to be careful is because we don't want antagonize a nuclear armed monster Vladimir Putin, because what if he turns, you know, it's like in the "Lord of the Rings," what if you turn Sauron's eye onto yourself? That usually doesn't go well. So that's why Israel is not full throated, it's been supportive of Ukraine, but some people including Ukrainian officials have been disappointed, even critical you're not helping us enough, Israel, don't you see, we have a Jewish prime minister we're getting destroyed, help us. This is why, because we are a small country. We may strike around sometimes like a superpower, but we're a small country. And if a nuclear armed monster comes for us, that is a dangerous place, we don't wanna be Ukraine. Yeah, we don't wanna be... Right, that could happen. And that's what the Bible describes is going to happen at some point.

- I'm really struck by that. You know, in most of our news feeds, you know, we're seeing pictures of cities across Ukraine literally destroyed, literally leveled, and hundreds of thousands, even millions of refugees going all over, you know, fleeing this, and it it's fascinating. And yet chilling to read scripture and to see the very same descriptions and the cries of people, of course, in a different context, in some cases, but very, very similar it's as if we're, you know, I know this word's been used before, but it's almost as if we're in a dress rehearsal for some of the things that are coming forward. I mean, maybe comment on of that stuff?

- Yeah, I think that's a good point. And I think that's why my friend, Pat Robertson said what he said, again I think he was premature to draw a conclusion, but I would've been 100% with him had he been just a trim just a bit to say what we're seeing is so evocative of what of future Russia is to do in Israel that we need to watch this closely. So that I agree with. And look Pat might not be wrong, right? We may see this be the setting into motion, something even worse and Israel not siding with Russia or actively siding at some point with Ukraine, this could be a trigger. Yeah, that would pull Russia into a yeah, you think you're so special. And so these are all things we have to watch carefully, but I will tell you, Carl, as you and I have talked about from the beginning of this podcast. So few pastors, ministry leaders, seminary professors, Bible college leaders, and lay people are studying these prophecies that they're not often able much less willing to connect the dots because they're not paying attention the core text. And therefore you can easily be blindsided.

- Yeah.

- Even as a lovely follower of Jesus who loves the Bible. But if you don't know these sections, you're not saying, what could be coming? And then there are sensationalistic voices. And I don't count Pat among them, but I'm saying there I've seen in the last month or so wild click bait type proclamations and you're like whoa, dude. You know, again, just, you know, you're reaching, but should we be educating the church about what the Bible says?

- Yeah.

- And what we're learning by watching how Putin and Russia is operating in Ukraine. It's telling us a lot about Putin's character. I describe him in quite a bit of detail in my book, "Enemies and Allies," because I see Putin as one of the worst enemies of freedom in the world. And yet, so few people, I was shocked. I will tell you how shocked I was, how many people were shocked that Putin invaded.

- Yeah.

- People just didn't see it coming. And I'm like, how, how do you not coming? But look, I don't wanna be critical. I'm just, it reminds me how we can be blindsided by evil we don't understand. And I hope in this podcast and you know, our podcasts, generally, we're helping people, either understand things that are happening or have happened, but also from a biblical world view and a biblical hermaneutic helping them understand what's coming. That's why God gave us these things, not to fear, but to prepare us, get ready be prepared and you can't be prepared if you don't know what God is telling you in advance is gonna happen.

- Boy, Joel I so appreciate the way in which you, kind of make sure that these things remain in balance and that we don't inappropriately jump to some conclusions or fill in the gaps in probably with helpful intention but, and also balancing the fact that there are things that are being said and done right now that scripture actually tells us to pay attention to, and to look at I mean, kind of the last part of this is what other elements of scripture do you see helping us understand the current situation and maybe understanding what we should be looking for in these kinds of things?

- Sure well, little teaser for what I hope will be our next podcast, but you know, just using, again, the conversation we've been talking about a little bit with Pat Robertson, if I were on "The 700 Club" with him, I would say, listen, I think it's a little early to draw that conclusion that you have, but do I believe this is a prophetic moment? Yes I do. And because Jesus warned that in the last day, you're gonna see wars and rumors of wars. You're gonna see kingdoms rise up against kingdom and nation against nation. This concept of really horrific warfare is going to be a hallmark, a distinctive of this season, that helped us understand that we're in the last days, especially when you've seen Israel reborn as a country, then you'll know you're really in the last days. So you're gonna be looking for wars and rumors of wars and all kinds of other things. To me, when you look at the, the biggest land war in Europe, since World War II, one that the entire globe is talking about to me, that is consistent with what Jesus says is one of the birth pangs, one of the signs in the last days. Personally, I believe that COVID, the COVID pandemic is also one of those signs because Jesus speaks in Luke chapter 21, not only about wars and rumors of wars, but about horrific diseases, pestilence spreading around the world. And this is the worst pandemic that we've seen in 100 years, 6 million people around the world have perished because of COVID. This is not normal shutting down entire countries, airport, economies, this isn't normal. And when you look at these things in combination, to me I feel perfectly at peace to say to people if these aren't birth pangs, I don't know what birth pang would look like. They're global, they're catastrophic and they're consistent with precisely what Jesus said. Now in the next podcast, we're gonna say, all right, Joel fine you believe that, does anybody agree with you? And that's why we took fascinating poll. And I hope everyone tunes in as we share the results of that poll.

- Well, I almost feel like one of those old time radio announces, "Tune in tomorrow for the next podcast," but Joel, I just wanna say this has been incredibly valuable, both for earlier podcast we did on the sort of biblical exposition of the war of Gog and Magog. And the second one here where we've really tried to sort of, as you said, connect some of those dots, you know, that the there's a biblical pattern here that we need to lay over the history and the current events that are taking place right now. And yet, you know, we always know that this is God's narrative. This is his story. And I truly believe that we are in that place where it's our responsibility. As Jesus also instructed us to keep our lamps lit, to continue to be working until the day we can't work, until the day we can't not to fascinate ourselves over these but with speculations and so forth, that can be very helpful, but also very distracting. And I think being at work on behalf of what God is doing in the world is my biggest takeaway, because we know that these days are drawing close. So I wanna thank you for you know, highlighting this for us.

- I don't mind you thanking me. I was just send one last point related to, a bit of hope if I can, just the last couple verses of Ezekiel 39, maybe we just close with this, 'cause it's so interesting. God says through Ezekiel, I'll just start with verse 27, for example, of Ezekiel 39. "When I God bring them the Jews back from the people "and gather them from the lands of their enemies, "then shall be sanctified in their sight, "in the sight of many nations. "And they will know that I am the Lord, their God, "because I made them go into exile among the nations. "And then I gathered them again through their own land." Let's stop there for one moment, this is really fascinating. God is saying, yes I sovereignly drove you out because of disobedience to my word, but I love you and I'm gonna bring you back and I'm gonna show all the world that I'm bringing you back, right? And then I'm gonna judge the nations that hate you and are trying to annihilate you, okay? Now here's the key he says, "I will leave none of them, the Jewish people "there in exile, any longer," we're heading towards the day where all Jews are gonna come back and live in the land of Israel. My family is among those that have come back willingly other times maybe people will they'll be forced back in a sense because there're being a country that's in grave danger, right? Jews from Ukraine are coming here, fleeing from death, the threat of death to come here. Last verse, verse 29, maybe in one of my favorite verses in all the Bible, God says to the nation of Israel, "I will not hide my face from them any longer "for I will have poured out my spirit on the house of Israel "declares the Lord." Not only is God gonna supernaturally rescue the nation of Israel from her enemies and from complete annihilation, not only is God gonna store the land and rebuild the land and bless the land and the people, he's going to pour out his holy spirit and for Jews who feel like I don't know where God is, I can't see him. I don't see him working in the world in many ways. They're blinded to the reality of the God of Israel involved in their lives. But he says, I'm not gonna hide my myself from that anymore. I'm gonna pour out my holy spirit. And as you know, Carl, right? And any follower of Jesus on this listening knows, but maybe others who are listening they don't know, the role of the holy spirit is to reveal the identity of Jesus.

- Yeah.

- That He is the Messiah, He is the Christ, He is God. He is our savior and our Redeemer for those who say yes to receive Him. The moment's coming where not only is God gonna supernaturally, you know, run a Marvel movie and destroy in great IMAX fashion for all the world to see destroy and judge the enemies of Israel. He's gonna bless Israel, and he's gonna say, I want you to know me, I want you to know my son, and I'm gonna give you my holy spirit. So you start to understand this in a way that many of you have not understand this today, yet. I don't want this thing to happen at all because I feel badly for the enemies of Israel that so many are gonna perish.

- Humans, human, yeah.

- Since this is gonna happen. And I know that God's gonna do it sovereignly and rightly I'd love to live in the time that it happens, because I'd love to see that moment where he shows his hand in history and then pours out his spirit on all not only the house of Israel, but if everybody else is watching, I think, I believe many Muslims will come to Christ. Many Jews will come to faith in Jesus, many people around the world, atheists, you will not be able to be an atheist or an agnostic after this because he's saying "I'm gonna reveal to the whole world "that I am God." Now you may not decide to follow God, but you won't be able to say he doesn't exist.

- That's right.

- 'Cause you have watched it on television or your phone.

- Wow, this is such a blessing. And I tell you Joel, these podcasts are extremely valuable to me, but I want to thank everyone who's been listening. And I wanna thank you first of all, Joel, your insights and your perspective are incredibly valuable. A huge education for us who are watching and wondering around the news that we see around the world. So I wanna say to everyone, listening as well, if you found this podcast cast valuable, please get in touch with us. Let us know who you are. Now, we want to talk to you and talk about things that you wanna talk about on this show. Do you have a question that you want Joel, to answer? go to Joshuafund.com and click on, contact us, feedback from you is in incredibly valuable as we continue to develop this podcast. And as always, you know, can check out our show notes for anything you've heard on this podcast that you'd like more information on. For Joel Rosenberg, I'm Carl Mueller. Thanks for listening to this episode of Inside The Epicenter.

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