Ezekiel 38-39: The War Of Gog & Magog | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund

The Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, Joel C. Rosenberg, teaches on prophecy concerning the War of Gog and Magog from Ezekiel 38 & 39 during an Epicenter Briefing Conference.
 


All Content In This Series:

View Session 1 - Testimonies: How The Joshua Fund Was Born | Joel & Lynn Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Founders of The Joshua Fund share their testimonies about how the organization was born, including an endearing bit of their love story.
 

View Session 2 - Studying Bible Prophecy: Part 1 (Ezekiel 33) | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, Joel C. Rosenberg, delivers an Epicenter Briefing teaching on Studying Bible Prophecy. In the first episode of a two-part series on prophecy, Joel addresses the Old Testament passage of Ezekiel 33.
 

View Session 3 - Studying Bible Prophecy: Part 2 (Matthew 24 & 25) | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, Joel C. Rosenberg, delivers the second teaching of a two-part series on biblical prophecy, this time from Matthew 24-25.


View Session 4 - Ezekiel 38-39: The War Of Gog & Magog | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
The Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, Joel C. Rosenberg, teaches on prophecy concerning the War of Gog and Magog from Ezekiel 38 & 39 during an Epicenter Briefing Conference.


View Session 5 - Prophecy: The Future Of The Middle East | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Joel C. Rosenberg, Founder of The Joshua Fund, teaches about Biblical prophecy that highlights the future of the Middle East. This teaching is from October 2019.


View Session 6 - Partnering With Local Believers In Israel | Men’s Panel | The Joshua Fund
Victor Kalisher (Bible Society In Israel), Wayne Pederson (Board Member With The Joshua Fund), and Jeremy Grafman (Director of Special Projects In Israel For The Joshua Fund) discuss The Joshua Fund's philosophy for ministry in "Partnering With Local Believers In Israel."


View Session 7 - Challenges, Opportunities for Women Believers in the Epicenter | Women’s Panel | The Joshua Fund
Joshua Fund volunteer, Angie Grafman, addresses "Challenges, Opportunities for Women Believers in the Epicenter" in an interview with Esther Kalisher (Student, Israel College of the Bible) & Lynn Rosenberg (Co-Founder of The Joshua Fund).


View Session 8 - A Challenge: What Is God Asking Of Us? | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Joel C. Rosenberg, founder, and chairman of The Joshua Fund shares Biblical teaching from Matthew 24, including a message on giving, and a challenge to Christians. This teaching is from a recent Epicenter Briefing in October of 2019.

 

Question & Answer Session With Joel C. Rosenberg

View How Many Messianic Or Jewish Believers Are There In Israel? | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Joel C. Rosenberg, the founder and chairman of The Joshua Fund, discusses how many Messianic or Jewish believers there are in Israel now and during the rebirth of Israel during a question and answer session in October of 2019.


View Where Will The 3rd Temple Be Built In The Last Days? | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Joel C. Rosenberg, founder and chairman of The Joshua Fund, addresses the question, "Where will the 3rd Temple be built in the last days?"


View Do You See A Rise In Anti-Semitism In Bible Prophecy? | Joel C. Rosenberg | The Joshua Fund
Joel C. Rosenberg, the chairman and founder of The Joshua Fund, answers the question, "Do you see a rise in antisemitism as it relates to Bible prophecy?"

 


FULL TRANSCRIPT:
- [Announcer] The following program is provided by, "The Joshua Fund" in an effort to educate the global church, to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.

- Okay let's open the scriptures to Ezekiel, chapter 38 and 39, what Bible scholars often call the War of Gog and Magog. Ezekiel, chapter 38 beginning in verse one and I'm reading from the New American Standard translation. "And the word of the Lord came to me," this is Ezekiel writing, "saying son of man set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, thus says the Lord God. Behold, I'm against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." Okay, so this Gog figure is some sort of leader he comes from some sort of land, okay. And he's a political leader, a prince, over some territory called Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Okay don't know what Rosh is, don't know what Meshech is, don't know what Tubal is. Okay, but the last part of that verse is, "and prophecy against him." Okay, that I can understand, right, so I go back to the category of things I can understand. This is, something goes badly for this Gog guy, right. God, God, with a D, is against Gog, with a G that I can understand, right, so just take in a deep breath, having a decaf, we're just slowing it down, what do I understand, God is against Gog. Okay, that's one, verse one, all right. Now, and then he's not only supposed to hear this, Ezekiel is suppose to say this, right. What do we see in the airports all the time, see something say something, right, that's what a watchman does. He hears, he sees, he speaks, or she. Verse four, God says to Gog, "I will turn you about, I'm gonna put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, and all of them wielding swords." Eerr stop there. This guy is a prince, he's a political leader, he's from someplace, God is against him and wow, opp now he's got an army. He's got an army and God's gonna pull him into some sort of war, some sort of battle, and he's gonna bring all these military forces and set them into motion against some target, okay? Right, we don't even know who these names are yet, but this is all easily discernible if we don't panic, if we slow ourselves down and look at the plot of the text. Now verse five we begin to see some allies of this Gog figure come into play. Persia, well Persia's an easy one, it should be, because until 1935 Persia was the official legal name of the country we now call The Islamic Republic of Iran. So now suddenly we have a clue. Someday Iran is gonna play some factor as the top, as the first among equals of allies with this Gog figure in some sort of war that God is against but is setting into motion. And we can assume at first, if God's against you and he's pulling you into war that it's gonna lead to some sort of judgment. Now that's an assumption at this point we'll see if it plays out in the text. For many of you the next word is Ethiopia. Now that's a challenge, again in Bible prophecy, because when you see a word that you think, okay well it's Ethiopia. Well it might be Ethiopia. In this case I prefer translations that don't translate the ancient words into modern names. In this case I think that would've been better, right they didn't translate Magog into a country, they didn't even translate Persia into Iran, but they do take the word Cush and they translate it into Ethiopia. Now the challenge with that is that Cush is an ancient territory south of Egypt which could certainly include what we currently call Ethiopia, but in the ancient time Ethiopia was a much larger territory. Now we would say this is Sudan, and of course there's two, a Northern Sudan and then a Southern Sudan, and it could also include Ethiopia, possible Eritrea, but the point is it's the upper Nile region which in the uniquenesses of Egypt and that area means south of Egypt. So we would not call the primary territory here would be Sudan. That's, I'm adding something that you can't know from this text, but is a reason to be looking up the words in a Bible dictionary, blueletterbible.org is a great way to drill into a specific verse and then look at what are the Hebrew or, in the New Testament, Greek word, or Aramaic and other types of words to try to understand what's specifically being said, okay, but that's, I'll give you that one for free. The next one is Put, where do we put Put? Well, right now we put it in the category of countries we don't know, okay. But all of these are allies of this Gog figure whom God is against and they have shields and they have helmets so they're a part of the military coalition. Verse six, Gomer, with all it's troops. Well I'll just tag, you know, signal that this is not where Gomer Pyle is from, instinctually you may have thought that, he was in the Army, this has an army, but no it's, in this case that would be a wrong interpretation. So we put Gomer in the category of I don't know, but clearly this is another one of the allies and they have troops as well. And then Beth-Togarmah, some girl named Beth she's popped her way up into, no no, this is, this would mean House of Togarmah, again, probably don't know it put it in that category. But they have, they come from the remote parts of the North. Okay, now we're getting some geography clues we'll come back to that in second. But they have all their troops too, many peoples with them. What's happening is a military coalition is clearly being formed and God says to Gog, get ready be prepared, that's the NIV translation. Here it says, "Be prepared, prepare yourself, you and all your companies," that doesn't mean Apple, Google, Intel, that means the military force. "Get yourself ready for war, you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants," I'm sorry, now I've skipped something, sorry, "you and all your companies that are assembled about you and be a guard for them. After many days," so we don't know how many days, "you will be summoned. In the latter years," okay bing, now that's an eschatological phrase, that suggests to us that this is a an event that will happen in the end times 'cause that latter years, the last days, the latter, that's a phrase that's used repeatedly through the Old Testament, meaning it's not something that's gonna happen in the life of the, of the ancient Hebrew prophet, this is something that will happen in the last days of history. "And in the last year, in the latter years, you," this military force, this, led by Gog, "will come into the land that is restored from the sword." What land? "Well the land whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel." Bing, a word we know, wahoo, right. Now we know that this Gog figure is putting together a war machine, a multi-national coalition, to attack a country that's been reformed in the latter years and it's name is Israel. Okay, now a picture is emerging out of the fog. For all of the stuff that we didn't know we suddenly know quite a bit, right. We know that Israel is in the crosshairs of this Gog guy, okay. And what happens? Well this force will come against the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste but it's people were brought out from the nations and they are living securely all of them. This is interesting because if you had read this any time over the last 2,000 years you'd have to tell yourself, well, someday the Jews will be regathered into the land of Israel and someday they will have a country called Israel again, and someday they will have taken all the swamp land, the waste land that had been a continual waste forever it seems, and they're gonna make it work again, it will become a functional country and a country of Jewish people called Israel that had been at war almost constantly will somehow feel like they're living securely someday in the future. So that means a whole set of things had to have happened before the Gog and Magog war could happen. Israel had to be reborn as a country. Now what's interesting is that Ezekiel 38, you may have noticed, comes right after chapters 36 and 37, I know that's a freebee also, in case you hadn't, but what happens in Ezekiel 36 and 37, well these are the most famous prophecies about Israel being regathered, Jews coming back to the land of Israel, Victor and Esther and their families coming back to the land of Israel. My family coming back to the land of Israel and resettling in a land that once had been scattered, once had been a continual waste, once had been fraught with warfare, now rebuilt and gathered and living securely. It never says peace in this chapter or the next. As you go through it you would not find the word shalom, or any of the other words that would suggest that Israel is actually at peace. So you wanna be careful not to leap from living securely to peace. What does living securely mean? Well I would argue that one could make the case to right now Israelis feel like we're living securely. We don't have peace with all of our neighbors. We've got two peace treaties though, the first in history, we have the most advanced and effective Air Force in the entire region, we have nuclear, well we have submarines that have missiles that it's been said, I've read somewhere, that they might be armed with nuclear warheads that might be just under the water just off the coast of Iran and some of our other allies just waiting, just in case, hashtag just saying. We never had that in 2000 years now we do. We have missiles that can reach all of our enemies from our territory as well as from the submarines. This has never happened. We have a strategic alliance, a very close alliance, with the world's only superpower, the United States. This is a, we have Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and other gulf states that aren't, that don't have peace treaties with us showing more warmth and are gravitating towards us for the first time ever. We have a security wall that's prevented suicide bombers, by and large, when we were being bombed in our cafes and schools and buses and all kinds of, you know, city buses all the time just a number of years ago. Now we don't have that. I'm not saying it's peaceful entirely, but Israelis actually, if you look at the polls, say they're more, they feel more secure today than at any other time. Could that suggest we're getting close to Ezekiel 38 and 39 setting in motion, possibly. Now, for the sake of time today I am gonna say that you can begin to do the research, what I all historical detective work, and begin to decipher what these words mean. I wrote a nonfiction book a number of years ago called, "Epicenter," where I walk through this prophecy in quite a bit of detail and much of it is, N-noted, you can go and look up all my sources, but the short version for today is that Gog is not a name, it's not a formal personal name, we're not looking for the emersions of Fred Gog, or Bob Gog, or Ahmed Gog, or Dmitri Gog, it's not a name, it's a title, like Pharaoh or Czar. He's clearly a Bible bad guy in fact we get that, in verse 10 we get even more evidence. "Thus says the Lord God: It will come about on that day," that phrase by the way, on that day, is an eschatological phrase, it means something that's coming in the end times. "That thoughts will come into your mind," speaking to Gog, "and you will devise an evil plan." Okay, he's a prince, he's a political leader of a territory of a coalition of military forces that are gonna attack Israel in the last days, it's evil, God's against him. I think that part is clear. Verse 16, "You Gog, will come against my people, Israel, like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against my land." So there are repeated references to this being a an end-times prophecy. Now what happens? Once this coalition forms verse 18 begins to explain what God says is going to happen. And I'm just gonna forewarn you that you are not going to see any evidence in this text that Israel comes to its own defense. You are not gonna see any evidence that the United States, this great ally of Israel, is gonna come to Israel's defense. No evidence that the UN, or the EU, or NATO, or any other country is gonna come to Israel's defense when this Russian/Iranian/Turkish alliance comes against Israel in the last days. What is going to happen? Verse 18, "It will come about on that day when Gog comes against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, that my fury will mount up in my anger. In my zeal and in my blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, and all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men," all the men, I would circle the word all, "the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at my presence. The mountains will also be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse, every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him," him who, Gog, "on all my mountains declares the Lord God. Every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence or disease and with blood I will enter into judgment," okay there's the word that finally emerges. We're not guessing this is judgment, this is judgment, that's what God says. "God says I will enter into judgment with him," with Gog, "and on the many peoples who are with him," who aligned themselves with Gog this Russian dictator. "A torrential rain with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify myself, sanctify myself, and make myself known in the sight of many nations and they will know that I am the Lord." This is what happens in drama, right, whether it's a novel, but better I would say in a movie, the good guy doesn't make it, the hero doesn't make it to the damsel in distress until the last possible moment. Right, you say well how come Israel's not defending their self? 'Cause God doesn't want Israel to take it's own glory. Well how come the United States isn't coming? Well we don't know that, does Israel, does the United States even exist at this moment? Are they neutralized, are they paralyzed politically? We don't know it doesn't talk about it. Why isn't anybody else coming? I don't know it doesn't talk about it, but it just, it's clear that nobody comes to Israel's defense even though the noose is tightening around Israel's neck at this moment in the future and God comes, he supernaturally comes and he wants everybody to know, to know that he is God and he wants everybody to see his glory. Very specifically verse 21 of the next chapter, and God says, "I will set my glory among the nations; and all," I would circle all, "all the nations will see," not hear about, not read in the paper, "they will see my judgment," there's that word again, "which I have executed, and my hand which I have laid on them. And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward. And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they had acted treacherously against me, and I hid my face from them, so I gave them into the hand of their adversary and all of them fell by the sword. According to the uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, I hid my face from them." But then now he's saying, but now I'm back. Just when you thought I wasn't gonna get there in time I'm coming. I'm coming to judge Israel's enemies and I'm coming to rescue Israel. Now this is what happens in the movies. You think about it in the old-fashioned movies, right, the silent movies, the black and white movies, when the damsel in distress has got the, you know, she's tied up, she's got the gag in her mouth, and she's like, mmm mmm mmm, and the bad guys the black hat and the black cape and he's dastardly and he ties her to the railroad tracks, mmm mmm mmm. Now what happens where's the hero? We cut to the hero, the hero is being attacked by bad guys and he's on a horse. Whaaa aaa, weesh weesh, whaaa aaa, and they cut back to mmm mmm mmm, bad guy, pow pow pow, are shooting at our hero. The hero's in the mountains and everybody's attacking and he has to turn around and go the other way. Back to mmm mmm mmm mmm. Now what happens? Oh now we cut to the train, hmmm hmmm, even though you can't hear the train, cause you're hearing the piano music, but you can see the steam coming out as it's coming around the bend. And she's like mmm mmm, oh, mmm mmm mmm, and he's like whaaa whaa, pow, pow, right and the bad guys are coming and it's getting closer and closer and that train's coming, we cut to the train, we cut to the damsel, we cut to the hero, we cut to the bad guys, back to the train, back to the damsel, back to the hero, back to the train, back to the, right at the last minute he jumps off the horse, he rolls over the tracks the damsel is swept off and paaashooo, the train goes by and you're aaahhhh 'cause you've never seen a movie in 1920 and you think she's gonna be cut in half in front of you. That's the hero arriving at the last possible moment that's how drama is done. There's no point in having the hero get there early why would you go? Why would you stay? Why would you buy popcorn? You're only here to watch this thing and be rived on it if the hero arrives late. Welcome to the hero, God is our hero, and God loves the nation of Israel, but Israel is a, we have been a damsel who, you know, we've dallied with every other potential suitor on the planet. We have not been faithful to our hero, but that's what makes his heroism even more powerful, even sweeter. His love for her is sweeter, deeper, richer, because she has not been faithful, but rather than wish harm on her the hero's coming and the hero's gonna get there just in time and all the world is gonna be watching. We live in the moment of history, the first moment in history, where the world can watch this happen because of the miracle of global satellite television technology. Because of the internet we could watch this if it happened next week, next month, next year, we could watch this, the whole world would watch this and wouldn't they? No matter what else was happening in the world if Russian, Iran, Turkey, and the rest of the world was about to consume Israel, and the United States doesn't come, we'll be curious what's gonna happen and why, why is the hero coming, come late, because he wants everybody to be riveted. He is an author, right, the author and perfecter of our faith, he is the number one New York Times Bestseller of the world of all time, it's not me it's him, right, he's the author, he's quite a dramatist. And what's the ultimate goal? The ultimate goal is to show his glory, that's what he says, and to reveal himself both to the nations and to Israel herself. Look at the end of chapter 39 starting in verse 28, chapter 39, verse 28, "Then they will know," the world will know, "that I am the Lord their God," and specifically Israel will know this. "Because I made them go into exile among the nations and then gathered them again into their own land." Right this can only happen after Israel's been reborn as a country. And Israel hadn't been reborn as a country for 1900 years and now it has been. And so at least for that portion we can say, check, things are in motion. God brings us back into our own land and he says, "And I will leave none of them there any longer." And then verse 29 I love, love verse 29, I hope you do too. God says very clearly, "I will not hide my face from them any longer." It's not me it's him, right he's the author, he's quite a dramatist. And what's the ultimate goal? The ultimate goal is to show his glory, that's what he says, and to reveal himself both to the nations and to Israel herself. Look at the end of chapter 39 starting in verse 28, chapter 39, verse 28. "Then they will know," the world will know, "that I am the Lord their God," and specifically Israel will know this. "Because I made them go into exile among the nations and then gathered them again into their own land." Right this can only happen after Israel's been reborn as a country and Israel hasn't been reborn as a country for 1900 years and now it has been and so at least for that portion we can say, check, things are in motion. God brings us back into our own land and he says, "And I will leave none of them there any longer." And then verse 29 I love, love verse 29, I hope you do too. God says very clearly, "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 God." Now in the old days, the Old Testament period, knowing that the Holy Spirit was gonna be poured out and God was gonna rescue Israel that's a good thing. We would say, Dayenu, this alone would be enough, but in the New Testament we understand what the role of the Holy Spirit is, right. The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the identify of the Messiah, the identify of Yeshua, Jesus. So as he pours out his Holy Spirit, he's gonna physically save and rescue the nation of Israel when no one else could, or would, her own army included, and then he's gonna start pouring out his spirit, this is, and he's not gonna hide his face anymore he's gonna reveal himself and the identify of his son. And this means that more Jews will be coming to faith in Jesus as Messiah, Lord and King, at this moment, and in the aftermath of this moment, then at any other time in human history. I believe because the world will see it also, and the spirit will be being poured out, that many, I think many Muslims will come to the conclusion that the god that they thought was gonna help wipe out Israel must not be the right god. That the God of Israel is the one-true God and that Jesus is in fact who he claims to be, the way, the truth, and the life, and that there is no other way. To get to know God personally and be adopted into his family to have your sins forgiven and go to heaven except through faith in Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. That's, that's what this prophesy is about why would you skip it? You don't understand the first few words, okay? They're figureoutable, I know that's not a word I'm just making things up, but I, that's what I do I make things up. But you can see once you get us into that you say wow, this is important, yes, yeah, this is important. This is why we don't wanna skip things like this. For me this so compels me that, this to me as much as anything else in scripture tells me, okay, judgment is coming to Israel's enemies and some of those neighbors, some of the neighbors are enemies, Israel doesn't understand who the Lord is and this should motivate us before these events happen to make sure that everybody that's part of the world knows Jesus. That they've at least heard the gospel and made their decision to receive him or to reject him. To me this is one of the great motivators, for me personally, for why we have the "Joshua Fund" because we are watchmen and we, okay we're not watchmen in the Old Testament sense, but that's a principle that carries over now we know what's coming because of the prophets like Ezekiel and because we know this and we see many trend lines suggesting how close we're getting, okay it could be a hundred years away, God could kick the prophetic can up the road, it could be decades and decades away, maybe, but maybe not. You know it's pretty extraordinary the moment we're in and I don't wanna have blood on my hands even of Israel's enemies, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, all of Iran's allies, Russia's allies, no no no they all need the gospel.

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