SPARK -- the war of Gog and Magog
Will naval commando raid by Israel cause war 'of Biblical proportions'?
|Tom Kovach (rhymes with "watch") lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications. He has written two books: Slingshot in 2006, and Tribulation: 2008 in late August of 2008. Tom is an inventor, a horse wrangler, a certified paralegal, and former network talk-show host. He has also run for Congress. To learn more, click: www.TomKovach.US.|
Scoffers have said -- for a variety of reasons, including some major twists of Scripture -- that it would never happen in their lifetime. For years, I've said otherwise.
A few hours before I started typing this column, Israel conducted a naval commando raid against a ship that was attempting to run that nation's blockade of Gaza -- the ancient capital of the Filistins. The blockade was declared by Israel to stop the influx of weapons and supplies to the Filistins, who were using those weapons and supplies against Israel. All the while, the Filistins claim to be engaging in "peace talks" with Israel.
In the approximately six hours since the raid, news reports are already in conflict over who attacked whom first and whether the commandos were in international waters at the time of the raid. (To see a good compilation of news on the incident and its aftermath, click here. To see actual footage of the Filistins beating the commandos with pipes, thus corroborating Israel's side of the story, click here.) One thing is certain: several nations are using the incident as an excuse to distance themselves from Israel.
So far, as we in the United States celebrate our Memorial Day, there has been little announcement from our government about the raid. However, the track record since his occupation of the White House began would indicate that alleged President Barack Obama will soon turn America's back even further against Israel. Even if the general public were to accept the premise that Obama is a Muslim and not a Christian, that would still not be enough to explain his fervor in changing America's foreign policy from pro-Israel to anti-Israel.
So, just what would explain it?
The Holy Bible.
That, of course, is the foundation for my second book, Tribulation: 2008. The book gives multiple proofs that The Tribulation -- the dramatic seven-year conclusion of human history -- began on 29 September 2008, the Hebrew Feast of Trumpets.
If the Tribulation began in September of 2008, and its duration is fixed in the Bible at seven years, then the mid-point of the Tribulation comes three-and-a-half years later. The mid-point is significant, because the Bible divides the Tribulation into two halves. The second half is more terrible than the first half; it is called The Time of Jacob's Trouble. This mid-point comes at Passover in the year 2012. In that year, on the Western (Gregorian) Calendar, the week-long celebration begins at sundown on the 7th of April, and ends on Friday the 13th of April, 2012.
The dividing line between the two halves of The Tribulation is a very specific event: the death of a man known prophetically as The Beast. This man is one of powerful political influence. He will be regarded by most (except for true believers in God and in His Messiah) as a consummate peacemaker. The Beast will negotiate a peace treaty for Israel. That treaty will come at the end of The War of Gog and Magog, which is predicted in Chapters 38-39 of the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel.
In the Book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ to Saint John (often shortened to Revelation), it is predicted that The Beast will receive a fatal head wound. But, it is also predicted that The Beast will be "healed" from that wound. Then, all people will marvel at him and follow (obey) The Beast. The apparent "healing" will come from The Dragon, who is also known as The False Prophet. (My book identifies both The False Prophet and The Beast; they are currently active and well-known in politics.)
This background is important -- especially for people that have not previously read the Holy Bible, or people that have been misled about prophetic meanings. The Beast will be known as a peacemaker for many reasons, but his most important accomplishment will be the treaty that he brokers after the War of Gog and Magog. Now, if The Beast is killed at the mid-point of The Tribulation, and if he makes this treaty at the end of a specific war, and if the mid-point occurs in April of 2012, then simple logic tells us that the War of Gog and Magog must start very soon!
The introduction to Tribulation: 2008 makes clear that I have great respect for previous expositors of Bible prophecy -- such as best-selling author Hal Lindsey, who in 1972 sparked my interest in Bible prophecy with his book The Late, Great Planet Earth. However, that introduction also makes clear that I believe that Lindsey (and others, such as Jack Van Impe) are wrong about certain details. At least one of those details comes into play in the examination of today's Israeli commando raid.
Lindsey, Van Impe, and several other well-known Christian writers have claimed that The War of Gog and Magog will be started by Russia. That claim was made during the Cold War, when we in the United States blamed many of the world's problems upon the Soviet Union -- the government of the land of Russia during its subjugation to open Communism. But, the claim that Russia and her allies comprise Gog and Magog is built upon sand. An examination of the linguistics shows that another country must be "Gog and Magog". And, that other country has a direct stake in the results of today's commando raid. Thus, I believe that today's raid will be the spark of the predicted war of truly Biblical proportions.
Those modern writers based their belief upon a purported record of the migration of the families named in the Book of Genesis. Although some of those migrations were recorded in more detail, that is not the case with Gog and Magog (two sons of Japheth; see Gen. 10:2 and I Chron. 1:5). So, let's look at the linguistics behind their names. (My book, and several of my columns, make use of the meaning of the names of people in the Holy Bible, and of their countries.) The name "Gog" means "mountain". The name "Magog" means "overtopping; covering". In the prophecies about the war, Gog and Magog are always mentioned together. And, because they were brothers, it is quite reasonable to presume that the lands they settled were adjacent. Therefore, because the Bible clearly makes use of the meanings of people's names to convey larger meanings about their stories and about prophecy, we must look for a land which is known for its "overtopping mountain".
If someone were to ask you to name the country that comes to mind when you hear the phrase "overtopping mountain", would you name Russia? No. Although there are certainly mountain ranges in Russia, such as the Ural Mountains, and although the taiga region of Siberia has hills that appear to stretch out endlessly, Russia is not known for its high, steep, "overtopping" mountains. And, remember that whatever country is revealed, it must have a connection to a Bible story in order to fit the pattern of names with prophetic meanings. Is there a country that is known for a specific "overtopping mountain" that is closely associated with a Bible story? Yes!
The story of Noah's Ark tells us that, after the Great Flood, the Ark came to rest "upon the mountains of Ararat" (Gen. 8:4). Note that the text uses the word "mountains" (plural), but names a region that is named after one specific mountain: Ararat. That mountain is the highest in that part of the world. It is ... "overtopping". And, it is located in the eastern portion of the nation that we now call Turkey.
Now that we see a reason why "Gog and Magog" could be Turkey, let us examine why it could not be Russia. First, for almost a thousand years (until the assassinations of the Russian Royal Family by the Bolshevik thugs of Communism), Russia was the longest-lasting Christian empire on Earth. Therefore, it is not likely that God would use Russia against Israel. Add the linguistic factor about the "overtopping mountain", and we begin to rule out Russia. But, the factor that totally rules out Russia is its geographic and historic relationship to Turkey.
For centuries, Russia has wanted a warm-water port. Turkey has several. But, there are cultural, ethnic, religious, and geographic divides between Russia and Turkey. In order for Russia to lead a war against Israel, they would need to march through Turkey. That would mean forging a military alliance with a country that has been their cross-border rival for a very long time. Add to that the difficulties posed in recent years by Russia's efforts to control the gas and oil pipelines through that part of the world. (Those efforts put a little-known country called South Ossetia into the global headlines for awhile.)
oil and spark
The pipeline controlled by Russia threatens to undermine the sale of oil to the West by Muslim countries. That pipeline is the source of friction between Russia and Turkey (and her Muslim allies). If Russia (a formerly Christian empire) succeeds in undermining the oil profits of the Muslim countries, then that could cause major friction in that part of the world. Add to that volatile condition the fact that Israel is on the verge of exploiting huge oil deposits, and you can see where a) Turkey and Israel would have a reason to clash, and b) Turkey and Russia would have no reason to be allies.
Now, add another element to that volatile condition: the fact that the ship and its passengers killed by today's Israeli commando raid were from Turkey. Now, the incident could give Turkey some measure of perceived legitimacy on the world stage if they were to attack Israel. And, if that attack occurs, then the other Muslim countries that surround Israel could use such an attack as "justification" for joining into the fight and for "piling on" agaist Israel. And, if that piling on were to occur, then we would have the exact conditions predicted for the War of Gog and Magog. Given the anti-Israel sentiments of the current occupier of the White House, what will become of our country if we are on the same side as the country against whom God shall bring a variety of great destruction? (see Ezekiel 38:18-23)
Two-and-a-half years ago, I began corresponding with popular Israeli talk-radio hostess Tamar Yonah (who has even had me as a guest on her program). The topic that began our communications was, interestingly, a commentary about the pending War of Gog and Magog. And, interestingly, her commentary was also about a ship bringing supplies to the Filistins to be used against Israel. Could it be that the previous Israeli commando raid was used by God as a foretype, to let the people of Israel know what to expect as a sign before the war starts?
Time will tell whether this perception about today's commando raid is correct. My belief is that it will not be very much time. And, if this proves correct, then the world itself is running out of time.
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