End-Times War in the Mideast: Part 3 - By Steve Ashburn -
Nuclear War In The Mideast
The Bible predicts that there will be a nuclear war in the Middle East, in Psalm 83, Amos 1-2, and many other books and chapters in the Old Testament, followed by a third US-led coalition invasion of Iraq. I believe this war will take place by 2030, resulting in global disruption of trade, the deaths of hundreds of millions, and the restoration of Israel to her ancient boundaries of the land of Canaan.
These prophecies have been "sealed" (not widely understood) until now, but in this series of articles, I am going to prove to you, painstakingly and through extensive quotation from Scripture, exactly what the Bible says about this war. This event begins a 40-year period known as the "end times," which includes the rapture, the Ezekiel 38-39 Russian invasion of Israel, and finally, the tribulation as its last seven-year segment.
The Bible must devote as much text to describing this nuclear war in the Old Testament as it does in Revelation! Therefore, it seems that God really wants us to be aware of this event, which marks the beginning of the end times, as much as He does the events of His second coming 40 years later.
Understanding all this is crucial to having a properly developed end-times thesis, including the definition, timing and sequence of events of this great time period, scheduled to begin in the near future!
Having said that, I now want to focus your attention on one of the nations involved in this Arab invasion of Israel, and that nation is Gaza.
Modern-day Gaza is populated by descendants of the ancient Philistine people, amalgamated with Bedouin Arabs, Edomites (descendants of Esau), and Jordanian Arabs (descendants of Moab and Ammon). The land was largely uninhabited until the return of the Jews to their homeland in the twentieth century, and the subsequent economic prosperity that resulted. The present-day Arab population of Gaza largely consists of immigrants from surrounding Arab nations who recently migrated to the area to find employment, and because of the higher standard of living. Although God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham (Genesis 15:21), Israel never fully possessed this land.
After World War I, Gaza was administered under the British Mandate, then after the 1948 Israeli War for Independence, by Egypt. It was captured by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967, and in 1993 was transferred to Arab control. Gaza is presently governed by the Palestinian Authority, whose main political faction is Hamas. In Hebrew, the word hamas means "violence," and true to their name, Hamas today seeks the violent overthrow of the Jewish state with frequent rocket barrages and other terrorist attacks against their neighbor.
Although Israel has never fully possessed the land of Canaan, this will finally be accomplished after the war which begins the end times. After decades of constant terrorism, murder and threats, the attempted military invasion by the nations which surround her will give Israel the impetus to fix "the Palestinian problem" once and for all.
Thus Israel will possess the complete land that God promised to Abraham-the Mediterranean coast from Zarephath (north of Tyre) southward to the "river of Egypt" (Genesis 15:18, easternmost delta branch of the old Nile terminating at ancient Pelusium, near present-day Suez Canal) - thereby including the Sinai Peninsula; thence from the Gulf of Aqaba northeastward through present-day Jordan and Syria to the Euphrates River; and thence southwestward to the Mediterranean Sea near Zarephath (Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:1-12; Deuteronomy 1:24; Joshua 1:4).
God's judgment on Palestine is set forth in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Obadiah, and Zephaniah. It makes sense for the Palestinians in Gaza to be judged at the same time as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and other nations surrounding Israel since these nations together will launch an attack against Israel at the beginning of the end-times period. They also are inveterate enemies of Israel and the source of much present-day terrorism. Ezekiel 25 describes the judgment against Palestine:
"Thus saith the Lord God; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them" (Ezekiel 25:15-17).
The timeline here is indicated by "to destroy it for the old hatred," meaning the ages-long hatred of the Palestinians for Israel. Isaiah 14 also gives an account of this battle. God advises Palestine not to rejoice because "the rod of him that smote thee is broken" (indicating Israel during the Diaspora-the time period just preceding Ezekiel's account), since they will return as a powerful nation ("a cockatrice"). A cockatrice is a legendary, venomous serpent that could kill just by its glace, and which emerges "out of the serpent's root" (the military power of ancient Israel).
Isaiah here refers to the deadly force of the modern IDF. The timeline here is when "firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety," indicating a time of peace for Israel which results after Palestine is "dissolved." This period comes after a time when God "will kill thy root with famine"; this probably refers to the two thousand years of drought in Palestine during the Diaspora. Many people tried to settle the land during this time but were largely unsuccessful because of the drought.
Afterward, the modern IDF "shall slay thy remnant" in the Psalm 83 war:
"Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times. What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it" (Isaiah 14:29-32).
Isaiah says, "There shall come from the north a smoke," suggesting a great number of troops, probably Israeli. In addition, the "fiery flying serpent" which comes out of the cockatrice seems to allude to nuclear missiles, especially with enhanced-radiation warheads. A neutron bomb detonating over Gaza City, for example, would "fry" the entire population while leaving buildings intact-sting of a "serpent," indeed. By this display of extreme military force, the population of Palestine would be "dissolved"; the Hebrew word translated "dissolved" here (namowg) actually means "melted"-an accurate description of thermonuclear destruction.
In addition, aircraft of the IDF-which shoot "fire" out of their engines while using the afterburners (and also from rockets), and launch deadly guided (Sidewinder?) missiles from their wings-also could be described as "fiery flying serpents." However, the sense in which Isaiah uses this term denotes widespread, sudden, violent death ("dissolved"), indicating nuclear rather than conventional force.
Later, Israeli ground troops could sweep in to mop up whatever is left; thus, Palestine would be "dissolved"-physically and politically. It appears at this time that the cat-and-mouse game Israel has been playing with Palestinians in Gaza is over at this point in our narrative. Egypt cannot help the Palestinians, since they have been destroyed along with many cities and nations surrounding Israel.
Since Palestinians also live in West Bank and Jordan (ancient Moab, Ammon and Edom)-and they are as equally malignant as their brethren in Gaza-Scripture addresses their destruction also. Obadiah 1 describes an attack by Israel upon Edom-the present-day West Bank and southern Jordan, which also includes Palestine:
"And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south" (Obadiah 1:18-20).
This attack apparently occurs at a time when "the day of the Lord is near," which is a code phrase for the beginning of the end times (since the day of the Lord begins with the rapture), according to verse 15: "For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head."
The end-times attack on Israel by a coalition of Arab nations apparently includes the Palestinians in Gaza as well as Jordanians who occupy ancient Edom (the biblical land of Esau). Obadiah indicates Israel will destroy Edom with overwhelming military force (Obadiah 1:18), and presumably, this includes the Palestinians in Gaza as well (Obadiah 1:19).
It long has been the hope of Arab nations that a blitzkrieg attack against Israel would be successful, but as in past attacks (e.g., 1967, 1973), it quickly becomes clear that their hope is in vain. Unlike previous wars, however, this time the fix is permanent. Israel begins several decades of peace and prosperity, as indicated by Ezekiel 28:26: "And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God."
We'll cover more about this Mideast war in Part 4 of this series, including the description of Gaza as "the nation of the Cherethites" ("running assassins"), and the deportation of the surviving Arabs to other nations, basically as slaves. So stand by for Part 4!
I provide more details of this and many other end-times prophecies in my recently published book, END TIMES DAWNING: Get Ready! (available from www.endtimesrecord.com). Please read it! Also, if you would, please leave a book review on Amazon!
Yours in Christ,