27 April 2012: At this point, some 19 months since first posting this "work in progress," there exists for the first time very strong evidence for the existence of a coalition of nations prepared to move militarily against the nuclear weapons aspirations of the Islamic Republic of Iran in what I believe will be a highly probable literal fulfillment in our day of Jeremiah 49:34-39. (Please read the original posit on this interpretive theory down below for a refresher if that is necessary.)
Israel Defense Forces Chief-of-Staff Lientenant General Binyamin "Benny" Gantz informed the world yesterday of the existence of a coalition of nations who are prepared to execute offensive, preemptory military strikes on Iranian military targets should it become necessary to do so. While not specifying which nations would join Israel in striking Iran, LTG Gantz was completely unambiguous in the words he used:
"The military force is ready, not only our forces, but other forces as well. We all hope that there will be no necessity to use this force, but we are absolutely sure of its existence."
There is no doubt in my mind that the Shi'a Twelver regime in Iran hold that the acquisition of an indigenous nuclear weapons and delivery capability as the key to achieving a chaotic and apocalyptic scenario in order to self-fulfill their own eschatological beliefs about an Islamic messianic figure known as the al-Mahdi.In this context it is simply not possible for the Iranian regime to abandon its eschatological beliefs any more than it would be for the Bride of Christ to abandon the blessed hope of the Harpazo. Therefore, it does appear that full-scale regional warfare in the Middle East and Southwest Asia is a very near inevitability given the closeness of Iranian technological success in achieving nuclear weapon capability. As has been have stated often times before, for Israel "Never Again" means Never Again. The Lord's will be done for His Divine purposes.
21 October 2011: It has been a full year since this article was posted here, and an awful lot has changed. Across the Arab-Islamic fundamentalist world there has occurred a sea change, particularly in the past 10 months of this year. Rod-of-Iron dictators who had held Arab Islamic fundamentalists at bay since the Iranian (Persian) revolution of 1979 have been removed from power by popular uprisings or are teetering on the brink of being ousted in the face of armed rebellion, to the killing of key fundamentalist leaders in the Islamic jihad movement. The world has focused on this so-called "Arab Spring."
But another key event has occurred this year which I have mentioned previously in this blog, and that is the ongoing armed clash between the Arab ruling House of Saudi Arabia and the apocalypse-minded Persian Shi'ite Twelver regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These armed clashes between Iranian-funded and inspired Shi'a have occurred on Yemeni soil, on Saudi soil and on Bahrani soil. With the recent revelation by the United States of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US and to attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, DC this Arab-Persian war nearly arrived on US soil. Understandably, the Saudi's are livid; they are demanding that action be taken against Iran, particularly the ending of its nuclear weapons program by force of arms.
This new paradigm finds the Saudi king and the Israeli leadership in agreement on what needs to be done with respect to the Iranian nuclear program, and the US is voicing its pledge that Iran will be held accountable for the assassination and embassy bombing plot. In Israel there has been conservative opinion expressed which holds that PM Netanyahu and his cabinet agreed to renounce their key principles in dealing with the terrorists of HAMAS to free Gilad Shalit from captivity in order to "clear his desk" for Israel to confront Iran head on. On Tuesday evening, October 11th Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to his countrymen about a "window of opportunity that is about to be closed and connected it to geostrategic developments."
Is Iran now facing the prospect of a "perfect storm" coming from all directions external to its own borders? Are the words of the prophet Jeremiah below relative to this new situation? I tend to think they are, and I tend to think we may see their fulfillment to the letter as Bible prophecy is always fulfilled. Not only does Iran have this external threat to deal with as the prophecy details, but should the Ayatollah's regime be subjected to the right kind external non-nuclear military action then the door opens for the Iranian regime to see revolt from within its own borders as the second to last verse appears to indicate (emphasis added): "‘And I will send the sword after them Until I have consumed them. I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes' says the Lord."
The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts:
‘ Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, The foremost of their might. Against Elam I will bring the four winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies And before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger,’ says the LORD; ‘ And I will send the sword after them Until I have consumed them. I will set My throne in Elam, And will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ says the LORD. ‘ But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the LORD.”
Although this is a work in-progress, I'd like to propose an interpretation whereby this prophetic "Judgment on Elam" from Jeremiah, which self-dates to the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah, or circa 595 BC, will be fulfilled in the near future, possibly prior to the final fulfillment of Psalm 83, and definitively prior to Ezekiel 38/39. I'm anchoring this future fulfillment upon the historical fact that the Elamite Kingdom ceased to exist during the ten year process of the Assyrian conquest led by King Ashurbanipal which was completed in 639 BC. Since Before Christ dates count downward, the gap of time between these years places the prophetic "Judgment on Elam" as being given to Jeremiah by the Lord approximately 44 years after the Assyrian conquest of Elam, and thus providing a strong context for latter days fulfillment.
There is also the related issue of a clear distinction in those ancient times between the Elamites and the Pä·ras'/Persians (old Persian: Pārsa) of Ezekiel 38:5. The Persian's originated in the region east of Elam defined by the natural boundary created by the Zagros Mountains, and the eastern most extent of the Elamite Kingdom at the city of Anshan/Anzan (modern-day Tepe Maylan, Iran). With the collapse of the Elamite Kingdom the Persians slowly took control with the Medes of what we know today as modern Iran.
According to several maps I've studied the ancient Elamite Empire could well be considered to constitute the core territory of the present day Iranian nuclear effort (i.e. the uranium mines and yellow cake processing facilities at Saghand and Ardekan, near Yazd; the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at the Esfahan; the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, and the nuclear crown jewel at Bushehr). The Iranian nuclear weapons program is fully integrated with the Iranian ballistic missile delivery vehicles, and which together could well be interpreted as the the arrows of "Elam's" bow, "the foremost of their might" of verse 35 which is precisely the greatest strength of the current Iranian military.
In the next verse we read that the judgment comes in the form of "the four winds" (i.e. all points on the compass and intimating many nations) as being the "sword" the Lord sends after them. Also looking at the map of Iran, it does appear that Arab nations, the principle of which is Saudi Arabia, would be among those coming against Elam from the southern "wind" along with many other nations constituting the other three directions. This includes Israel and many other nations such as the NATO alliance, and clearly invokes the modern day notion of a warfighting coalition of nations such as we saw in the early 1990s Operation Desert Storm against Iraq and the present day Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Some current context for this interpretive theory.
19 months ago (FEB 2009) there were more than a few highly qualified nuclear weapons experts at the Herzliya Conference in Israel - one of whom was Russian Major-General Vladimir Dvorkin - who said that the Islamic Republic of Iran already had already achieved a nuclear weapons capability.
This was reported world-wide by Bill Gertz in his "Inside the Ring" column. General Dvorkin was quoted saying, “Iran has developed the capability to produce and fire nuclear weapons.”
General Dvorkin told the Hezliya Conference Iran had acquired most of the components for building its nuclear weapon by 2003, and "The only way I see the problem being resolved is by military action.”
Former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich told this same conference three years ealier that three Iranian nuclear weapons constituted a nuclear holocaust for Israel, and if used against the United States would result in the loss of two to three American cities, and the direct result of such an attack would be that "freedom as we know it will disappear, and we will become a much grimmer, much more militarized, dictatorial society."
It is a standing premise of this interpretive theory that while the "Global Oligarchists" are creating a hideous system of world governance ready-made for the coming Western Antichrist to usurp, they are not even close to being the suicidal maniacs of Jihadist Islam - such as the Shi'a Islamic Republic of Iran has created. I think it reasonable to expect them to act in concert - in a grand military coalition which they most certainly do control right now - to defend the world system they're creating from the Iranian al-mahdist apocalypse.
Arriving at a point-of-no-return regarding Iranian nuclear development, a point possibly defined by an Iranian nuclear test detonation, possibly occurring in North Korea instead of Iran, a coalition of nations attacking these many above ground nuclear sites might release radiation and necessitate the need for the population to seek refuge in distant places, as intimated in verse 36c: "There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go." The Bushehr plant particularly meets this criteria.
4 April 2012:"Obama Leaks Israel's Attack Plan?" This is P. David Hornik's question posed yesterday on FrontPageMagazine.com.
The answer is: No, Obama has not leaked Israel's attack plan.
How could he? He doesn't know what those plans are. The Azerbaijan aspect is mere speculation. Speculation does not make for the revelation of a strike plan. Speculation makes for speculation. It makes for what is known in military circles as a SWAG, a Scientific Wild A** Guess.
The author of the Foreign Policy article, anti-Israel Mark Perry, saw the open source reports of Israeli-Azeri military cooperation and sales of equipment, and made a SWAG about an IAF strike coming from there. Why didn't Mark Perry inform us of how the IAF was going to neak at least 60-plus F-15I and F-16I strike aircraft into Azerbaijan without anyone noticing (like the Syrians, Jordanians, Turks, Saudis, Iraqis, Armenians or even the Iranian's themselves)??? It's a preposterous notion, and Mark Perry is a buffooon for taking at face value some information from "senior diplomats and military intelligence officers" who clear have the same political agenda with respect to Israel as he does. Mark Perry is a buffoon because he has sacrificed whatever journalistic credibility he had left for an anti-Israel political agenda. Game over.
So, getting back to the real-world issue at-hand, why would any of us Christians really think the consummate 3 and 4-Star generals and strike planning professional officers in IDF Headquarters are morons and so lax in their security protocols as to tell Barack Hussein Obama (ESPECIALLY Barack Hussein Obama!!) jack-diddley-squat about the details of their planning for Iran?
The fact is that Israel has never divulged in advance to any American president their plans for a special operation beyond Israel's borders. Never ever. Not so much as a syllable. Dead silence.
Another fact is that Israel has Iran strategically surrounded. Anybody with a few brain cells to rub together could run a good study of open source reporting over the past six months to see that the Israeli Navy has Iran's southeastern flank by way of missile firing submarines and corvettes in at the approaches to the Strait of Hormuz, Israeli special forces have Iran's northwestern flank by way of Special Forces clandestinely operating out of northern Kurdistan, and the IAF has southern and central Iran by way of Saudi airspace from which they could launch everything from an EMP strike to a hail of bunker-busting smart bombs. Israeli long-range missile forces have Iran within their range, and Israeli superiority in space reconnaissance holds the highest ground there is above Iran. What's more is that the Sunni Gulf Arab States (the GCC) would like nothing better than to see Israel remove - even temporarily - a standing nuclear threat from a nutcase Shi'a regime to their immediate north. They will cooperate fully or remain tactfully silent when Israel makes her move.
16 February 2012 UPDATED: The official US-Afghan military cover-up of the murder of 22-year old Marine Lance Cpl. Edward (Eddie) J. Dycus has just been revealed. According to most available reports, "Marine officials discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because it is still under investigation."
Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2012/03/16/3823774/greenville-marine-reportedly-killed.html#storylink=cpy
Lance Cpl. Dycus, from Greenville, Mississippi, was murdered by a shot to the back of his head while standing guard duty with an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier standing guard duty with him on Wednesday, 1 February 2012. According to iCasualties.org OEF webpage this murder was due to hostile small arms fire. So, the Afghan soldier shot Dycus from behind with his 45mm side arm. He was murdered in cold blood by Islam-inspired blood lust for the infidel American Marine. I have yet to learn of an apology from Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai, a man who conveniently forgets that he owes his own life to American Special Forces soldiers.
An acute fact of the matter is that the burning of Qur’ans and other materials which were defaced by detained Taliban and Al Qaeda jihadists occurred on 20 February, or virtually 3 full weeks AFTERthis murder. Therefore, applying the politically correct “muslim outrage” rationale that our media so loves to slap us in the face with simply DOES NOT exist here. This is atypical Qur’an-taught islamic treachery, plain and simple. Yet 45 days later, with the treacherous Afghan soldier in Afghan government custody, U.S. Marine spokesmen quoted by the Associated Press indicated this murder was still under active investigation. Investigation by whom?The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS)? Under the US-Afghan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in effect since 2003, I find that main stream media published assertion quite difficult to accept. In fact, I reject it as nonsense. Disinformation. A lie.
And this islamic treachery is even further complicated. The original Pentagon announcement that L.Cpl. Dycus’ death occurred “while conducting combat operations” in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province is pure bunkum. It constituted a bald-faced lie to Dycus’ family and to the entire American nation. Dycus’ family has now been informed of the truth. So has all of America. Outrage doesn’t even begin to describe the current mood among active duty US military ranks. Prior service veterans and ordinary civilians are feeling the same outrage.
The Associated Press released a report stating:
"The Associated Press inquired about the Dycus case after Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan at the time, said in an AP interview March 7 that the Afghan government has been embarrassed by recent cases of Afghan soldiers turning their guns on their supposed partners.
"I had one just a month ago where a lance corporal was killed, shot in the back of the head, and the Afghan minister of defense was here the next day" to discuss custody of the shooter, Toolan said, speaking from his Regional Command-Southwest headquarters at Camp Leatherneck."
One lone American soldier going on a murderous rampage of his own recently is without a doubt the tip of an iceberg of rage within the ranks of US troops in Afghanistan. No wonder SECDEF Panetta had the Marines at Camp Leatherneck completely disarmed before he spoke. I can just imagine what will occur should such islamic treachery be allowed to continue.
UPDATE 24 FEBRUARY 2012: Iran (MNN) ― Sources in Iran say an execution order for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been signed. According to Present Truth Ministries (closely connected with Nadarkhani), this is grim news. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, confirms the news. "Apparently, that execution order has not been delivered to his family or his attorneys, but the report is that it has been signed. That means that at any time, he could be executed."
Let us pray for our dear Brother in Christ in Jesus Name; let His will be done.
UPDATE 12 OCTOBER 2011: After persistent reports of the past two days that Pastor Nadarkhani's case had been placed in the hands of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, new information has come out of Iran indicating that the Ayatollah wants no part of this international hot potato and that Nadarkhani's case was to be returned by the Iranian Supreme Court back to the Gilan Provincial court for yet another re-trial after certain technicalities and concerns about the initial investigation were cleared up.
This news comes as the American government announced that the Iranian government via the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps/Qods Force engaged in yet another act of war against the United States with an active plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador on US soil and to attack the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Washington, DC. Given this completely disheveled state of affairs just about anything is possible, including the possibility that we might be one step closer to a literal fulfillment of Jeremiah 49:34-39, a fulfillment where a non-nuclear EMP assault upon Iran could lead the way.
UPDATE 02 OCTOBER 2011:Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani's problem may be approaching closure. This is irregardless of the fact that it seems obvious the Islamic Republic of Iran is intent on killing Pastor Nadarkhani. The Shi'a Twelver government in Iran appears to have scrapped the apostasy charges in favor of new false charges of Yousef being "a Zionist, a traitor [who] had committed security crimes" according to Gholam-Ali Rezvani, deputy governor general of Gilan Province.
It is not immediately clear if these new charges carry a death sentence. The reason the Iranian Supreme Court sent the case back to the court in Rasht (the capital of Gilan Province) was to convict Pastor Nadarkhani of apostasy, and have him renounce Christianity in favor of Islam. Pastor Nadarkhani steadfastly has refused, denying that he was ever a Muslim, and thereby defeating the religious charges against him. This is why the new government charges were whipped up out of nothing.
Here's where the rubber meets the road. The court in Rasht has not been trying Pastor Nadarkhani on political charges and by the end of next week at the final hearing the court could well decide to set Yousef free. The court magistrates in Rasht have heard Pastor Nadarkhani's abundant testimony about our Messiah Jesus Christ and according to his lawyer they are very likely convinced at this point that he is an innocent man. Let us maintain our prayer vigil for Brother Yousef, his family and the Christian Church of Iran.
08 July 2011: 32-year old Yosef Nadarkhani (seen above) is a Christian evangelical pastor from Gilan Province in Iran, along the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. Yosef has been a Christian since age 19, and is married with children. In October 2009 authorities arrested him after he objected to Islam being taught to Christian children in Iranian schools. The indictment levied against Yosef accused him of organizing Christian evangelical meetings, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, asking others to invite Jesus into their hearts, using his house as a church and for "denying Islamic values." Yosef was put on trial, convicted of the indictments and has been sentenced to death by hanging under the charge of apostasy from Islam.
After his conviction Yosef appealed to the Iranian Supreme Court. That court has ruled that Yosef will have to return to the convicting court and face questioning. If the questioning determines that he does not believe in Islam, if he is not a Muslim, then he must renounce his faith in Jesus Christ before the court or be hanged by the neck until dead.
Brothers and Sisters, we have two tasks before us. The first is to pray for our Brother Yosef Nadarkhani, his family and his church. Pray that God's will is done; spare Yosef from a martyrs death and provide them all with the safety of His protection.
The second task is to correctly teach others who have been deceived by what Western media says about the "peaceful religion of Islam." We need to inform them that Islam (Submission) is in reality the total submission of the will of the individual human being to an utterly false god who has nothing to do with our God YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, the Father of whom our Lord Jesus Christ was born to take away the sins of the whole world.
For the past 1,380-some odd years Islam has been an earthly manifestation of the powers we struggle against while wearing he whole armor of God according to Ephesians 6:10-18.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."
14 February 2010: Most of us are by now very familiar with the Eastern Leg-Islamic Antichrist proponent known by the alias "Joel Richardson." Some of us are even aware of the fact that he is a man whom It's Supernatural! talk show host Sid Roth declared was "hand-picked literally by God to give revelation of the end time." "Joel" agrees with him and declared on that program that the Lord did indeed anoint him through the word of a prophetess who prayed over his future wife and some unknown speaker in a 7,000-seat civic center meeting. A couple of weeks ago this "prophet" spoke exclusively again through the internet medium known as WorldNetDaily, and the topic of his divine revelation was "Does Psalm 83 Describe The Next MidEast War?"
Needless to say, "Joel" writes about some perceived problems with the "widespread" view that yours truly and many other far more prominent prophecy authors, ministers, teachers and students hold that Psalm 83 awaits an imminent fulfillment prior to the 70th Week. I happen to believe that Psalm 83 has been in the process of a literal fulfillment since May of 1948, but you already knew that. So off we go to address a couple ""Joel's problems with our Psalm 83 view. And before I begin, let me say that I think it is obvious that "Joel's" intent with his article is to attempt to gain some more notoriety for himself by opposing the majority view interpretation of Psalm 83. He does not succeed in this endeavor as I will now conclusively demonstrate.
Joel: "The first problem is that most scholars reject the idea that Psalm 83 is even an actual prophecy, but is simply, “a national prayer of lament.” Such a Psalm would not be considered a prophecy in the sense of that which was uttered by the biblical prophets."
This statement is in error on several fronts. First, most scholars do not reject the idea that Psalm 83 is an actual prophecy. They understand it to be a prophetic imprecatory prayer. Secondly, these scholars hold to this understanding because they know the Bible and are acutely aware that the Bible declares the writer of Psalm 83, Asaph the Levite priest assigned by King David "to minister before the Ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel: Asaph the chief..." was a prophet (1 Chronicles 16:4-5). 1 Chronicles 25:2declares: "Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied according to the order of the king." Even thereafter, in 2 Chronicles 29:30 we read: "Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer (Hebrew: chozeh - a seer, a prophet)." Therefore, as we can clearly see through God's Word, Asaph was a prophet, and Psalm 83 is a prophecy no different than any other prophecy in His Word.
Joel: "...Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, mentions that “Assyria” will join this coalition. When this Psalm was written during the reign of King David, the Kingdom of Assyria included portions of modern-day Iraq, Syria and Turkey."
Not exactly Joel. In the hundred year period circa 1000-900 BC from when Asaph wrote Psalm 83, Assur (Assyria) was in full retreat from the lands it had occupied to the west and was centered in modern-day Iraq in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys as seen inthis map courtesy of the Assyrian National News Agency. Who knows Assyrian history better, the modern descendants of ancient Assyria or Joel Richardson? Sorry Joel, but one cannot cook a "Turkey" that is not in the Psalm 83 pot.
Additionally, the full context of verse 8 in Psalm 83 is that Assur would be of assistance or lend strength or of help to the "children of Lot" during the fulfillment of this prophecy. That has been the fact of the matter as I see it since the first Arab-Israel war of 1948, the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when, respectively, Iraqi generals were commanders of the Arab forces and placed large numbers of their troops on the front lines with the Syrians and Jordanian armies. The Yom Kippur War of 1973, in particular, saw a squadron of Iraqi Air Force jets operating against Israel from an Egyptian airfield and an Iraqi division of 18,000 troops along with 800-some odd main battle tanks alongside Syrian troops in the Golan.
As for Joel's assertion that Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38/39 are the same war, well, let's just say that such an idea is thoroughly refuted by a Berean one-on-one comparison of the texts that it would be a waste of my time and your time to address them here.
UPDATE 19 February 2012: As expected "Joel Richardson" has problems with "some prophecy blogs," but only bothered to link to this Eschatology Today blog in his response. So therefore, his problem is not with what others have written but what I have written in rebuttal to his WND nonsense. The problem with his response is that "Joel" does not even come close to addressing the two key issues I raised with respect to his WND article.
As anyone can clearly be informed of the first of the two specific issues I raised in the original article above was related to Asaph being identified in God's Word as a "chozeh," the Hebrew word meaning a seer, a prophet; and that Asaph prophesied accordingly to King David. My simple citation of just three verses from 1 and 2 Chronicles utterly destroyed the foundation of "Joel Richardson's" attempt to teach that Psalm 83 is not a prophecy. No wonder "Joel" is irritated. The bigger irritation is probably the property of Joseph Farrah at WND who actually paid Joel to write a bunch of nonsense unsupported by anything in the Word of God.
The second specific issue I addressed above related to the one-word mention of Assur in verse 8 of Psalm 83. "Joel's" assertion was that circa David's Kingdom (1020-930 BC) Assyria was the occupier of modern-day Iraq, Syria and Turkey. As I proved with an Assyrian map, Assur in the historical period of Asaph's prophecy was confined to the Tigris and Euphrates valley of the central Mesopotamian plains in modern-day Iraq. This proof laid utter waste to "Joel's" assertions and his teachings regarding Turkey.
So what did "Joel" address regarding my response to his WND article? Well, he incorrectly states that "the gist" my response was first and foremost related to a .jpg map that was published by WND. Obviously, and again, as anyone can plainly see above "Joel" is just plain and woefully incorrect. He obviously did not read my response to his WND article for himself, but has relied on the errant words or descriptions of others. Now, one might ask, how on earth is that possible when he provided a direct link to this Eschatology Today blog? Doesn't "Joel" personally verify his links and the content therein?
Obviously, the short answer is that "Joel's" link citing is reflective of the in depth manner in which "Joel" conducts research for his books and articles. Whatever he does seek out in "up to date scholarship" research is uniquely attuned to his own point of view at the expense of the geo-location data for these places given by the ancients themselves. This kind of research is inherently hollow. It has an exterior shell but is devoid of real content on the interior.
The fact which escapes "Joel" is that the only published image in my blog is a National Geographic picture of a medieval Psalter Book of Psalms which was found by a backhoe operator in an Irish bog, and which was portentously indeed found to be opened to Psalm 83. The other image in my article above is a link to the AINA.ORG map of "The Eastern Mediterranean After The Invasions of the Sea Peoples and the Dark Age of 900 BC." The "Dark Age" referred to the Assyrian dark age of that era, you know, when the Assyrians were not the heirs of a vast empire but were confined to Assur in the north and the Chaldean lands in the south of modern-day Iraq.
Since Joel cannot overcome the primary points of my rebuttal of his WND piece he, as usual, attempts to switch the focus to some other issue of minor relevance. In this particular instance he sets sail on a fanciful journey of false history and incorrect historical geo-locational associations. The bottom line in "Joel's" failure to distract from the real issues of my rebuttal is as follows. Instead of referring to Russians, or Georgians or Transcaucasian peoples north and northeast of the Black Sea, the ancients referred to these nations according to the era in which they lived as well as by their Biblical names. For example, in the primary instance of Magog, these people were identified as Scythians by Josephus in the first century AD (Antiquities I, vi. 1). The Scythians without question inhabited modern-day Russia. Five hundred years prior to Josephus there was the Greek historian Herodotus who located the Scythians or Sacaetribes in his time as inhabiting what we know as modern-day Ukraine. These identifications and geo-locations are unassailable historical FACT!
What Christians have known for a very long expanse of time regarding the identification of "Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal" (Ezekiel 38:2 NKJV) is correct and they should avoid at all costs the false teaching in this regard as espoused by "Joel Richardson" irregardless of what is within the content of his new book.
Instead we would all be far better served to read the research published by Xulon Press in 2003 as written by Dr. Jon Mark Ruthven and Dr. Ihab Griess, in their free-of-charge .pdf tome, "The Prophecy That is Shaping History; New Research on Ezekiel's Vision of the End." The research contained herein is an exemplary of proper hermeneutic in practical application. I would strongly recommend all readers to download (right click and "Save As") Dr. Ruthven's book and to read it at your leisure. Happy reading.
Addendum: In "Joel Richardson's" response to this article, "Where Is Magog, Meshech and Tubal?," he attempts to conclude that ONLY the modern day nation of Turkey is representative of the several nations and peoples named by God for Ezekiel to prophesy against, to include specifically: Magog, Mechech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. This strongly infers that the man who is to be Gog is a modern day Turk from modern day Turkey, and therefore a Sunni Muslim.
Did you get that? Gog will be a modern-day Turkish Sunni Muslim. One has to read these theories very carefully to see what nonsense they try to have you accept as they build their hollow, house of cards premise for an Islamic Antichrist and his Eastern Leg world conquering Islamic Empire. "Joel Richardson" is hereby attempting to lure folks into believing, for the price of his previous and forthcoming book, that Gog and the Antichrist of the 70th Week and Revelation are one and the same man.
Whoa Nellie and let's hold on here just a second! Here is were the entire Islamic Antichrist - Eastern Leg house of cards theorem collapses upon its own weight. The prophetic Word of God in Ezekiel 39:11-16 unambiguously tells all of us that Gog and his military coalition will fail in their invasion attempt and that Gog himself will be buried in Israel. Period, End of Gog, and the end of that specific coalition of nations permanently. Oops! "Joel Richardson" and all of those who agree with him conveniently ignore this prophetic fact.
And in understanding the prophetic fulfillment and future fact of the matter that Gog and his entire coalition of armies are completely annihilated by God on the "mountains if Israel," then who, pray tell, is the Antichrist and his military forces we read about elsewhere in the Word of God? Obviously the Antichrist is not Gog of Magog (Gog of Turkey according to "Joel Richardson") and the entire plethora of his numerous man-made references to this effect are, at the minimum, in gross error in their identification of the lands of Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. And just as obviously the national origin identification of the Antichrist given by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:26b as coming from "the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary," as fulfilled in 70 AD by General Titus Flavius Vespasianus and his several Roman Legions confirms a Roman or Western European origin for this man of sin, son of perdition.
At this point I need to say that the nations represented in Ezekiel 38:6 by Gomer and Togarmah might well be a different matter than discussed above, and might well indicate both a Turkish and Caucasian nation(s) participation in this attempted invasion. But, again, the prophetic truth in the sum of Ezekiel's prophesy is that they are secondary players not meriting a mention in chapter 38 until verse 6, definitively after the mentioning of Iran (Paras), Sudan (Kuwsh) and Libya (Puwt). These five nations are all of secondary importance because they are omitted completely in the text of Ezekiel 39 where God again repeats in verse 1 the primary importance of "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal."
Additionally, if one researches the history of the Turks in modern day Turkey one would learn that they arrived in this land from Central Asia in the early part of the 11th century (1092 AD) following their invasion of Persia. The modern Turks are the descendants of the ancient Seljuk Turks who descended from the more ancient Oghuz Turkic peoples of north-central Asia. The historical fact is that the approximately 52-year lifespan of Ezekiel (c. 622 to 570 BC) pre-dates any Turkic presence in Anatolia (the ancient name for Turkey) and for the entirety of the 1,600 year long era of classical antiquity (600 BC through 1000 AD). The forebears of the modern Turkish nation were living in regions anywhere from 2,500 to 3,500 miles northeast of present day Turkey. Do any of the Genesis 10 Table of Nations names given by God for Ezekiel to prophesy against 2,600 years ago reference modern day Turks? No, they apparently do not. They reference locations associated with the names only of Gomer and Togarmah who today are a multi-ethnic mix of the original inhabitants and invaders from the far northeast of Asia.
"Joel" also states: "23.) Author Joel C. Rosenberg also places both Meshech and Tubal in modern day Turkey."
That's not entirely accurate "Joel." From today's entry (22 FEB 2012) on Joel C. Rosenberg's blog, I quote with emphasis added:
"Another question I’m getting asked these days: Is Putin “Gog,” the evil leader described in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39? It came up during my recent speaking tour in Florida, and in a talk I gave to a group on Capitol Hill last week? Thus far, my answer remains the same — Putin is certainly “Gog-esque,” but it is too early to speculate on whether he is actually the biblical figure that will rise to power in Russia (known in Ezekiel’s prophecy as “Magog”) in the last days and build an alliance with Iran (“Persia”), Sudan (“Cush”), Turkey (“Gomer”), Libya and Algeria (“Put”), the countries of Central Asia (“Beth Togarmah”) to attack the State of Israel from “the north” (probably via Lebanon and Syria). That said, it is fair to say that geopolitical events over the past decade — and certainly over the past year or so — have been moving on a trajectory consistent with the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will see the prophecies come to complete fulfillment in our lifetime or soon, but we cannot rule out the possibility."
Joel C. Rosenberg has been consistent in his identification of the major players named in Ezekiel 38/39 as follows:
Magog, Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal - Russia and former Soviet Republics Persia - Iran Cush - Sudan, Ethiopia, and possibly Eritrea Put - Libya, Algeria, Tunisia Gomer - Turkey and possibly Germany and Austria Bethtogarmah - Turkey, Armenia, and the Turkic-speaking peoples of Asia Minor and Central Asia
Second Addendum: It is good to see that brother Joel is reading this blog and correcting some of his errors accordingly. You're welcome Joel. However, I said some of his errors, not all, so here is yet another which requires an "adjustment.
"17.) Herodotus, who never once mentions Magog, does discuss the Scythian peoples. After discussing the various theories for their origins, expresses his preferred belief that they came from Turkey..."
Again, this is not quite accurate. SoundChristian.com reports on Herodotus and the Scythians (Magog) without a single reference to Turkey and firmly places them within what we know as modern Russia and Ukraine. I would recommend reading the entire report linked above as it also discusses the Turks.
"Herodotus wrote extensively about the descendants of Magog by their Greek name, the Scythians, about 150 years after Ezekiel. He wrote of three tribes of Scythians, one being "Royal Scythians" who ruled over all other Scythians of Scythia, and two other tribes having different lifestyles: one a tribe of farmers and settled agriculturalists, and another a tribe of migrant stockbreeders who immigrated with their horses, cows and sheep. Herodotus describes them as living in the territory north of the Black Sea, and that they terrorized thesouthern steppes of Russia beginning in the 10th century BC. He supposed the word Scythian meant "father." Perhaps he was correct, as the name Scythian is a derivative of Ashkenaz, who was the father of the Scythians. Numerous archaeological discoveries have confirmed Herodotus' reports in general, and his Scythian accounts in particular.
He also wrote that "the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae (Magogites), but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes (Volga) river, and entered the land of Cimmeria." Historical records indicate that in the 7th century BC tribes of Scythians swept across the Caucasus mountains displacing the Cimmerians (Gomerites). Flavius Josephus, Jewish and Roman historian, continued with that reference in the 1st century AD, when he records that Magogites (Magogians) were called "Scythians" by the Greeks. Philo, famous Greek and Jewish philosopher in the 1st century AD, also identified Magog with southern Russia"
Also in this vein I would refer the reader to FocusOnJerusalem.com where the Scythians are discussed as well.
"The Scythians We know the descendants of Magog by their Greek designation as the Scythians (depicted in their legends as descending from Scythes , the youngest of the three sons of Heracles, from sleeping with a half viper and half woman). The name Scythian designates a number of nomadic tribes from the Russian steppes, one group of which invaded the Near East in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. After being repulsed from Media, many of the later Scyths settled in the fertile area of the Ukraine north of the Black Sea. Other related tribes occupied the area to the east of the Caspian Sea. Herodotus describes them living in Scythia (i.e., the territory north of the Black Sea). He describes Scythia as a square, 20 days journey (360 miles) on a side. It encompassed the lower reaches of the Dniester, Bug, Dnieper, and Don Rivers where they flow into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Scythian language belonged to the Iranian family of the Indo-European languages. The Ossetian dialect of central Caucasus appears to be a survivor. The original area in which Iranian was spoken extended from the mid-Volga and the Don regions to the northern Urals and beyond. From here, Iranian-speaking tribes colonized Media, Parthia, Persia, Central Asia, and as far as the Chinese border. In the 7th century B.C. the Scythians swept across the area, displacing the Cimmerians from the steppes of the Ukraine east of Dnieper River, who fled from them across the Caucasus. It is provocative that even the name "Caucasus" appears to have been derived from Gog-hasan, or "Gog's Fort." The hippomolgoi ("mare-milkers") mentioned in Homer's Iliad were equestrian nomads of the northern steppes and several authorities also identified these with the Scythians. "
The new image header for this Eschatology Today blog now features the best artistic rendering I have yet seen of the arrival to earth of the New Jerusalem.
New Jerusalem is the place to which the Bride of Christ will be taken by her Groom in the Harpazo (Reference: Isaiah 26:19-21, Zephaniah 2:3, Psalm 27:5 as confirmed by John 14:2). New Jerusalem is the heavenly place to which our Lord went to prepare for us nearly 2,000 years ago. This is His Father's House; this is Heaven, this is our eternal home as revealed in Revelation 21:9-27.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." -Psalm 122:6-7 O Lord, protect Israel, your treasured possession, and grant her peace. May we stand by her in times of need, never forgetting your promises to your chosen people. Lord, bless us as we bless Israel.
The LORD had said to Abram, "... I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." -Genesis 12:1-3