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May 16, 2021 1:00 am
In numerous prophecies, God promises to defend Israel when it’s under attack. In Ezekiel chapter 38 we read of a coming coalition of nations on the march to destroy tiny Israel. Despite an overwhelming superiority of force, this attack will be terminated by the hand of God. In this message we find an amazing story of Bible prophecy and how it will come to pass.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
In numerous prophecies. God promises to defend Israel when it's under attack. For instance, Ezekiel chapter 38.
Here we read of a J coalition of nations on the march to destroy tiny Israel, despite an overwhelming superiority of force. This attack is terminated by the hand of God. Today an amazing story of Bible prophecy and how it will come to pass from Chicago.
We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are today we continue attend part look into the future where calling when he shall come later in our service will learn about a great battle when he destroys nations pastor looks or comes now to open our service this morning we have the wonderful privilege of worshiping our Lord and of course the theme is when he shall call, and we welcome everyone who is here today in the sanctuary, The Moody Church, but also those who are listening and watching.
By way of Internet all over the world were glad that you are with us today because I believe that today's service is going to be transforming in your heart in a moment were going to be singing below.
He comes with clouds descending. Notice what the Scripture says about Jesus Christ's coming, behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so, Lord Jesus, I hope that within your heart today you desire his coming and if you do would you bow with me now in prayer and open your heart to the Lord for whatever he has for you.
Our father, we thank you that Jesus is going to return.
Thank you for your faithfulness in our lives until he does, and we ask that this worship experience will be transforming in our hearts, and may and bless your name.
Pray in Jesus name, amen and be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon it your way may be known on earth your saving power among all nations and peoples praise God. Let all the peoples praise you let the nations be glad and sing for joy for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth peoples praise you oh God, the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its increase God our God shall bless us God shall bless let all the air near him. It is truly amazing isn't it that a little sliver of land like Israel, depending on where you put the borders.
Perhaps 100 miles long and depending on where you measure it. 30 to 50 miles wide would command the attention of the world. And when God begins to ramp up history. Everything has to do with Israel. Everything has to do with the city of Jerusalem that small little postage stamp of a country. What is amazing, perhaps, is that the United States is not mentioned in prophecy. There is no evidence that the United States is directly involved at least the Bible doesn't predicted, there may be some reasons for that. First of all if you have a pre-tribulation rapture. If two or 3 million are however a million true believers there are in the United States all go up in a rapture that would certainly destabilize the United States people would have all kinds of explanations as to what happened to these people. Most people would be glad were gone, but at the same time, it could cause a lot of disruption. There's another reason and that is the need for oil. After all, the United States desperately needs foreign oil land that it could be that as the years progress, the United States begins to ally itself. More specifically, with the Arab states than it does with Israel.
Even in recent years it's evident that our support of Israel seems to be in decline. Another reason might be terrorism.
Imagine a terrorist attack and how it would take out so much of our infrastructure.
One of our leaders has said that the greatest threat the United States has is not terrorism but rather it is the collapse of the economy. A total financial meltdown. What of course could be caused by severe terrorist attacks. At any rate I'm going to be discussing today a huge battle that is going to take place in the Middle East, a coalition of nations that are going to march against Israel, and there is no evidence that the United States is involved or trying to help Israel repel the attack.
The attack will be repelled in a way that is going to give you goosebumps, but the United States will not be part of that what you do take your Bibles and turn to the book of Ezekiel and were going to begin in chapter 37. Just to give you a bit of context and after where in chapter 37 were going to spend our time in chapter 38.
If you have a Bible that is there in the seat in front of you. It would be page 725 725 always important that you follow along in the word you should bring your Bibles to church every Sunday. Notice that the Scripture says in 37 verse one the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley. It was full of bone and he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry and he said to me, Son of Man can these bones live and I answered.
Oh Lord, you know, prophesy over these bones and say to them old dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones. Behold, I will cause breath to enter you so these are easy goals, dry bones, and as he prophesies over the bones, the sinews begin to come together and the bones begin to connect, I must hurry because we have much territory to cover in this message.
But you'll notice that eventually he begins to prophesy and not only does the body come together, but something else happens and that is that it actually has life in the bones live. Fortunately, it's not up to us to try to figure out the mystery of what Ezekiel saw. It's right here in the Scripture, the Lord says in verse 11 Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel, behold, they say, our bones are dried up and our hope is lost where clean cut off is and that a picture of the Jewish nation throughout the centuries.
Therefore prophesy and say to them, thus says the Lord God, behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves all my people. I will bring you into the land of Israel you shall know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and I raise you from my graves and verse 14. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land, and you shall know that I am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord, the bones of the house of Israel.
Many people think that when Israel became a nation in 1948. At that period of time. That's when the bones started to come together but their dry bone Israel today does not recognize Jesus to be the Messiah. For one thing.
For another thing, many of the Jewish people have left their faith and even many of them have become atheistic and very unbelieving, so the nation is there as a nation that is a heap of dry bones.
But God says I am going to give you life and I will even put my spirit within you, and later on in this chapter, God says I'm going to cleanse you, and I'm going to give you a new heart is a reference to the time when Jesus Christ comes when the nation Israel shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall believe a whole host of Israelites will believe on Jesus and if you're wondering about the millennial kingdom.
Just know that I am dedicating a message in this series to the millennium and what happens there.
So here's this prophecy of the restoration of Israel with a new spirit a new understanding of God and the fulfillment of the prophecies that go back even to the time of Abraham else in that context that we read in chapter 38, and amazing invasion of Israel. This has never happened historically in fact the Scripture says that it will happen in the latter times in the latter days. So let's look at it very quickly. Chapter 38 the word of the Lord came to me. Now this is amazing because easy kill is writing 2600 years ago and he has intelligence because he's plugged into God and he's going to say some things that are just amazing. And now there's some evidence that we are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy, the word of the Lord came to me, Son of Man is set your face toward dog on the land of Magog, the chief rinses of Misha and tubal, and prophesy against him and says, thus says the Lord God, behold, I am against you old dog chief friends of Misha and tubal. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws. I will bring you out all of your army of horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host of them with buckler and shield wielding swords.
Persia crush and put our with them all with shield and with helmet Gomer and all of his hordes, Beth, Tamara, from the uttermost parts of the north with its wards. Many peoples are with you. Well it's time for us to stop here and take a breath. What is this all about when it comes to interpreting this passage you have to understand that he is using is using names that are very ancient and today we have different names for these geographical location, you say well how do you connect them. While there are scholars that have looked at these names connected them with the table of nations in the book of Genesis and so far as we know the interpretation that I am giving you is accurate and the first country that we have to look at if you were to look at a map. The first country that you would want to look at in this context is Russia when it speaks about dog that really is to a ruler is talking to a ruler and that when it speaks about Magog. If we identify that ruler as the Russian ruler, and I'll give you some evidence for that in a moment. Magog would refer to those countries that are south of Russia.
The countries that became part of the Soviet Union or were part of the Soviet Union, the Muslim countries that are in that region you still pastor Victor why do you believe that this is Russia. Notice that three times God says I'm going to bring you out from the far north, verse six, from the uttermost parts of the north verse 15 you will come from the uttermost parts of the north, you and many people with you. You'll notice that in chapter 39 same battle verse two of the uttermost parts of the north. Now if you were to look at Jerusalem and go straight north toward the North Pole you'd be drawing a line that goes right past Moscow. I don't think that there's any other country that fits that description. Furthermore, Russia has been the greatest seat of atheism and Russia has had a great deal of impact. And Russia is going to want to take its borders now and expand them to re-create the Russian Empire. Maybe you're aware that Putin said on one occasion that the dismemberment of the Soviet Union was one of the greatest geopolitical disasters that is ever happened there will be within Russia. The desire to re-create a union and this union is going to go against Israel. Now you have to understand it is difficult to put all this together but Antichrist will have a European coalition of Western nations, and so you can see the world lining itself up, you have Antichrist who has in his hip pocket. The Western nations to see Russia now and it is going to align itself with Arab nations know people always say how close are we to the Lord's return. I don't know.
Maybe it's still 50 years or 100 years, but if there are any signs any quote signs one would be Russia's entity.
Its desire to connect with Arab nations. Now let's look at the text and let's find out what some of these other nations are.
You have Russia and and then and its satellite countries. The former Islamic countries and then you have Mischa and tubal. Best identification is turkey and also Gomer over here and Beth told Dharma would also be a reference to areas of turkey. If this identification is correct a couple of things follow.
First of all, always expect in the days ahead that Russia is going to have closer and closer ties with Turkey.
Turkey is a secular Islamic state. Some of us have been there and we see it. Secularism also in the recent year or two.
It is taken at very fundamentalist take turn toward a more rigorous Islam, but expect Turkey to be aligned with Russia.
They are going to continue in their alliances and then you have the country of Persia, Persia, is a ran Persia is modern day air ran what we all know and it's listed there.
Of course, in verse five we know that a ran we know what a ran things's president, wanting to exterminate the Jews and saying that the Holocaust didn't happen. All of these things have been said by Hmong dinner Chad. He said that you know the Holocaust didn't happen what they want to do is to align themselves with those nations that are opposed Israel and wipe Israel off the map.
Isn't it interesting that Russia has trained more than a thousand nuclear scientists, Iranians, and Russia has helped them build a nuclear power plant billions in arms deals expect that to continue.
Russia says that it is willing to defend air ran sir ran as part of the coalition, then you have three countries that are really in Africa today, you have costs which is Ethiopia and of the Sudan and put which is Libya. Now I have to tell you that ancient Ethiopia when it's mentioned in the Scriptures, Kush, Ethiopia was really what we call today the Sudan was south of Egypt and so you have these countries becoming part of the coalition.
If you asked the question well if the troops are coming from the north, there are ways that these countries can participate. There are many theories as to how that might happen, I shall not go into those today because we don't know for sure, but they are a part of this coalition and the Sudan today. By the way strong Muslim country and tie Christian very deeply so. So, these countries are going to ally themselves against Israel. Now you say what about Saudi Arabia. We certainly expect Saudi Arabia to be a part of this would but you know it's interesting.
Most scholars believe there in verse 13 of the chapter were looking at Sheba and D Dan that this best identification is Saudi Arabia and that Saudi Arabia gives a mild protest and says are you going to get the spoil, etc. Saudi Arabia, the Muslim country has oftentimes been allies with the West. So it is possible that it will, it will join the Western coalition that belongs to those that are under the thumb and the heel of Antichrist because it is not listed in this coalition. Now with that background, why are they doing this well versus 11 and 12 tell us they want to destroy to seize the spoil to carry the plunder to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited want to destroy the people who were gathered together from the nations etc. etc. what they want to do is finally crush Israel and they are going to come together in the hordes now if you asked the question were nuclear weapons.
In this all comment on the weapons issue in just a few moments but notice that the Bible says that you will come from the uttermost parts of the north verse 15 and you and many people with you, all of them riding on horses. A great host a mighty army written. Of course, in the language that Ezekiel would've understood that may be symbolic, but nonetheless this group of armies comes together.
If we read the text correctly were talking about millions of people of soldiers coming against Israel to finally over run the place to finally crush the place and do everything that this coalition has always wanted to do in its hatred of the Jews and to finally take care of the issue. Now you say will pastoral visit when would this happen while you know scholars differ on that point. I always say that when it comes to prophecy we might not be accurate in terms of the timeline we do the best we can to fit this in with this and ask where would this make more sense but we wish that there'd be a whole book just devoted to the sequence and there isn't the book of Revelation helps us, but we need to insert these events within it.
But let me say that it's a time when Israel is at peace. If you read the text it says that they will be in unwalled villages.
They will be secure in their land. That certainly isn't true today most assuredly, so it refers to some future time when Israel is at peace now here is a possibility but is widely held could be wrong but I'll give it to you. If you have the rapture of the church after that Antichrist begins to arise in Europe. He begins to get a coalition together. He will have a secure covenant with Israel. Daniel nine says that he makes a secure covenant.
He is so powerful nations are unified behind him, he becomes so strong that actually even the temple may be built next to the dome of the rock.
If you can imagine that which may be another reason. By the way why this coalition wants to wipe Israel out. So Antichrist does that and the covenant is firm and at last piece comes to Israel.
It could be that it's during that period of time that all of these nations gathered together over a period of months or over the period of a year or two, or whatever it takes to finally say were going to resolve the Middle East crisis in our way. Maybe also going against the forces of Antichrist. Well, just imagine this when God destroys this coalition will discover would not be a good time for Antichrist going to the temple of God and declare himself to be God in Jerusalem. Virtually all of his opposition is wiped out, but I'm ahead of the story Martine so let's look at the text. What happens, well, you'll notice that this coalition comes against Israel and God doesn't like it. That's to put it mildly. You will read here things that will just make your head spin.
Notice you'll come out from the North riding on horses. A great host.
You'll come up against my people Israel. I'm in verse 16. Like a cloud covering the land in the latter days.
Another reason why we know this is never happened. I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me when through you. Oh God, I indicate my holiness before their eyes. Verse 18.
But on that day, the day that God shall come out against the land of Israel, declares the Lord, my wrath will be roused in my anger for in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath. I declare on that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that keep on the ground and all the people who are on the face of the earth shall quake at my present, the mountain shall be thrown down the cliff shall fall every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all mine mountains, declares the Lord God.
Every man's sword will be against his brother with pestilence and bloodshed. I will enter into judgment with him and I will rain on him and his hordes and the many people who are with him, torrential rains, hailstones, fire and sulfur so I will show my greatness in my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord, and we want to say wow God says I'm going to cause problems from the earth below. Huge earthquake is going to disrupt everything I'm going to cause a judgment also not only from the earth below, but confusion within.
When the earthquake happens they're going to start to kill one another and then if that is not God's is I'm gonna rain down from heaven, then I'm going to rain judgment on this army and they will be wiped out.
Unbelievable because were talking really. I think if you put it together about hundreds of thousands if not millions if you were to read chapter 39, which I'm sure you'll do after this message, you'll discover some more details about what happened.
For one thing it'll take seven months just to bury the dead. In fact, there's going to be a whole valley and that Valley is going to be filled with people, dead bodies, and it would even take longer than seven months were not for the fact that the fowls of the air, and they take care of the people and they they eat and they, the vultures, and eat human flesh. It's a gory story. The story of awesome judgment.
There something else though in the text that is puzzled us for a long time and this leads me to the whole issue of weapons. You'll notice in 39 verse nine it says then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and make fires of the weapons and burn them shields and bucklers bow and arrows, clubs and spears, and they will make fires for them for seven years so they will not need any wood.
When the world is going on there.
How are you going to burn a spirit or a club. I think that when it comes to the way in which Ezekiel got the vision we need to understand some that this vision came to him in a way that he was able to understand all the vision came with horses and spears and so forth. Now there are those who say that as a result of the fact that some judgments will have already happened on the earth will have to revert to primitive methods of warfare because all of the modern methods may be paralyzed by huge attacks and by bombs and what have you and the infrastructure needed to run modern weaponry could be wiped out.
That's a possibility. The other possibility is that Ezekiel was seeing this in ways that were meaningful to him. 2500 years ago meaningful to his own people.
There is no way that God could have revealed to to Ezekiel jet planes, bombs, missiles, so it's been suggested and again you know were only facing a text year and it's only a suggestion that maybe these are unexploded bombs that take place and they can get the uranium in the titanium from some of these weapons and use them for fuel.
I don't know all that I know is this that God is talking here about a battle that clearly has never happened and that God is winning a huge victory and is going to wipe out. Certainly many of the countries that sponsor terrorism. Many of the countries that have officially proclaimed that there is no God, such as Russia and those who have insulted Jesus Christ by claiming that he is not the son of God by claiming that he is not deity by rejecting him. And Jesus said that if you don't know me you don't know my father said like to give you a couple of things to think about.
First of all I want you to look at the text and see very clearly the sovereignty of God the sovereignty of God, you know, God says regarding this coalition. He says I'm going to put my hooks in your jaws and I'm gonna bring you into my land, the mountains of Israel. What's that all about God is able to work in such a way that people will voluntarily do what he wants them to do. I choose those words very carefully. If this were a classroom in theology at expound on them for a long time but God is able to direct the nations in such a way that they do it voluntarily. They have hatred for Israel. They want to finally wipe Israel off the map and they do this, but ultimately God says I'm doing it and will. He explains why in just a moment, we see here that God is sovereign the end of the day. We must always know that God is the one who has the nations in his hand.
Isaiah said the nations of the earth are like a big drop of in a bucket. God looks at the nations it says as fine dust. That's all that they are and when God has had enough. He can judge them in whatever way he wishes the sovereignty of God.
Secondly, as I look at this text, I see also very clearly the terror of God. The terror of God. You'll notice that God says in that chapter 38, I am against you. Oh God, he's talking about the leader of the coalition. I am against you, and here we see God just raining judgment now, this judgment may offend our sensibilities, but it is interesting that when you read the book of Revelation.
You see similar judgments when we talk about the return of Christ, and I will be giving a message on the glorious return of Christ to be distinguished from the rapture were indicating that it comes in two stages. It says in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Christ while you know that Jesus that is often presented the Jesus that is so meek and mild all that he talked about his love that is true. Jesus is loving but have we forgotten that God is a God of severe justice when finally he's had enough and that's exactly what he says this is what he says in chapter 39 verse seven and my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel. I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. Tired of the atheism. I'm tired of being neglected. I'm tired of being denied.
I am tired of being rejected in favor of another God who does not recognize my son and so the nations will know I am the Lord, you can be sure that when this happens, people are going to say you know I think the Lord I think he is God you can be sure that's going to happen.
Behold it is coming and it will be brought about, declares the Lord. That is the day of which I have spoken so we have. First of all, the sovereignty of God. We have also the terror of God you say will pass to Luther for us. What is really the bottom line here is the bottom line, I think we have to also see in all of this judgment. We also have to see the mercy of God.
God is merciful. Silver is the mercy, first of all, in the countries that we have listed. There are many believers and their place in heaven. Of course, will be secured, despite what happens here on earth.
They will know that they belong to God. When we talk about these armies being destroyed.
Always understand that there are many people who were also worshipers of the true God. Some of them may even be in these armies.
Certainly many of them may be left behind in their countries. God will show mercy to them.
God will also show mercy to Israel. You know why this battle takes place is because God is preparing Israel to accept Jesus as the Messiah and that will happen and and God is bringing the nation into the land as indicated. God is bringing them to the point where they see his glory, preparing them for the glorious return of Christ. Actually, Israel deserves the same kind of judgment that these other people received. In fact, all of us do, but God is showing them mercy when we talk about grace and God's grace God's grace means that you and I are actually receiving forgiveness that we don't deserve. When we talk about mercy were speaking about God. Actually, withholding judgment that we do deserve and you and I deserve judgment, but the good news is that in Jesus we are exempt. Mercy has been shown there is a story that a woman came to Napoleon and said to Napoleon, would you pardon my son, you have the ability to do that. Napoleon said he is not worthy to be part she said I know he isn't worthy, but I am appealing to your mercy and Napoleon says he doesn't deserve mercy, and she accurately said of the deserve mercy. He wouldn't need it.
I'm asking for mercy today I want to ask you had you received the mercy of God. What a what good is this message unless those of you have never trusted Christ as Savior may do so unless you flee to him to receive mercy mercy. There was great and grace was free pardon, there was multiplied for me there. My burden soul found liberty at Calvary. The prophet prayed in wrath and we see that here.
Remember mercy, and today we stand with the prophet and we call on God for mercy for ourselves and for others.
Father, we ask in Jesus name, that is, we have attempted to expound these awesome chapters that you might help us be able to anticipate what shall take place but also to cry to you in the midst of a world that has lost its way. We ask in Jesus name and to see all course of a lawyer. Then she the Moody choir with Tim Stafford wrapping up today's Moody Church hour during which Erwin Luther spoke about what happens when he destroys nation part number six and a 10 part series on when he shall come next time the apex of all history.
Do not miss part seven in this series when he returns to reign the appearing of Jesus in power and glory. This entire series is now a book by Dr. lutes or entitled the King is coming a company is waiting for you with our thanks for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church hour. Just call us at 1-800-215-5001 when you call.
Mention the book the King is coming. Call 1-800-215-5001 or writes to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church hour with Dr. Irwin lutes or in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church