July 16

Ezekiel 37-39, Psalm 43

On April 4, 2018, Putin the leader of Russia, Erdogan the leader of Turkey and Rouhani the leader of Iran met together in Ankara for a summit. Approximately 10 years ago Turkey's view of Israel was quite different. At that time they were becoming more westernized, wanted to be included in the E.U. and former president Abdullah Gul even told the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, that it was time to recognize Israel's right to exist. Turkey has changed drastically since then. It's new leader Erdogan is not interested in becoming more westernized but instead has become more radicalized in his Islamic stance against the west. In fact in a recent meeting of Muslim nations, Erdogan called Muslim leaders to unite and confront Israel for it's 70 years of occupation of the land of Palestine. Rouhani is just another of a long line of Iranian leaders since the Shah of Iran was ousted in 1979, to openly state their hatred and their desire to annihilate Israel. Putin is a little different and has not openly played his hand. But interestingly for the first time we find Russia side by side with Iran fighting together in Syria which forms Israel's border. Though Russia was diminished greatly after the Cold War ended in the 1980's, they have renewed strength and power under their leader Putin. Many don't realize that Russia is the major exporter of natural gas in the world. Israel has recently uncovered tremendous natural gas reserves off it's coast which could destabilize Russia's economy. For any who have an interest in Biblical prophecy and end times, the recent summit in Ankara should open our eyes.

We read of the setting for the future battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38:2-6, "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say , ' Thus says the Lord God: "Behold I am against you , O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal. I will put hooks into your jaws and lead you out,...Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops-many people are with you". Though these nations may sound unfamiliar to us now, they were mentioned in Genesis 10 and if one follows their history they become the nations of Russia and it's territories including the Ukraine; Turkey, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia. All but Russia is a Muslim nation (Ethiopia is mixed). We read a little further in Ezekiel 38:16, "You will come up against my people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes". This is not the battle of Armageddon but another massive attack prior to that against Israel that will take place in the last days, many believe just prior to the Tribulation which is described in great detail in Revelation 6-19. We read the result of the conflict in 38:21-23, when God fights for Israel and supernaturally destroys this massive group of troops assembled against Israel. Many feel this will be the event along with the Rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) which will open the eyes of the nation of Israel to Jesus and restart the prophecy outlined in Daniel 9:27 and restore His Spirit upon Israel. We read of this conclusion in Ezekiel 39:27-29, "When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the Lord their God,...And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord God."

Many look at these events without interest. In doing so we miss the point. Much of prophecy has been fulfilled, yet much is yet to still take place. Though we do not know the exact time or the hour, it appears that we as a world are on the precipice of prophecy about to unfold. The unfortunate thing is most of those both inside and outside the church are asleep at the wheel. As these events unfold they will set in place a rapid set of events. Those friends and family members who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be caught in the middle of these events. Though there is the hope that they may open their eyes, they may not have the option as the aftermath of these catastrophic events unfold. We don't know if this will occur tomorrow, in one year or later. The question remains are we waiting to sound the alarm until it begins? If so, our alarm may never occur and it will be too late for many. So, while there is still breath in our lungs, let us boldly and unashamedly point others to the Savior before it is too late.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster