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The Harpazo Express

In my last article, I laid out some reasons why I think what we are seeing play out in the Middle East is in fact a sequence of events that will ultimately lead us straight into the arms of the attack of Ezekiel 38–39, or Gog-Magog. Naturally, I emphasized that no one can say how long it may take for us to get there or what manner of geopolitical gyrations may occur before God intervenes to save Israel from the existential attack involving Russia, Iran, Turkey, and several Northern African nations that the prophet Ezekiel describes.

As one of the small fry in the watchman world, however, I admit that it's reassuring for me to see that my assessment is in general agreement with what a number of other Bible teachers I hold in great respect have been saying recently. Many are focused on the attempted annihilation of Israel in Ezekiel's prophecy, and are convinced that's where this furball is ultimately headed.

Time out for a confession: Recent events in the Middle East have overwhelmed me with a feeling that I struggled at length to accurately describe. I don't often find myself at a loss for words, but I just had trouble pinning it down. Finally, the Lord gave me a simple mental picture that captured it to perfection:

Imagine you are at some little train depot out in the country somewhere, suitcase at your feet and waiting for a train that will take you to your home and family far away—a home and family you haven't seen for many years. You aren't sure when the train is supposed to arrive, but the Station Master assures you it should be arriving "soon and very soon."

So you wait. You wait, and peer expectantly out at the horizon in a vain effort to spot something coming. But time and again, all you see is the countryside stretching out for miles in the distance.

As you wait for the train, your thoughts turn to the place where you are heading—a little town where there's a home and a family that you haven't seen for so long that there's no quelling the ache in your heart. You've been away for so long...and that ache almost makes it difficult for you to believe this train is really going to take you to be with them. But you know it will...that is, if it ever gets here!

So you keep waiting...and you catch yourself wondering if that train is ever going to arrive. All you know is waiting, waiting, and more waiting—and you can't imagine what it will be like when the train finally pulls in.

As you peer once again out at the horizon just as you've already done 900 times, however, something catches your eye. You strain to make it out...it's like a tiny cloud on the horizon...and then suddenly you realize that it's a puff of smoke coming from an approaching locomotive!

THE TRAIN IS COMING!!

It's really happening! Suddenly everything comes into sharp focus. In an instant everything changes—now you know the wait is almost over!

That is the quintessential description of the effect that events in the Middle East are having on me, because God's Word tells us clearly where this is headed.

When I look at the Middle East today, I can

spot that little puff of smoke—and I KNOW:

That's the train we've been waiting for!

And that train has a name: the Harpazo Express. But in addition to news pertaining to the actual war in Gaza, there are some related things I have read about lately that have contributed to this intense feeling of anticipation—things that serve to solidify and confirm the fact that the world has embarked on a sequence of events that will culminate with the attack of Gog-Magog...and more importantly for us as believers, the catching away of the Church.

Give or take: As I have explained in the past, I am of the opinion that the Rapture precedes God's intervention at the climax of Gog-Magog. One of the primary reasons I say that is because Ezekiel 39:29 tells us that God's deliverance of His people from this attack is the event in which God finally turns His face back to His people and pours His Spirit out on them after 2,000 years, and that suggests that He is done with the Church and has already called us home. But this isn't carved in granite.

In other words, there's no reason for me to be hyper-dogmatic about that point. The reason I see it that way is simply because that's the scenario that makes the best sense to me. But consider: It's not as if God suddenly stopped all His dealings with Israel immediately after the conception of the Church on Pentecost, 50 days after the Resurrection. It's just that He began to deal with Israel more in terms of judgment for rejecting their Messiah rather than advancing their prophetic agenda, and He began focusing His attention on building the body of Christ.

But it wouldn't absolutely contradict any Scripture I am aware of if the Rapture came at some point after His intervention in Gog-Magog (not even Rom. 11:25, which I'll get to in a moment), although it still must precede the launching of the Tribulation. Having the Rapture come after the launching of the Tribulation would contradict a number of precepts that are clearly taught in God's Word, and so I will happily remain hyper-dogmatic about that one.

A sight to behold: In reality, even though I am inclined to think the Church will be called home to the wedding before Gog-Magog goes down, part of me almost hopes we are here to see it. How cool would it be to witness God's hand move in judgment on the enemies of Israel, and see the people of the world gasping in amazement at what the God of Israel has done to save His people from certain annihilation at the hands of the Gog-Magog gang!

But either way, seeing that puff of smoke come into view due to the beginning of military escalations that will ultimately lead to Ezekiel 38–39 is still sufficient to make me realize that what we are really watching is the Harpazo Express come into view on the horizon like never before.

As I said, a number of related items have come to my attention over the last few weeks that slap one exclamation mark after another on this idea and serve to putty in a few of the cracks, so to speak. These items help us firmly grasp that what we are seeing is not a figment of our imaginations...our over-eager imaginations primed to pin the Rapture to anything that moves. These serve as subtle (and some not so subtle) confirmations that what we see happening really is what we think it is:

That puff of smoke on the horizon really

is the Harpazo Express coming into view!

What I want to do in this article is take a look at seven of these related events, facts, or phenomena that I've run across lately (a couple of which have been the topic of recent Commentary entries) and discuss why they make me even more convinced that our ship...er, I mean our train...is about to come in.

1. A call to prayer.

As I discussed in my Commentary entry for 11/7/23, the chief rabbis of Israel called for a National Day of Prayer for Monday, November 6, after having been strongly urged to do so by 20 Knesset members.

Now, this is perfectly understandable and reasonable under the circumstances, but it strikes me as prophetically significant because the entire point of Gog-Magog is to draw Israel back into a relationship with the God who turned His face from them 2,000 years ago after they rejected their promised Messiah and had Him crucified like a common criminal. That's the plan, as plainly stated in Ezekiel's prophecy (Ezek. 39:21–29).

After the Jewish religious leaders malevolently conspired to have Jesus arrested on trumped-up charges and falsely accused in a series of illegal trials, they got their Roman masters to sentence Him to the most ignominious death possible: crucifixion. As a result, God turned His face from them and caused a hardening or a blindness to come upon them in regard to the identity of their promised Messiah, and He turned His attention to building the Church—and so it has been for the last 2,000 years. And Paul tells us when that will change:

25For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. [That is, until the final members of the Church have gotten saved and the USS Ekklesia is ready to shove off, if you know what I'm saying.]

(Romans 11:25 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

According to the apostle Paul, that blindness or hardening is set to remain in place until "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Paul uses an expression pertaining to a ship that is getting ready to set sail, and will pull out as soon as the last crew members are on board—and here Paul is clearly using that expression to refer to the Rapture.

And again, the wording of the verse makes me lean in the direction of seeing the Rapture occurring prior to God's intervention in Gog-Magog. However, I'm not sure we need to invoke that degree of precision here. It's not impossible for me to envision the Rapture occurring in the wake of Gog-Magog, as Israel struggles to grasp the significance of what has occurred and God begins to remove the scales from their eyes. (But just between you and me, my money is still riding on that "prior to" thing.)

My point is simply that seeing the people of Israel earnestly seeking God in prayer obviously speaks to the Gog-Magog end game, when they will face not just a terrorist attack, but total annihilation. And as I mentioned in the Commentary entry I linked to above, according to Ezekiel:

Their prayers are going to be answered in spades.

2. Turkey talks turkey.

According to reports, prior to start of the Israel-Hamas war, Turkey had actually been working to mend some fences with the Jewish state. But as soon as Hamas burst into Israeli territory and started slaughtering Jews, you might say Turkey changed its tune.

Now Turkish President Recep Erdogan has recalled Turkey's ambassador to Israel, and broken off ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in protest of the forceful counterattacks Israel is inflicting on Hamas in Gaza. And it's the same old lopsided, anti-Israel refrain:

Israel must passively let themselves be attacked by barbaric terrorists and do nothing in response—as if they had it coming. But as soon as the Israelis fire back to defend themselves, God forbid, they're the evil oppressors who are out of control and this senseless violence and bloodshed must stop NOW!! For God's sake, we demand a CEASEFIRE!!

What is interesting about this from a prophetic standpoint, however, is the obvious fact that Turkey is one of the key players in the attack of Gog-Magog, along with Russia and Iran and others. And I'll admit that it gave me the chills when I caught wind of a news item concerning Erdogan's presence at a rally of some sort in Turkey, where at one point he shouted to the crowd:

"I'd be willing to lead a coalition of nations in an attack against Israel!"

Uh...sorry to rain on your parade, Mr. Erdogan, but the prophet Ezekiel pegs Russia as the leader of that coalition.

But it's nice to see you talking turkey and

getting into that Gog-Magog frame of mind!

3. Israel and Russia: BFF?

Speaking of Russia...this is a biggie. Ever since Israel was re-established as a nation in May 1948, Israel and Russia have had a relatively warm, solid relationship. One obvious reason for this is the fact that Russia has long had a significant population of Jewish people, and Israel has a significant population of Jewish people of Russian ancestry.

One of the only real speed bumps in the relationship between the two countries came during the Six Day War in June, 1967, when the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev severed official diplomatic relations with Israel in protest. After the war, the two countries still got along more or less as usual through other channels, however, so it's not as if they became bitter enemies over it.

These official diplomatic relations were promptly restored in October 1991 as one of the first orders of business for Russia's first post-Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin. Russia's current leader Vladimir Putin, who was elected president in 2000, has long had a well-deserved reputation for being pro-Israel.

Up until very recently, that is.

I've written about this before, but things started to unravel when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and Israel was caught in the middle between its longtime ally Russia and Ukraine's Jewish leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Putin expected Israel to support their old ally, and Zelenskyy expected Israel to support a Jewish leader after being attacked by the (Gentile) bully Putin.

Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Israel has nervously attempted to walk the diplomatic tightrope by trying to get along with Putin, and only giving Ukraine humanitarian aid—no weapons or military support, in spite of Zelenskyy's persistent pleas. But predictably enough, the relationship between Russia and Israel began to inexorably sour, and now, with the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, that relationship has just about hit rock bottom.

Now the gloves have come off.

There are many facets to this situation, not the least of which is the fact that Israel gave Russia zero support against Ukraine. In Putin's eyes, this makes Israel a silent partner with the rest of the world, which has been quick to condemn Russia as the big bully picking on poor little innocent Ukraine.

So when Israel was attacked by Hamas, Putin wasn't exactly in the mood to offer the Jewish state a shoulder to cry on—along with a few complimentary missiles to fire at the terrorists. Russia seems content to remain relatively passive in regard to the Israel-Hamas war, and it looks very much as if this might be the final nail in the coffin of their diplomatic relationship.

This obviously goes hand-in-glove with the Gog-Magog scenario, in which Russia leads a coalition of nations to destroy Israel. So, the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas have, for the first time in modern history, effectively seen Russia and Israel reduced to enemies.

And that's a huge prerequisite for Gog-Magog you can check off the list.

4. He's b-a-a-ck.

I dealt with this snake in the grass in my Commentary entry of 10/24/23, and that snake is Barack Obama. While president, Obama did a lot of pretending.

He pretended to be a Christian.

No? He publicly mocked the Bible and spoke reverently of the "holy Qur'an."

He pretended to be heterosexual.

No? That's an easy one: Just talk to people in the LGBT community in Chicago who knew him back in the day, before he decided to run for president.

He pretended to be black.

No? He's only six percent black and 44 percent Arab, which for some strange reason is genealogical information that has become difficult if not impossible to find online, unlike it was during his first term when I found it with ease.

He pretended to be born on U.S. soil, as required by the Constitution.

No? A week's worth of microfiche airline records that would have proved little baby Barry was with his mommy when she entered Hawaii in the summer of 1961 mysteriously vanished before this became a major issue, and the "birth certificate" he f-i-n-a-l-l-y released was determined to be fake within hours.

And you know, it's not as if it actualy mattered at this point...it just serves to underscore the fact that everything about this man is fraudulent to the bone.

And he pretended to support Israel.

No? Just ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sigh... Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know—conspiracy theories, every last one of 'em. And unlike every former president before him, Obama never left Washington, D.C., where he can quietly and conveniently pull the strings and call the shots during what is effectively his third term, thanks to a life-size cardboard cutout that was fraudulently installed in the Oval Office in January 2021.

So when I say "He's b-a-a-ck," in a sense I'm a little off base because he never actually left. But he is back in the sense that he is beginning to take advantage of more opportunities to make his voice heard once again—to reassert himself as a statesman of some stature. And, dare I ask, what statesman-like message is Mr. Obama pontificating these days?

Criticism of the way Israel is risking the

further "hardening" of Hamas by defending

themselves just a little bit too effectively.

Yeah, we sure don't want to "harden" people who ripped babies from their mothers' wombs, chopped the babies' heads off, and then burned the mothers' bodies to a blackened crisp, now do we, Mr. Obama?

The obvious goal of Obama's myopically misguided, slyly one-sided song-and-dance routine is to support and contribute to the global effort to dissuade Israel from defending itself from an enemy who will never stop until they are stopped. And I know Israeli leadership understands that they need to do whatever is necessary to render Hamas powerless to threaten Israel again.

The release of hostages is playing a role in things, however. And as desirable as that is, it will slow things down and give Hamas a chance to re-arm and regroup so they can (a) protect their sorry butts and (b) kill more Jews. That's exactly why Hamas took those hostages in the first place. And in spite of all the anti-Israel, pro-terrorist drivel coming from high-minded vipers like Obama, Israel will do things in a way that minimizes civilian casualties—which is a lot more than can be said for Israel's enemies.

And it's just a hunch, but something tells me Satan has big plans for BHO.

5. A one-state solution.

Until he retired from his position on October 28 of this year, Craig Mokhiber was the Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. On that day, he sent his last official communication to Volker Tรผrk of Austria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In that communication, Mokhiber provides some bloodcurdling insight into the United Nation's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

"We must support the establishment of a single, democratic, secular state in all of historic Palestine, with equal rights for Christians, Muslims and Jews, and, therefore, the dismantling of the deeply racist, settler-colonial project and an end to apartheid across the land."

Of course, the "deeply racist, settler-colonial project" Mokhiber is referring to is the independent nation of Israel, and according to him it must be "dismantled" in favor of a "single, secular state" that occupies all the land that Israel currently occupies. Oh, and with equal rights for Christians and Muslims.

"OUCH!! Leggo of my arm! Oh, all right—and J-O-O-Z. There, I said it. Happy now?"

This priceless little gem reveals the true heart and thinly veiled intentions of the United Nations, unquestionably the most anti-Semitic organization on earth.

Professor Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, wasted little time in exposing Mokhiber's words for the Nazi-era throwback that they are:

Mokhiber wrote this letter as one of the U.N.'s highest ranking "human rights" officials, on U.N. letterhead, with a U.N. email address. As such, his overt call for the destruction of the Jewish state lays bare what is really going on at the U.N. in the war now being waged by and at the U.N. against Israel.

Listen to Mokhiber's chilling words. Yes, Israel is engaged in an existential fight. At the U.N., there are human rights for everyone but Jews, who are supposed to lay down their arms in the face of a genocidal enemy currently enslaving their people. Mokhiber's phony "human rights" cover is extremely disturbing. He says equality means 21 Arab states, 56 Islamic states and zero Jewish states. That's antisemitism dressed up as human rights.

— Professor Anne Bayefsky [
Source]

Every time I hear someone yammer on about the so-called "two-state solution" that so many people naively believe will be the Palestinians' dream come true and allow them to settle down and live in peace and harmony with their Jewish neighbors, I only have one thing to say to them:

Read the Palestinian National Charter. I dare you. It's only four and a half pages, so it won't take you too long. After you finish, if you still think the Palestinians will ever settle for a two-state solution, check to make sure you didn't read the Sunday comics by mistake.

Seriously. See also something I wrote about the Palestinian Charter back in 2016. The point is that the Palestinians have never wanted a two-state solution, except possibly as a stepping stone to what they really want: a one-state solution, and that would be one Palestinian state plus zero Jewish states...and zero Jews, not to put too fine a point on it. In other words:

The Palestinians want exactly

what is currently brewing behind

the scenes at the United Nations.

So as the Jewish nation fights back to defend itself against monsters who are intent on literally butchering their women and children, we get a sneak peek at the fact that the U.N. has their back. The monsters' back, that is.

The attitude of the United Nations toward Israel reflects the same attitude of an abusive father toward his young son in an old Bill Cosby comedy routine:

"Hey, I brought you into this world...I can take you out!"

6. Kristallnacht redux.

One extremely troubling phenomenon that has been rearing its demonic head to a level not seen since Kristallnacht, the infamous Nazi pogrom that kicked off a nationwide wave of extreme persecution against Jews in Germany in November 1938, is intensifying anti-Semitism. Hatred toward the Jews has been on the rise in the last few years, but with the attack by Hamas on Israeli soil that saw 1,400 innocent civilians variously raped, butchered, and burned alive, hatred toward Jews has skyrocketed and is gaining steam.

People are openly supporting Hamas and holding aggressive demonstrations where they glorify brutal terrorists as noble freedom fighters and cluelessly condemn Israel for having the gall to even exist, let alone defend itself. At many of the most prestigious universities in America, students are holding rallies to show support for the terrorists of Hamas and condemning Israel as the occupying aggressor that must be eliminated—and the sooner the better.

This is so divorced from both current and historical reality that it's utterly irrational, and does little more than put these students' callow ignorance on full, glorious display—not to mention do irreparable damage to the reputations of the august institutions of higher learning they attend.

They proudly prance around waving their Palestinian flags and carrying their signs bearing devilishly clever memes that most of them probably fail to grasp the true significance of, like the following Jew-hating jingle:

From the river to the sea,

Palestine will be free!

And I'll bet an embarrassingly large percentage of them couldn't name that river or that sea. Well, not to one-up anybody, but the simple reality is this:

From the sea to the river,

Israel will be delivered!

You have God's Word on it. (And that's the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, just to be clear.) This is all demonic, pure and simple. Irrational hatred  for God's Chosen People always is—and that's what the Jews have been since the days of the Patriarchs, still are today, and will be forever. Satan hates the Jews because God loves them, and also because the father of lies hates God's plan of redemption for sinful man.

Plus, Satan knows that it is the Jews who will implore the Lord to save them at the climax of his anointed wannabe's 42-month kingdom. And Christ will do just that by returning to earth to destroy all His enemies with the word of His mouth. Thus, wiping out the Jews is job one if Satan expects to hang on to this little corner of the universe where he can try to be like the Most High.

So, this huge spike in anti-Semitism is a clear sign that Satan's kingdom, led by his man the Antichrist, is rapidly coming into view...but it won't arrive until after the Harpazo Express picks up its passengers and pulls out.

7. One step at a time.

I found out about this one from a recent video put out by Mark Hitchcock—long one of my favorite Bible teachers, and posted at Harbinger's Daily (a daily pit stop for yours truly).

As everyone who is paying attention already knows, Iran is the one pulling the strings behind this Hamas attack. They fund, arm, and control Hamas and have arranged for them to operate out of Gaza, where they hide their weapons and bases of operation under hospitals and schools. They also fund, arm, and control Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is bigger and better armed than Hamas.

So it all goes back to Iran, the head of the dragon. Although it's true that Russia is developing increasingly close military ties with Iran and will lead the charge of Gog-Magog according to Ezekiel, Iran already has its puppets busily setting the stage for the destruction of the Little Satan (while the Great Satan funnels untold billions of your tax dollars into their coffers).

According to recent intelligence, however, Iran does have a game plan. Yes, they want to destroy Israel and wipe out the Jews, but their plan involves doing it in a way that involves the shedding of a minimum of Iranian blood.

According to reports, Iran has a four-stage plan:

1. Have Hamas attack Israeli territory from Gaza. Obviously this has already occurred, and provoked a strong response from the IDF, which is determined to essentially put an end to Hamas. — Status: Complete.

2. Wait for Israel to get bogged down in a ground-war slugfest with Hamas that could drag on for several months. — Status: Currently in work.

3. While Israel is still bogged down with Hamas, have Hezbollah spring into action from Lebanon and open a second, more intensive front that stretches Israel's military capabilities to the limit. — Status: On standby.

Note: Although Mark doesn't specifically mention this in his video, I have since read things that indicate that Iran's plan for stage three may include an attack by the Palestinians coming from the West Bank. So, this thing could quickly expand into a multi-front war.

— Greg (11/30/23)

4. Leverage the resulting chaos as an excuse to put the pedal to the metal of their nuclear weapons program, which would enable Iran to rapidly finish developing a nuclear weapon. — Status: In prep mode.

In stage four, depending on how things go and the timing involved, it's not inconceivable that Iran could have a nuclear weapon ready by the time the plan gets to that stage. But however you look at it and however things go, Iran has a clear and definite plan laid out to destroy Israel.

And don't think for a second that Israeli leaders aren't keenly aware of it.

Clearly stage four is closely linked with the attack of Gog-Magog, but there is something here in regard to Ezekiel's description of events following the climax of the attack that is most intriguing. Let me preface my remarks this way:

Note that whatever it is that decimates the forces of Gog-Magog isn't necessarily supernatural in and of itself. It could very well be something natural or manmade, but that simply occurs in such a manner or at such a time that the world knows with stunning clarity that it was choreographed by the hand of an almighty God who fights for His people Israel.

OK, first let's take a closer look at a passage from Ezekiel 39:

9And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand staves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: [The weapons remaining after the decimation of Gog's forces will be used by Israel for seven years as a supply of energy.] 10So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: [i.e. they have an alternative source of fuel]  and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, said the Lord GOD. 11And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give to Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. [The Hebrew word translated "cleanse" here (a form of taher) is often used in a ceremonial sense, but it can also be used in a more literal sense.] 13Yes, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, said the Lord GOD. 14And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers [those passing through; travelers] those that remain on the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15And the passengers that pass through the land, when any sees a man's bone [or the remains of a dead body], then shall he set up a sign [a visible marker of some sort] by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 16And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.

(Ezekiel 39:9–16 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

Many Bible commentators believe that what Ezekiel is describing here sounds suspiciously similar to what would be done during a nuclear cleanup, as might be required in the wake of a nuclear accident of some type. And it is a fact that unused nuclear warheads can be converted into a source of civilian fuel, which suggests that the Gog-Magog boys leave behind a pile of them that Israel will be using as a source of fuel for seven years (vv. 9–10).

OK, let's think this through. Let's assume these commentators are on to something (and personally I am convinced they are). First of all, it can't simply be somebody using a nuke in the normal sense. It can't be some other nation using a nuclear weapon on the forces of Gog-Magog. Why? Simple. If that's all it was, nobody would think it was the LORD. Nobody would have any reason to think that God had anything to do with it. But that's not the result of Gog-Magog. The result of Gog-Magog is this:

God miraculously intervenes to save

His people, and the world knows it!

So it can't just be someone nuking Gog's forces—what's miraculous about that? That's just men attacking men with the weapons of men. You don't need a holy God who has promised to deliver His people from the hand of their enemies for that. That's just good old-fashioned nuclear warfare.

On the other hand, I don't believe this is a nuclear accident that releases a lot of nuclear radiation, but without an actual weapon being detonated. I don't think somebody in the Gog-Magog camp makes a careless mistake that causes the release of radiation that kills many of Gog's forces and prompts a huge cleanup. Why? Notice something that Ezekiel says back in chapter 38:

19For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath I have spoken. Surely in that day there will be a great shaking in the land of Israel, 20so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, all creeping things who creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the surface of the earth will shake at my presence. Then the mountains will be thrown down, the steep places will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground.[These two verses are certainly consistent with a huge explosion.]

(Ezekiel 38:19–20 / emphasis &
[comments] added)

It strikes me that Ezekiel could very well be describing a massive explosion in this passage. So, I don't think what decimates Gog's forces is merely an accident that releases a bunch of nuclear radiation that has to be cleaned up, and neither do I think it's someone nuking them in the conventional sense because there is nothing miraculous about that. So...just what exactly are we talking about here?

Hmmm...that's a toughie. Well, let me put on my thinking cap (but you gotta promise me you won't laugh).

* * * SPECULATION ALERT * * *

What if when the time comes for the Gog-Magog coalition to descend on Israel, somebody shows up packing a fistful of nuclear warheads? Maybe Iran, maybe Russia (or maybe both). They are all set to slap each other on the back as they watch Israel go up in a mushroom cloud, but something goes horribly wrong. There is an accident, but it somehow causes one (or more) of their nukes to detonate prematurely while still on the ground. This could certainly decimate Gog's forces as required, explain the shaking in Ezekiel 38:19–20 as required, and explain the ensuing cleanup in Ezekiel 39:11–16 as required. And there could still be a number of unused nuclear warheads left behind that Israel could use for energy for seven years, as required. Not only that, but just imagine the reaction to such a freakishly ironic accident. Think of it: Those all set to destroy Israel are accidentally destroyed by their own weapons, with Israel not only being left unscathed, but with seven years' worth of free energy to boot! How 'bout them apples? I'll bet that would grab the world's attention:

Holy cow! God really is the LORD!

And He sure fights for His people!

* * * END SPECULATION ALERT * * *

OK, got that outta my system. Thanks for listening (and stifling the laughter).

All aboard!

So, as we see the sequence of events that will lead to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38–39 in the not-too-distant future start to get cranked up and get going, we also see a number of attendant events and phenomena blossoming along the path. These are just a few of the things (and there are certainly others) that tend to confirm that what we see coming is just what we think it is and what the Bible says it is, and altogether these things tell those with ears to hear something of critical importance:

Bible prophecy is going to be

fulfilled in a thundering manner.

As usual. But for us as believers, this is wonderful news because the approach of the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38–39 (which will never have a set date) is inextricably linked to the approach of the Rapture. God's intervention on Israel's behalf in the attack of Gog-Magog is the event in which God turns His face back to His people after 2,000 years, and the very last verse of chapter 39 tells us point blank what God is going to do after He decimates the enemies who seek to destroy His people:

29Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit on the house of Israel, said the Lord GOD.

(Ezekiel 39:29 AKJV)

And forgive me for beating this poor horse to death, but it sure seems to me that before God would pour out His Spirit on Israel that He'd arrange for His Spirit's existing temple on earth to pull up stakes, if you catch my drift.

But there's no need to get in a tangle over the precise timing of these things. What we need to focus on is living lives that honor God and glorify His Son, and sharing the gospel of His salvation with those He brings into our path for that purpose before our train pulls out—with us on it.

Speaking of our train... If you've read very many of my articles, you may have noticed that I have a peculiar habit of imagining Christ shouting different things when He calls us up to be with Him at the Rapture. But after writing this article, all I can hear is our Lord and Conductor shouting...

ALL ABOARD!


From Greg Lauer @ A Little Strength—NOV '23
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41 comments:

  1. *********** Amen and Praise the Lord! Very encouraging! ALL ABOARD indeed!

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  2. Great article. I tend to lean towards the Rapture before the Gog/Magog stuff too, for the same reason - Israel turns back to God, and I don't think that means she'll continue to reject her Messiah. Which means the Church must be gone. And, I actually agree with the idea of the enemy's weapons turning against them as one of the causes of their defeat. Maybe nukes involved, maybe not. But God confusing the enemies do much that they attack each other? Yep, He's done it before and would be a big sign to those who know the Bible (the Jews) that God has moved on their behalf. And, once the Holy Spirit us poured our on them, they will accept Jesus and we can see how this would birth the 144,000 witnesses... it just all seem to tie into the early Trib stuff, whether right before or right after it kicks off.
    And I think 2024 is looking very promising for our lift off! Or rather, our train departure.

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  3. According to this article at https://www.raptureready.com/2023/11/14/about-the-gog-magog-war-by-ron-ferguson/ "About The Gog Magog War :: By Ron Ferguson", the Gog-Magog will happen during the second 3.5 years of the Tribulation Period as a part of the Armageddon war.

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    Replies
    1. With all due respect for a fine brother in Christ like Ron Ferguson, some of Ron's arguments actually create more problems than they solve in my opinion. One common problem I see with this type of argument is what one might call the "collapse of time."

      For example, if a verse says, "When A occurs, God will do B," sometimes people tend to read into the verse a sense of immediacy that may not necessarily be there. They tend to assume that it's SLAM-BAM, lickety-split...A immediately followed by B with no intervening time passing between the two. But the fact remains that yes, God will do B, and He will do it in His own way and in His own perfect timing--timing that may not be known to us until it occurs. This "collapse of time" idea invariably allows a panoply of interpretations to be brought into play--not just in Ezekiel 38-39, but in many other passages of Scripture.

      Another problem, and this problem is shared by the likes of the venerable Mark Hitchcock, who sees Gog-Magog occurring early in the Tribulation, is the problem with the requisite passivity of the Muslim world in regard to the treaty of Daniel 9:27.

      Placing Gog-Magog anywhere during the Tribulation, either the first OR second half, begs the following question:

      What is it that occurs prior to the launching of the Tribulation that causes a fully armed and fully empowered Muslim world to passively agree to allow the Jews to build a Third Temple on the Temple Mount?

      If you know anything at all about the Muslim world, you know the answer to that one:

      An act of God.

      Absent a royal smackdown at the climax of Gog-Magog, no one who pushes the argument that Gog-Magog occurs during the Tribulation has an answer for this one. Mark doesn't, and neither does Ron. The point is that it appears that the aftermath of Gog-Magog is what sets the geopolitical stage for the treaty of Daniel 9:27 that launches the Tribulation to begin with--and I have yet to hear any other explanation that makes a fraction of the sense this makes.

      But don't get the wrong idea--I certainly respect and value Ron's opinions and consider what he wrote worthy of study (and I have). I freely admit that chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel are full of gnarly issues that make anyone's interpretation fraught with difficulties...and it is not outside the realm of possibility that we are ALL wrong.

      Having said that, however, I admit Ron's article leaves me less than persuaded to jump ship at this point.

      In Christ,
      Greg L.

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  4. Next stop, Willoughbly!
    Twi- light zone episode about the train to home!!

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    Replies
    1. Unforgettable episode. I remember it well.

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  5. Especially loved the phrase "utterly irrational". That just about describes everything anymore...

    ๐Ÿšซ ๐Ÿ‡

    ๐ŸฆŠ Jack Foxman on the Wall

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  6. Excellent article. Thank you. After reading it my spouse called me to listen to a song sent to him this AM by a family member. Wow. It was by Aaron Neville and called, "People Get Ready...a train is coming".

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you for posting this version. I couldn't believe it when just moments after I read this article, hubby called me to his computer to hear what his cousin (not a believer...but searching) had sent him. Uncanny! Her name is Carolyn and she is really a mess. Pray for her. We think God is moving greatly in her life. Thanks Hmewrdbd (homeward bound..love it)!

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  8. Interesting commercial that is getting play on T.V. in Brazil. I think the dark side knows what is getting ready to happen and that it is going to happen very soon.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mTcsq7xDzaM

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  9. According to the text, the battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is fought with ancient weapons, not modern ones. It would have been easy for the text to simply not mention weapons at all (just like nearly every other war-related prophecy in the Bible), but instead the text emphasizes the fact that the battle is fought with ancient weapons. The text could have used symbolic and poetic language to indicate the battle is fought with modern weapons, but it doesn't do that either. It seems to go to great pains to tell us that this future war is fought with ancient weapons.

    This means the Gog-Magog conflict takes place in a post-modern world. When that battle begins, modern technology is gone - and has been gone for a long time.

    There are some pretty big events that must take place before our current world transforms into the one that exists at the time Ezekiel 38 takes place. Therefore, what lies in the immediate future is not Gog, the antichrist, the Mark of the Beast, or the tribulation; instead it's a world-breaking event (such as perhaps the rapture) that destroys our entire modern civilization and permanently replaces it with a much more primitive one. Only then will the Day of the Lord come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means that the Gog-Magog war will happen at the very end of the Tribulation Period, during which the modern civilization will be destroyed by the 21 judgments of Revelation (Seal, Trumpet and Bowl judgments).

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  10. Thank you Greg for all your hard work before the Lord! Sharing all your articles, they are wonderful. My question about point 3. Israel and Russia: BFF? The relationships were really not good, all the time until now. I'm Jew from Ukraine, 30 years in Germany, from Jews-persecution of the USSR. I lived there half life really. Hatred! And nor warm relations! Stalin supported creating a Jewish state, but his purpose wasn't fulfilled and then always hatred! I was feeling it all my live there! And here in Germany the people from USSR are hating Jews, most of them. Israel didn't fulfill Stalin's expectations, and he began to persecute Jews in the Soviet Union. The Doctors' Case and others. Even diplomatic relations were closed. They supplied weapons to Arab countries against Israel. All this needs to be thoroughly researched. Persecution of Jews was more and more from 1948. And Doctor's Case was the culmination of the campaign against Jews that unfolded in the USSR after World War II. All this history touched me really! June 10, 1967, the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Israel, when Israel won the Six Day War. All this history events are worth to study! Because of events in ME now!

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  11. Enjoy: Aaron God a Minute: People get ready, thers's a train a comin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOTXxAzu1z4

    Thank you desertdweller, I have had that username since early days of AOL, getting close to 30 years ago now, so you can see my focus has been on going home for a lot of years ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. I moved to the desert back in March to be near my adult son, so one could say we have that in common as well. CU in the rapture!

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  12. What a great article Greg! You make some really great points here. The timing of the Gog-Magog war has always been puzzling to me, and is obviously still puzzling to many others, but I like your thoughts. I have studied your words carefully along with what the Bible says. Sounds like a very reasonable interpretation. Thank you so much for your study and for sharing those thoughts here. This is my favorite site to keep up with Biblical things that interest me. Keep up the good work!

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  13. It's off topic, but I'm just excited to share. :)
    I was thought like probably many that the Star of Bethlehem was some kind of conjunction, but it was't.
    Natural stars rising from the East, but magi who were in Babylonia were looking towards the West (land of Judah). So the Star was rising from the West. ^_^
    https://youtu.be/HBujxbkzfg0?si=ZCr8NGqjCtSdqaeH

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    Replies
    1. Hi Paul,

      The star, or in this case the wandering star, discussed in Scripture is very likely the planet Jupiter. On the pre-dawn morning of 12/25/2 BC, Jupiter was high in the sky over Judea and over Bethlehem when seen from Jerusalem. Added to that, Crux (the Southern Cross) was fully visible that morning over the horizon near Bethlehem as well. Jupiter was entering retrograde motion on that morning so it had in effect "stopped" over Bethlehem.

      The scene can be found in most any astronomical software. I use Sky Guide for iPhone and easily find this on the date 12/25/1 BC. Note: Sky Guide uses year zero so their date is -1/12/25.

      The Bethlehem Star is an annual event and in the year 3 BC it occurred in the constellation Leo very near Regulus (the king star). Set Sky Guide to -1/06/17 at about 11:16 PM (Jerusalem) with your observation taken from the Temple Mount and you'll easily find the star.

      On May 23, 2024 the two will meet again in the glare of the Sun at about 11:11 AM in Taurus abreast the Pleiades. This is my next high watch day; Iyyar 15 on the civil calendar and the day that the matzah was depleted in 1313 BC for the children of Israel in the wilderness or Sivan 5 on the Essene calendar.

      Chabad.org records Sivan 5 as the day that Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mt Sinai. This is when the people declared, "All that G-d has spoken, we shall do and hear" (Exodus 24:7).

      Offered as data points and points of observation that can be studied and modeled with common tools.

      Merry Christmas!

      PR

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    2. Correction: "The Bethlehem Star is an annual event and in the year 3 BC" should be 2 BC. That would be 1 BC in Sky Guide.

      All apologies as it's been a very long and tiring day.

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    3. Paul, thanks for the link. Haven't had a chance to watch it yet but sounds similar to what Dr. Danny R. Faulkner from Answers in Genesis teaches.

      The Christmas Star ๐ŸŒŸ has been something I've studied and written about. Perhaps I'll do a new article incorporating his work.

      "Contrary to popular opinion, the star was probably not a typical event in the heavens (e.g., supernova, planetary alignment, comet, etc.) Instead, it was truly a miraculous and special star (Matthew 2:2, 7, 9–11)." Source: Christmas Timeline of the Biblical Account | Answers in Genesis
      https://answersingenesis.org/christmas/a-matter-of-time/

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  14. Greg, I just had to mention your uplifting article in my latest post. I was of the opinion that a nuclear attack on America would mark the beginning of the next world war. Then I watched Jarrett’s video at Supernatural By Design and remembered, It’s All About Israel. So the October 7 attack on Israel could well be the "shot heard 'round the world" for WW3. And now the UN has invoked Article 99 for the sake of international PEACE AND SAFETY:

    ๐Ÿ””๐Ÿ””๐Ÿ””๐Ÿ””Nothing says HAPPY HOLIDAYS like the ๐Ÿ””bell ringing for PEACE AND SAFETY!
    Lo, He Comes!

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  16. Regarding the Christmas Star of Bethlehem . . .

    https://truthinscripture.net/2017/01/04/jesus-birth-the-star-of-bethlehem/

    And if you have the time, I highly recommend hitting the home button at the top of that page, and then settling in to read the other articles on the birth and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Some really interesting material, I think.

    Regarding the Ezekiel 38 discussion and the modern/primitive debate, I also think it's important that we don't assume what we don't know. Some would paint the primitive weapons as ancient descriptions of modern weapons. And others would suggest we take it literally, and then they jump to some cataclysmic description of nuclear warfare in the future. But we really don't know what we don't know. And there's nothing wrong with admitting that. If I were playing guessing games, I have to admit that I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for the solar maximum and a rogue Coronal Mass Ejection problem. The solar cycle is set to ramp up early in 2024, and the sun, itself, could provide some prophetic activity during the tribulation. It could easily knock us back to the stone age in one day . . . and the idea of increased radiation burning its way through our magnetic field fits in handily with the idea posited by others. The idea that our God once destroyed the creation with water, and will do so a second time with fire, even before He burns it all up after the Millennium.

    I have no idea HOW it's all going to play out, but I have every intention of watching prophecy unfold from heaven's upper deck! Thank you, Savior Jesus!

    Jeremy

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    Replies
    1. Joseph Lenard's article is very much in line with my many comments on the topic but we differ in the star potentially being a conjunction. He says, "no" while I believe, "yes". Whatever the answer, we do know for sure that those watching for the birth of the King came from the East and found Him to celebrate the first Christmas.

      Was it on December 25th by our reckoning? Maybe. I think it very well may have been. One Day we'll know for sure. Until then all I need to know is in Christ alone.

      PR

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  17. Anyone see that a Turkish politician called on Israel to "feel the wrath of Allah" and immediately fell over with a heart attack. I kind of feel like I shouldn't laugh at a medical emergency, but... The God of Israel niether slumbers nor sleeps!

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    1. Wow! Sure keeps you on your toes! Or knocks you off of them. lol

      Jeremy

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  18. Ran into this...

    Iconic Star Betelgeuse Will Temporarily Vanish From the Sky

    The occultation of Betelgeuse will begin in a couple of hours. It is not visible from my location but various observers along the path of the event will be streaming. The name of the asteroid occulting the red giant star is Asteroid (319) Leona.

    Happy Hanukkah!

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  19. The first name Leona comes from the Latin “leo” which means “lion”.

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  20. Thank you ALL for your informative comments. Special thanks to Paul and Jeremy--the sites you shared links to regarding the Christmas Star inspired me to do a sort of Part 2 to my November 18 article about the return of the Star of Bethlehem. I'm just fascinated with that subject!

    The Christmas Star and the Rapture

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    1. Just added the following to my above linked article:

      Related:
      In light of the fact that the US is increasingly alone in Israel support as 153 countries vote for ceasefire at UN, End Times: Darkness Descending has posted a very encouraging and enlightening article—BREAKING PROPHECY ALERT: THE 153 INGATHERING AND “COMBAT NAVAL TASK FORCE 153”.

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    2. Hmmm...153 countries, eh? Sounds *FISHIE* to me!!!

      ; D

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    3. \o/ ^ hahaha! roger that PR ~ shalom

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  21. Merry Christmas to everyone! Jesus is our blessed hope! May God bless you and your family as you wait for this blessed day, our meeting with our Lord and Savior!

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    Replies
    1. Bless you dearly sister *

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    2. Thank you! Jesus is our Blessed Hope and I am excited at what the New Year may bring.

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  22. A couple of points of interest,

    Prophecy Watchers: The AI Beast System | Tom Hughes

    Why ‘resurrection biology’ is gaining traction around the world

    'Tis the season. So how much longer until we hear the trumpet sound?

    Keep watching, waiting, working and witnessing!

    Here's hoping that yours was a blessed and merry Christmas! Always remember the last words of Jesus (Emmanuel) before He returned to the Father's side,

    18 And Jesus came and said to them,
    "All authority in heaven and on earth
    has been given to me."

    19 "Go therefore and make disciples
    of all nations, baptizing them in the
    name of the Father and of the Son
    and of the Holy Spirit,"

    20 "teaching them to observe all
    that I have commanded you. And
    behold, *I am with you always*, to
    the end of the age."

    RED LETTERS (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV) [ Emphasis mine ]


    ...with emphasis on "I am with you always"; Jesus, Emmanuel,
    God *always* with us.

    Grace and peace to you this holiday season and throughout the New Year!


    PR

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  23. A NEW YEAR'S ANNOUNCEMENT

    I've finally given in and decided to put a website online for Bible teaching and to house my studies and research. You will find it at richardrfaulkner.org and will be updated as often as the LORD allows. I hope to feature downloads, and video teaching as well as access to my research and studies. All resources are and will be free of charge and I have no plans of having (or maintaining) a Facebook, Instagram, X or YouTube page.

    Happy New Year, 2024!!!

    PR

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  24. But what's the trigger for the Gog/Magog attack?
    I propose this scenario, Hezbollah attacks northern Israel, Israel knowing that it's HQ is in Damascus attacks and destroys the city, fulfilling Isaiah 17. The enraged islamic countries are finally united under the Gog coalition and want to annihilate Israel but the only thing holding them back is the Western powers.
    RAPTURE, the west is in total confusion, the Islamic states untouched and they take this as the green light to attack.
    Then God steps in and rescues His people.

    ReplyDelete


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