15. The Muslim Connection
Volume 2: The Last Days—Chapter 15
The Muslim Connection
The CIA World Factbook provides us with the following statistics on the distribution of the world’s religions: “Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%, non-religious 9.42%, atheists 2.04% (2009 est.). To put things in perspective, Christianity is down about a half a percentage point, Muslims are up about 2%, Hindus are up fractionally, and Buddhists are down about a point and a half over the last decade.
Christians tempted to exult in their “leading” position should be reminded of two sobering facts: First, Yahshua gave us a commission to preach the gospel to all the world; these statistics only demonstrate how miserably we have failed. Second, the world of “Christianity” is fragmented beyond recognition. Each of its three largest branches have serious reservations about the eternal destinies of the other two.
The second-place (and fastest growing) religion, Islam, is also split several ways. Its Sunni branch, though, comprises roughly 90% of the religion’s adherents—putting it in a dead heat with Roman Catholicism for the world’s number one splinter group. This fact makes it clear that if truth were a popularity contest, it would shift radically with the passage of time—yesterday paganism, today Catholicism, tomorrow Islam. But that’s not the way it works. Truth is truth, regardless of how many (or how few) people believe it.
Indeed, the people through whom Yahweh has chosen to reveal his plan, the Jews, have never been anywhere close to being a significant numerical component of the world’s population (today, about 0.2%). Yet God has promised to bless those who bless her, and curse him who curses her—not because He’s impressed with Israel, but because He chose to demonstrate His own power and love through her relative insignificance. Throughout most of their history, the Jews have been surrounded by peoples who were bigger and stronger than she was, many of whom displayed open hostility toward her. The consequences of their actions are often recorded in scripture, so as we approach the last days we should not be surprised to find predictions about nations who will align themselves against her.
As we pick up our prophetic timeline, we find ourselves less than a year (SF2) into the “Tribulation.” Here’s the scenario as my admittedly overactive imagination envisions it: The charismatic European leader has pushed his peace plan through the U.N. and has apparently succeeded where so many others had failed. All of the participants have come to the table and laid down, in the interests of peace, what they swore they never would: the Jews have retreated to their pre-1967-war borders, leaving the rest of their nation to the “Palestinians.” Their nuclear arsenal has been placed in the hands of the occupying United Nations peacekeeping forces, and the IDF is being kept on a short leash. Jerusalem has been made an “international city,” ostensibly open to all but owned by none. The Muslims have swallowed hard and relinquished their exclusive control of the temple mount. And to a stunned and delighted world, the peace seems to be holding.
Jerusalem has become a boom-town. All faiths with over ten million adherents have been invited to build shrines or temples on or near the temple mount. The Jews, as sort of a consolation prize, have been given their pick of spots (the Dome of the Rock or Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and the Al Aqsa Mosque, of course, are off limits). They choose a site lined up with the Eastern Gate—placing the Holy of Holies right where the Dome of the Spirits had been. The Eastern (or Golden) Gate leading to the Kidron Valley and the Garden of Gethsemane (the one that had been walled in by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1541) is promptly re-opened by Temple Mount Enthusiasts. They take great care not to disturb or desecrate the Muslim graveyard in the shadow of the eastern wall, not wishing to give the Islamists a pretext for treachery.
The Catholics and liberal Protestants decide to work together, and in a surprise move opt to enlarge and “enhance” the existing Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian quarter of the old city instead of building something new on the temple mount. (There aren’t enough fundamentalist Protestants or Evangelicals left to make the cut.) Hindus and Buddhists announce their plans to build small shrines on the south end of the mount, between the Dome and the Mosque. The Sikhs pick a spot on the far northern end. The various traditional, animist, and spiritist groups can’t come to a consensus, so even though their numbers have qualified them, they opt out of the project. The Baha’i don’t have quite enough members to qualify, but plan to build something nearby anyway—until they get a look at the skyrocketing real estate prices in Jerusalem.
The whole project is put under the auspices of a panel of internationally respected architects and engineers, promising to make the temple mount one of the architectural wonders of the modern world. Though height limits are imposed (as much because of earthquakes as to assuage delicate Muslim sensibilities), the inevitable atmosphere of friendly competition soon makes it apparent that no expense will be spared—by anyone. The existing golden dome of the Muslim shrine (actually gold-anodized aluminum, rebuilt in 1920, refinished in 1965, and gilded in 1993) is seen as the opening ante. Nobody is willing to let the seventh-century Islamic icon upstage their new edifice. The building materials—priceless Italian marble, granite, steel, glass, bronze, silver, and gold leaf by the ton—begin to pour into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv warehouses. Not intending to be outdone, competitive Saudi princes donate millions to make improvements to the Dome.
The Jews were able to begin construction almost immediately, since their part of the project has been anticipated for years by temple enthusiast groups. And now, a year or so into the treaty, the magnificent new temple is almost ready to be dedicated. The priests (or “Cohanim”) have been identified and trained. Provision has been made for the sanitary disposal of the blood that will be spilled during the ritual sacrifices. Persistent rumors circulate concerning a hidden underground chamber containing the original ark of the covenant—somewhere near the temple mount. Most Jews brush them off as wishful thinking. Still, can you imagine what it would mean if they found it? Our sins could be atoned just as Moses prescribed—properly—for the first time in 2,500 years! It would surely be a sign heralding the Messiah.
But the new temple turns out to be a two-edged sword for thoughtful Jews. All their lives they had ignored or dismissed as allegory huge chunks of their scriptures. Now, in order to better understand their own religion in the context of the newly reinstituted temple sacrifices, they begin to study. And they find some rather disturbing things, especially in their prophetic writings. The last ten chapters of the book of Ezekiel are particularly troubling. They contain a detailed description of what Messiah’s temple and its environs will look like, and the circus they see going up on the temple mount doesn’t remotely resemble it. Then, moving back a few chapters, they find the ominous prophetic account of a devastating war.
Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel; he had been deported to Babylon in the wake of Jehoiachin’s rebellion in 597 B.C. and received his prophetic commission there some years later. The war he describes in chapters 38 and 39 of his book could not have been historical when he wrote about it, for it speaks of the Jews’ return to the land—and they had just been exiled for the first time. But one will search in vain throughout subsequent history for a war that remotely fits the description of the participants and the outcome of this war, especially since it is prophesied to open the eyes of the Jews to the truth about their God—permanently. The prophet writes, “So the house of Israel shall know that I am Yahweh their God from that day forward.” (Ezekiel 39:22)
Only two conclusions can be drawn. Either Ezekiel was wrong, or the war is yet future. The really disturbing part of the story is the identity of the target, the intended victim: it is Israel, but she is described as dwelling “in safety” in a land of “unwalled villages” when she is attacked. That has never been the case—certainly not since the days of Solomon—until the new European leader arranged to have the world’s armies, under the U.N. banner, guarantee the integrity of Israel’s anorexic new borders.
The main protagonists in this coming war are described in the first few verses of the passage: “Now the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog [Gog literally means “mountain,” which is in turn a symbol denoting power and majesty], of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 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.’” (Ezekiel 38:1-6) All of these nations will join forces to invade Israel, and Yahweh will use their ignominious defeat as the mechanism for bringing His chosen people to repentance and eventual acceptance of their Messiah.
There is quite a roster of players listed here, and there’s no shortage of controversy as to what these names mean in the world as we know it today. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya pop out from the list as place names we know. But who are the others? Ezekiel didn’t use the 21st century names of the nations involved, for obvious reasons. Instead, he referred to a document that was already ancient in his day, the Table of Nations, recorded in Genesis, chapter 10. We will find that most of these names represent people groups that date back to within a few generations of the great Flood. “The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.” (Genesis 10:2-8)
So in broad strokes, the Japhethites settled the north—Europe and Asia. The Hamites went south and west, settling Africa, Arabia, and the Levant (i.e., the land of Canaan). And the Shemites (a.k.a. Semites) basically stayed put in the cradle of civilization—Mesopotamia—until and unless Yahweh moved them. Shem’s descendents include these names you may know: Eber (the Hebrews); Elam (pre-Persia); Asshur (Assyria—Iraq); and Aram (Syria). Job lived in the land of Uz, who was a son of Aram; and Abraham was described (in Deuteronomy 26:5) as “a wandering Aramean.”
Anyway, the key player in Ezekiel’s narrative seems to be “Gog, of the land of Magog.” Gog is apparently an honorific title of their leader (sort of like “Augustus”—from augeo, meaning increase, venerable, or majestic—was to Octavius), so let’s concentrate on Magog for now. Genesis 10 lists Magog as the second son of Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah; Japheth was the father of the Indo-European races. Of Magog, we know almost nothing directly. Josephus identifies him as the progenitor of the Scythians: “Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians.” Most modern commentators agree with him. (Another theory suggests that the Scythians are the descendents of Gomer’s son Ashkenaz, which would make him Magog’s nephew. Thus the Magogites, who are of the Japhetic line, may or may not be identified specifically with the Scythians. But either way, their ancestry is a close family matter, and their territorial boundaries can be expected to overlap to a great extent.
Presuming Josephus was correct, who (and where) were the Scythians? They flourished between the 8th and 4th centuries B.C. Their language was an Indo-Iranian dialect, but they, being a warlike and nomadic folk, had no form of writing. Jerome indicated that the Scythians were “fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis [that smallish lake just north of the Black Sea], and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India.” These nomadic warriors eventually covered a huge territory stretching across southern Eurasia from the Danube River to the borders of China. Some settled in an area north and northeast of the Black Sea, just north of the Caucasus Mountains. (The word “Caucasus,” in fact, means “Gog’s fort.”) Others ended up south of the Caspian Sea. So in modern terms, we’re talking about the Ukraine, southern Russia, Azerbaijan, the Georgian Republic, and northern Iran.
Perhaps we can pin Magog down another way: Gog, its leader, is said (in this translation) to be the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.” If he’s the prince, it would be logical to assume he would be in close geographical proximity, so it should be helpful if we can figure out who these other nations were. Unfortunately, we can’t even get past the first name without running into controversy.
When we say “Rosh,” everyone in the modern world immediately thinks, “It’s Russia!” But if you’re reading in the King James Version (and most others), it simply says “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” What’s up? The Hebrew word, roshe, meaning head, chief, ruler, or principal, is translated “chief” or “head” 423 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. (Ever hear of Rosh Hashanah, the “Jewish New Year”? Literally, it means “the head of the year.”) Roshe is never translated “Russia,” for good reason. The name “Russia” is derived from an 11th century Viking word, “Rus.” Linguists tell us that although words morph over time and usage, it is generally the vowels that change, not the consonants. Thus rosh (RŠ) might change into rush, but probably not into ros or rus (RS). This fact alone makes it extremely unlikely that roshe means Russia.
In any case, roshe is Hebrew, not a Norse word. So the text clearly means, “the chief or head prince of Meshech and Tubal.” It would therefore seem highly presumptive to suggest that “Rosh” is a proper name in this one case, just because we think we recognize it and can readily imagine how a big strong bear of a nation like Russia could think they could get away with invading somebody as small as Israel.
By the way, one reason for the relative stability of consonants when compared to vowels is that ancient languages that were written with phonetic alphabets (notably Paleo-Hebrew) often didn’t originally include vowels at all, though some consonants may have implied certain vowel sounds. But in the main, the pronunciation and meaning of a word—written as a string of consonants—were determined from the context. It was possible, therefore, to alter the meaning of a passage just by assigning, either accidentally or deliberately, incorrect vowel sounds to it—and there is strong evidence that the Masoretic scribes who transmitted our Hebrew scriptures to us (complete with vowel points added a couple of thousand years after the fact) did that very thing, purposely trying to obfuscate the Messianic impact of the Tanach. The consonants, however, are not nearly so susceptible to tampering.
But I digress. We were back in Ezekiel, trying to identify the tribal territories of the listed players in the coming Magog war. Some commentators, laboring under the “Rosh-equals-Russia” myth and expanding upon it, have noticed the vague similarity between Meshech and Moscow and between Tubal and Tobolsk, jumping to the hasty conclusion that the capitals of Russia and Siberia are meant. But there’s nothing quite so sinister as that afoot here. Referring back to Genesis 10, we see that both Meshech and Tubal were brothers of Magog—sons of Japheth, and grandsons of Noah. We can therefore expect their names to be echoed in location designations wherever their descendants settled.
Meshech, depending upon who you listen to, settled either north, south, or east of the Black Sea (the truth is probably: all of the above). Most commentators equate Meshech with Phrygia, in modern west-central Turkey. Linguistically, equating Meshech with Moscow runs into the same kind of difficulty Rosh did: MŠK would have to be changed to MSK, or worse yet, to the Russian variant, Moskva (MSKV). However, MŠK fits Mushki, the name by which the early Greeks would have known Phrygia, quite well indeed. Others place them slightly to the east, in the Caucasus Mountains. Assyrian inscriptions from the time of Sargon II (700 B.C.) refer to a people living in the Caucasus range as “Moschi.” So take your pick, east or west (or both). Bottom line: if Gog is the “chief prince” of Meshech, he’s going to have to somehow exercise authority over west-central Turkey or points east.
And what about Tubal? There aren’t any linguistic problems in linking Tubal to Tobolsk, but that city is in the middle of Siberia, about 3000 miles away from anything else we’ve looked at so far. It’s like saying that Gog is mayor of both Seattle and Acapulco. It therefore behooves us to look for more likely candidates. As it turns out, TBL is a perfect fit for Tabal, in eastern Asia minor—modern Georgia—just east of the Black Sea. Nor is it too much of a stretch to imagine that the name of the Georgian city of Tbilisi got its name from our old friend Tubal.
So what we have so far might be rendered, “Set your face against Gog, from the people ‘near the Caspian Sea and spread out even onward to India,’ the chief prince of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Georgian Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Northern Iran….” Gog could be either the leader of these lands or a leader who comes from this area—centering on the Caucasus region, between the Black and Caspian Seas. Bear in mind that a leader needn’t be born in the nation he leads: Napoleon was born in Corsica; Hitler was born in Austria; Osama bin Laden made Afghanistan his base of operations though he was a Saudi national; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Iraq’s al-Qaeda terrorists, actually hailed from Jordan. And the “land of Magog?” If I had to render a guess as to the identity of Magog (in the sense of “the nation in which Gog wields power”) as a modern political entity from clues in the Bible, Josephus, and the morning paper, it would quickly boil down to a very short list: only one nation today fits all the criteria. Who? I’ll tell you in a minute.
But first, let’s look at the list of Magog’s other allies, beginning with Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. At last—somebody familiar. Well, maybe. You see, we need to take into consideration the time in which the prophet wrote, and we would be advised to take modern place names with a big grain of salt as well.
Let’s start with Persia. Every schoolchild knows that Persia is Iran (or at least they used to when I was a kid—today, we’re lucky if they know where Iowa is). But Ezekiel, who died about 560 B.C., lived in a very different world. Persia proper was in what is now the southern portion of Iran, primarily the area just east of the Persian Gulf. By the end of Ezekiel’s life, however, Persia’s borders (that is, its kingdom’s) extended well beyond those of modern Iran. In the terms of his day, Persia (with her close ally, Media, whose lands she eventually absorbed) encompassed Urartu, Elam (Susiana), Parthia, Bactria, and Gandhara. In modern terminology, that equates roughly to Iran, northern Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and eastern Turkey. And within a few short decades, the list would include Pakistan in the East, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and a big chunk of southern Kazakhstan in the North, and Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the rest of Turkey, the rest of Iraq, Egypt, and Israel in the West. In case you missed it, that’s pretty much the whole map of the Middle East today. Note that with the exception of that little Massachusetts-sized sliver of ground hugging the Mediterranean’s eastern coastline, almost all of it is Muslim-controlled territory. What’s hard to say is how much of these lands were meant to be included in Ezekiel’s simple description, “Persia.” Of particular interest on another level is how many of the modern nations on the list have nuclear arsenals—in other words, is Pakistan in or out, and will Iran have them by the time this all unfolds? In Ezekiel’s lifetime, what is now Pakistan was not yet a part of the Persian empire. I’m afraid there’s only one way to find out for sure: miss the rapture.
Ethiopia seems simple enough, but it’s not. The Genesis 10 name is Cush, who was the eldest son of Ham (i.e., brother of Japheth and Shem, and son of Noah). From the point of view of the Table of Nations, Cush is the father of those who settled in eastern Africa, south of Egypt. Today, that would include the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. (Egypt, by the way, was originally named Mizraim, after one of Cush’s brothers. Egypt/Mizraim is not specifically named in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy, but stay tuned.)
The word translated “Libya” was another son of Ham, a man named Put (or Phut). His descendents have spread from the border of Egypt/Mizraim all the way across Northern Africa: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. All of these nations have been in the news a lot in recent days—and not in a good way. (In case you missed it, the so-called “Arab Spring” did touch Morocco, but since it didn’t get too bloody and the monarchy still holds power, it didn’t make the evening news.)
The next nation on the list of Magog’s allies is Gomer. For some reason, many (still fixated on the non-existent Russian connection) have tried valiantly to identify Gomer with Germany, perhaps seeing a linguistic link between Gomer’s consonants GMR and Deutschland’s derived initials GRM. It won’t work: the R and M are out of order; the similarity is superficial at best. But again, we find a perfect match right where we’ve come to expect it. GMR was well known to the ancients as Cimmeria (the gutturals often shift from G to C). And where is Cimmeria? Its other name is Cappadocia, located in—you guessed it—Asia Minor, as in Eastern Turkey.
There’s only one ally left on the list. Togarmah was the third son of Gomer. As early as the 14th century B.C. its territory was described as lying “between Carchemish and Harran,” on a main trade route through southwest Armenia. It was called Til-garimanu by the Assyrians, and bordered Tabal (Tubal) on the south. In other words, Togarmah was located in modern Armenia, Azerbaijan and northern Iran—the land lying between Turkey and the Caspian Sea—an area that’s beginning to look real suspicious.
Once again, careful exegesis and a little research have put me in hot water. Among premillennial expositors, the vast majority of them insist that Magog is Russia, Gog is some kind of crazed Commie throwback like Vladimir Putin, Meshech is Moscow, and Tubal is Tobolsk. I’m sorry. I just can’t buy it.
It’s not just the ethnological and geographical evidence above, although that’s compelling enough. It’s that Russia has no motive for attacking Israel. Nothing rational, anyway. At the turn of the century, it could be safely said that “Israel has no natural resources to speak of—no strategic mineral deposits (although the Dead Sea—which it shares with Jordan—has some pretty interesting stuff in it), no vast reserves of oil—at least none that anyone has found yet.” The intriguing possibilities latent in verses like, “Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains” (Genesis 14:10) had not been explored by the geologists.
Now, all of that has changed. With the advent of fracking technology, it has now become intriguingly apparent that Israel is sitting on enormous quantities of oil. The Jerusalem Post (12/17/12) reported, “Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), which has already completed an exploratory pre-pilot drilling phase in Israel’s Adullam region near Beit Shemesh, has claimed that the area—also called the Shfela Basin—contains approximately 250 billion barrels of shale oil, amounts that could be competitive to the amount of crude oil in Saudi Arabia.” But wait: there’s more. Tobias Buck of FT Magazine (August 31, 2012) speaks of immense reserves of Israeli natural gas: “With reserves of almost 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Tamar field is a hugely valuable asset for the Israeli economy. Discovered in January 2009, it was the biggest gas find in the world that year, and by far the biggest ever made in Israeli waters. But the record held for barely two years. In December 2010, Tamar was dwarfed by the discovery of the Leviathan gasfield some 20 miles farther east—the largest deepwater gas reservoir found anywhere in the world over the past decade. The two fields, together with a string of smaller discoveries, will cover Israel’s domestic demand for gas for at least the next 25 years, and still leave hundreds of billions of cubic feet for sale abroad.”
But even though Israel has found significant quantities of oil under the sands of the Negev and natural gas offshore in the Mediterranean, that in itself is still not a significant incentive for the Russians to invade—they themselves have the seventh largest oil reserves of any nation on earth, not to mention the fact that their own state-run energy company, Gazprom, is partnering with Israel to develop their newly found resources. Besides, if you’re going to attack someone in hopes of stealing their shale oil reserves, why not go after America, whose recently discovered shale deposits are estimated to top three trillion recoverable barrels—more than all of the OPEC nations combined? (Of course, these deposits will likely remain untouched until—or unless—the politically driven pseudo-science feeding Washington’s environmental hysteria runs its course, and the pendulum swings back toward sanity.)
Historically, whatever prosperity Israel has enjoyed has been the direct result of the industry of its people and the blessing of Yahweh. Until very recently, the only way to attack Israel’s wealth was to destroy its people: they had nothing to steal. And the truth remains: nations like Russia (that is, sane and self-interested) do not unilaterally attack foreign powers—especially those with nuclear capability—without extremely good reasons.
But I’ll admit, as long as Russia was merely the largest province in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the whole Ezekiel 38 scenario made very little sense. Now that the “republics” are independent once again, however, the pieces are starting to come together. We’re looking for a motive here. Who wants Israel dead, no matter the cost, no matter the consequences? Sure, people have persecuted the Jews for millennia, but never against their own perceived self interests. But today there exists one nation whose hatred for the Jews regularly boils over into suicidal rage, a nation whose sole point of unity and purpose is their often-stated goal of ridding themselves—and the world—of the Jews. Forever.
Who is this nation? You won’t find their name on any map, but they boast a population of over 1.4 billion people. They possess some of the world’s greatest mineral resources, and yet their people are among the world’s poorest. They have been around for fourteen hundred years, but they’ve never learned how to transfer power peacefully from one generation to the next. They are deeply religious, and yet their scriptures declare that salvation from their sins is impossible, that good works do no good, that God is not interested in their welfare, and that the very best thing they can do in this life is to get themselves killed fighting against anyone who does not agree with their founder. This nation calls itself dar al-Islam, the house of Islam. It is comprised of every Muslim-controlled state in the world, as well as “colonies” and enclaves within nations they don’t control, in which immigrant Muslim minorities band together to perpetuate the same sort of evil and oppression from which they had fled. Our analysis of Ezekiel’s prophecy has just taken a look at the heart of this darkness—the geographic core of dar al-Islam.
As evil as they were, the old Soviet Union kept a lid on the insanity of the Muslim component in their southern territory for seventy years during the 20th century. (Or is it merely that Yahweh’s timing wasn’t yet right?) These former Soviet “Republics” include Turkmenistan, Kirgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Azerbeijan (mostly Sunni Muslims), Uzbekistan (mostly Shi’ite), and Khazakstan (a mixture of Sunni Muslims, Russian Orthodox Christian, and Atheists). But now that the Soviet empire is no more, the lid is off and the pot is on full boil. Suddenly, Ezekiel 38 and 39 make perfect sense: much of this territory was dominated by the Scythians of old—in other words, it’s part of Magog, the land from which “Gog” will come. It’s becoming clear: Gog needs no motive to attack Israel other than religious hatred, pure and simple. Muhammad told his followers to “wipe the infidels out to the last,” and to “kill every Jew who falls under your control.” The people of Magog and their allies are merely following the Prophet’s orders. The only surprise is that anyone is surprised about this.
Gog, then, is a leader of Muslims from the northern (i.e., Japhethite) component of dar al-Islam, although he will count as allies African and Middle Eastern (i.e., Hamite and Shemite) constituents as well. As we have seen, Magog (in the historical-geographical sense) covers a vast swath of territory stretching from the Black Sea region through Turkey, the Caucasus states, Iran, the “Stans,” and on into Western China. But for our purposes, let us define “Magog” as Gog’s national power base (realizing that technically, he could hail from anywhere in the old Scythian empire).
So who is “Magog,” exactly (in this limited sense)? Well, let’s see. Who is located in the heart of the Scythian empire, with a capital city within fifty miles of the Caspian Sea? Who is wealthy enough to single-handedly equip a modern multi-national army, is influential enough to lead like-minded countries into battle, and has proven its willingness to defy international law? What nation has become famous for its leaders’ outrageously vituperative statements against Israel, denying its history, its achievements, and its very right to exist? Whose land is floating on an ocean of oil, yet is spending vast sums of money building nuclear power plants to produce their electricity (or so they insist)—power plants whose byproducts have no purpose except for the manufacture of atomic weapons? Who is the only Middle Eastern nation (at the moment) ruled not by a secular government of some sort (however Islamist their policies might be) but by fundamentalist clerics of Islam, the fastest growing, most aggressive religion in the world? Who carries the spiritual torch of this militant doctrine whose founder commanded his followers to kill every Jew they could? What nation’s leadership blatantly and publicly anticipates the coming of a leader whose description fits the Biblical Gog to a tee?
The answer’s pretty obvious, at least to me: Magog is Iran.
Consider this passage from Isaiah. It’s one of the few in which the noble prophet seems genuinely terrified at what he’s seen. “The burden against the Wilderness of the Sea. [That this is the Caspian Sea will become clear in a moment.] As whirlwinds in the South pass through, so it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. A distressing vision is declared to me. The treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, O Elam! Besiege, O Media! All its sighing I have made to cease. Therefore my loins are filled with pain; Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor. I was distressed when I heard it; I was dismayed when I saw it. My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me; the night for which I longed He turned into fear for me. Prepare the table, set a watchman in the tower, eat and drink. Arise, you princes, anoint the shield!” (Isaiah 21:1-5)
At its height, Babylon controlled most of Elam (Susiana), but it never controlled Media. Where were these nations? Elam and its northern neighbor Media straddled the territory between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea: the prophet has defined modern-day Iran. (Persia was Elam’s neighbor to the east and south.) Israel is admonished to get up and oil its shield, that is, prepare its defenses. Of course, she’s just put her defense into the hands of the Antichrist’s U.N. peacekeepers when this happens; the timing couldn’t be worse. On the other hand, this very surrender of Israel’s military sovereignty is what’s driving the timing: it’s the heart of Gog’s battle strategy. As we shall see, Israel will rise to the challenge anyway.
Because this is the passage where Isaiah later relates that the watchman reports, “Babylon has fallen, has fallen…” everyone naturally assumes it’s all about Babylon. But it’s not—not about historical Babylon, anyway. Spiritual Babylon is another matter: the house of Islam is a major component of the religious side of symbolic Babylon’s evils. When John heard the angel use exactly the same phrase, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen,” (Revelation 14:8) it was no coincidence. The angel was referring to the same event Isaiah had—the final downfall of the world’s system of false worship. When God warns us to “Flee from Babylon,” Islam is included within the metaphor (though it is by no means alone). The event that triggers “Babylon’s” impending demise is the invasion of Israel by “Elam” and “Media,” a.k.a. Magog, a.k.a. Iran.
At the time of this writing, Iran is the only nation within dar al-Islam whose leaders consider the Muslim scriptures their primary law (“Sharia”), but through revolution and intrigue, the trend is leaning in that direction throughout the Muslim world. (The wisdom-impaired American politicians did everything possible to turn Iraq, Iran’s western neighbor, into an Islamic fundamentalist state, and our incompetent meddling in such places as Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and Syria didn’t help matters.)
Turkey—mentioned every time you turn around in reference to Magog (as Meshech, Tubal, Togarmah, and Gomer)—is also leaning more and more strongly toward a fundamentalist form of Islam these days, and their leadership is proving increasingly belligerent toward Israel, despite their traditionally moderate stance. So it’s possible that they will take up the mantle of Iran as the day approaches. Other factors supporting the “Turkey is Magog” theory: Having few natural resources of their own, they could well cast a covetous eye toward Israel’s newfound mineral wealth (see Ezekiel 38:12); they are directly north of Israel—a factor that’s mentioned often in the salient scriptures; and Turkey is the seat of the most recent and most deeply entrenched Islamic caliphate—the Ottoman Empire. Also, Turkey is primarily Sunni, not Shiite, in makeup—making them (not Iran) a better religious fit for the leader of the Islamic hordes. So who knows?
The “inspired” Islamic scriptures consist principally of four ancient works: the Qur’an (supposedly the very word of Allah), the Hadith (or “Sayings of the Prophet”) recorded by al-Bukhari (supported by the Hadith of Imam Muslim, though it runs a distant second in credibility), and the biographies, or Sunnah (i.e., “example”) of the Prophet Muhammad. The earliest of these was written by Ibn Ishaq (of which only the version edited many years later by Ibn Hisham survives). A later biography by al-Tabari borrows heavily from Ibn Ishaq. (It’s particularly valuable—and damning—because it retains much of what Ibn Hisham edited out.) The Hadith and Sunnah are essential to Islam because the Qur’an is virtually incomprehensible without the background, commentary, and timeline they provide. In fact, Islamic Sharia law has no basis in the Qur’an without the support it derives from Muhammad’s recorded words and deeds. If “the Prophet” said it or did it, it is deemed acceptable, or even mandatory. This fact should send a shudder down the spine of any “law”-abiding Muslim: in the final analysis, his “god” said nothing that could be construed as a code of conduct. Sharia law, by Islam’s own admission, is only the product of man’s imagination and desires. In fact, the only real code of law in mankind’s history that was even purported to be “handed down from God” is the Torah—Yahweh’s instructions to Israel.
Anyway, let’s take another look at the opening verse of the account of this future war. “The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog’… and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, O Gog.’” (Ezekiel 38:1) Yahweh tells the prophet that he is “against” the leader, “Gog,” not merely his nation or the coalition he has cobbled together. Political leaders good and bad, from Nimrod to Caesar, are mentioned in their historical context throughout the Bible, but the only ones taken to task are the ones who purposely attempt to lead people away from God’s truth: for example, Balak, Jeroboam, Ahab, etc. We are admonished to obey (insofar as scripture allows it) the other leaders, even the less-than-perfect ones, observing the laws of the land and even paying our taxes to them. That means that Gog is more than just another dictator out to line his own pockets, like Saddam Hussein or Moammar Gadhafi were. He is deliberately keeping his people in spiritual bondage, enforcing with the machine of government his own religious views and convictions. Could there be a better description of the man who bears the title of Ayatollah, Imam, Mullah or Caliph?
And what about Russia? Am I saying Russia won’t be a part of this? Actually, I’m not. I believe—for reasons I’ll explain later—that they will be dragged into the fray, as will America. But they won’t be the instigators. They aren’t “Magog,” and Russia’s leader, Communist or not, is not Gog. The Russians will merely be protecting their own interests. After all, the Muslim nations are their biggest trading partners, their primary source of hard currency (due in great measure to the money we Americans have paid for their oil). But Russia isn’t going to unilaterally attack Israel any more than the tail of an undisciplined dog will chase a car down the street. They may come along for the ride, but the driving force in this insane war of Gog and Magog—World War III—will be Islam.
You’ve probably noticed my annoying tendency to take pot-shots at Islam every few pages. Please forgive me; I can’t help myself. You see, on September 11, 2001, as the rest of the country watched in horror as the hijacked airliners plunged into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Craig Winn and I were finishing up the production details on our first book. As the first reports of al-Qaeda’s role came trickling in, Craig told me sadly, “I know exactly what’s going to happen here. Our reaction is going be all wrong. We’ll send troops into harms way, fire off a bunch of cruise missiles and blow up some mud huts. But going after al-Qaeda will be attacking symptoms, not causes. I’ll bet the real problem has something to do with Islam—these terrorists have somehow twisted their religion and made it violent.”
Craig was right that day, and wrong. Yes, America pursued only the symptom, Al-Qaeda. We went hunting for Osama bin Laden, blindly refusing to consider any deeper cause (even though Osama himself told us plainly what his motivation was). When we discovered that the Taliban in Afghanistan had harbored this terrorist boys’ club while dragging the country back to the seventh century, we set out on a crusade to right a wrong—one that had little or nothing to do with 9/11. But when Craig went looking for the root causes of Muslim violence, he discovered that the problem wasn’t in Islam—the problem was Islam. The terrorists hadn’t twisted Islam to their own purposes; they were merely doing what their holy books commanded them to do. (Why don’t more Christians do that?) As Winn began to analyze the Muslim scriptures, he realized that the life and words of Muhammad were a recipe for terror—that the closer you modeled your life on Muhammad, the more you’d look like Osama bin Laden.
The research resulted in our second book together, this time a novel (easier to assimilate than non-fiction), entitled Tea With Terrorists (CricketSong Books, 2002). Real Islam is totally unlike the picture our politicians and media have been painting for the last fifty years. But incredibly, because Muslims don’t study their own scriptures (they’re actually instructed not to), the majority of them don’t understand it either. They just do and think what their imams tell them—after all, Islam means “submit.” Winn and I discovered that the gap between truth and perception was truly cavernous, especially here in America. Once again, we had as a nation proven ourselves willingly ignorant of something that could kill us.
Because it’s been said so often, most Americans believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is not, at least, not as any non-Muslim would describe peace. The Islamic scriptures define “peace” as the state of affairs that will exist only when the entire world submits to Allah and His Messenger and pays their taxes to them. In reality, Islam is peaceful only insofar as its practitioners ignore or deny the teachings and example of its founder, Muhammad (who their own histories depict as an acquisitive, bloodthirsty pedophile). But even then the definition is deceptive, for those Muslims who refuse to “fight in Allah’s cause with full force and weaponry” are labeled by their own scriptures as “hypocrites” for whom is reserved the hell fire. That is, according to Islamic doctrine, they’re not really Muslims. (I would use that same criteria—strict adherence to and belief in one’s scriptures—to define any “religion,” including Christianity: not the church, or tradition, or one’s cultural history, but Scripture. Of course, that would probably place “Christianity” somewhere south of Buddhism in the CIA’s population estimates, were it not for the fact that very few among any religion really live by their scriptures.)
The fact is, from its beginning, Islam has been far less a religion than a political doctrine designed to enrich and satiate the carnal cravings of its founder and his followers. The “religious” part, the five pillars of Islam, aren’t even specified in the Qur’an (the collection of “revelations” supposedly handed down from Allah). The “pillars” have to be gleaned from the Hadith. Muhammad invented (or more correctly, adopted from earlier local pagan custom) these rites and rituals for one purpose only: to keep his followers in a posture and mindset of blind, unthinking obedience. The very word Islam means submission.
And who is Allah? Many Christians, duped by a gullible press (who have in turn been duped by Muslim propagandists), have imagined that Allah is the Arabic word for God, which would make him the same as Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian deity. Our pundits and politicians—right up to the President of the United States—insist that we’re all worshiping the same God. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the Qur’an says, “There is no god but God,” it uses two different words. It says: “There is no ilah (a word related to the Hebrew Eloah) but Allah.” As much as they’d like you to believe that “Allah” simply means “god,” it doesn’t. It is, rather, the name of Islam’s deity. Actually, the name Allah is linguistically linked to Halal, the name translated “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12. Allah, to put it bluntly, is Satan.
According to Muslim scriptures, Allah cares nothing for the welfare of people. While there are a hell and a paradise in Islamic theology to which men will go after death, there is no way to choose between them or even influence one’s eternal destiny. Yes, a paradise populated with big-eyed sex-starved virgins and rivers flowing with wine is offered to jihad fighters who come up short in the booty department as a perverse bribe (sick, considering such things are strictly forbidden in this life). But Islamic teachings as a whole are quite clear: everyone is predestined to one fate or the other—the vast majority to hell, by the way. Good works avail nothing, and Christian-style grace is a concept foreign to Islam. According to Muhammad’s words recorded in the Hadith of al-Bukhari, the total capacity of paradise is 70,000 souls. Since there have been perhaps three billion Muslims on earth throughout history (half of whom are alive today), the odds are about 43,000 to one that you won’t make it—and that’s if you’re a Muslim!
Where will Allah be throughout eternity? In paradise with the chosen few? No. In heaven? (It’s a separate place in Muslim theology.) No. He’ll be in hell, tormenting the infidels whom he decided—long before they were even born—to send there. Muhammad assures us that Allah likes to turn the spit upon which Jews, Christians, and other “infidels” (including those pesky peaceful Muslims—the “hypocrites”) are to be roasted alive. That’s but one of many fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam: in Christianity, hell is being separated from God, but in Islam, hell is being in his presence—being tortured personally by him. That should tell you something about who Muslims are really worshiping.
Why can’t Muslims see the folly of their religion? You don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to discover that there’s no hope there. Why don’t they leave, quit, rebel? It’s not that simple, I’m afraid. Islam is structured to systematically persecute any who leave the fold—they are ostracized by family, shut out of society, sometimes killed. Moreover, Muslims are discouraged—in their own scriptures—from looking too closely at the nature of Islam. Those who do, it is said, are apt to “lose their faith.” Rather, they are told merely to obey, to submit, to do what they’re told. Memorize; don’t analyze. Thinking is bad; blind obedience is good.
When Muhammad received his first (and only) “revelation,” a being whom he was convinced was a demon demanded that he read. But Muhammad, who was illiterate, could not comply. So the spirit molested him until he couldn’t breathe, then told him to read again. This is all hauntingly reminiscent of what Isaiah had written thirteen hundred years previously: “The whole vision has become to you“ [the enemies of Israel] like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I am not literate….’”
Neither the “literate” enemies of Israel, like the Babylonians and the Romans, nor their “illiterate” adversaries, the Muslims, would have a clue that by oppressing the Jews they were inviting the wrath of God. “Therefore Yahweh said: ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”(Isaiah 29:11-14) This is a pungent warning to all man-made religious constructs. Although written to and about apostate Israel, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting description of Islam than this.
But Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all monotheistic religions, you protest. Surely there must be points upon which you can agree. Who ever said Islam was monotheistic? Oh yeah, they did. Sorry; it’s just not true. Muhammad started off in Mecca, supposedly receiving his “revelations” from a god he simply called “Lord,” even though there were over three hundred local gods and goddesses from which to choose in the local shrine known as the Ka’aba. Allah was there, and three of his “daughters,” al-Lat, Manat, and al-Uzza, were close by, but the prophet didn’t call upon any of them. As time went on, Muhammad began invoking a god named Ar-Rahman instead of the generic “Lord.” Ar-Rahman (whose name means “the Merciful”) was a bloodthirsty pagan deity worshipped not in Mecca, but far to the south in Yemen. It wasn’t until Muhammad was run out of town as a public nuisance, finding shelter among the gullible Arabs in Yathrib (Medina), that he began calling upon the name of Allah.
Why? It’s simple. As backward as the Meccans were, they knew that the Christian and Jewish God had prophets who performed miracles in His name. If Muhammad invoked a local god (like Allah) he would be hard pressed to explain why he couldn’t do any signs or wonders. If he were a great prophet as he claimed, he would be expected to be the vehicle for God’s power, like Moses, Elijah or Yahshua had been. At the very least, the black rock that represented Allah in the Ka’aba would have been expected to give a sign authenticating his prophet—roll over, or change colors, or something. But that wasn’t going to happen, and Muhammad knew it. No, the deity du jour would have to be somebody from out of town, somebody who couldn’t be put to the test. In Mecca, of course, they saw right through Muhammad’s ploy. They knew him.
In Yathrib, the city to which Muhammad ignominiously fled in 622, three of its five tribes were Jewish. There, true to form, Muhammad picked up just enough information to be dangerous from the Jews’ recitations from the Talmud and other sources, apocryphal and otherwise. Reshaping these quasi-Biblical stories into Muslim propaganda, Muhammad once again found himself the target of ridicule—it was like Mecca all over again. In his versions, “prophets” like Lot and Moses were sent to the men of Sodom and to Pharaoh, and judgment was visited upon anyone who rejected them—in other words, everybody. The moral of the story was always the same: obey the prophet or suffer disastrous consequences. When Muhammad’s Messianic aspirations became apparent, the derision meter redlined. Muhammad was losing his taste for Jews.
You see, Muhammad apparently got wind of Moses’ prophecy concerning a coming prophet, the Messiah, and tried to convince the Jews of Yathrib that he was the fulfillment of that promise: “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Of course, Muhammad conveniently ignored the rest of the prophecy: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which Yahweh has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)
For their part, the Yathrib Jews may have been thinking about another Mosaic passage: “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Yahweh your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which Yahweh your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.”“(Deuteronomy 13:1-5) This upped the ante. Even if Muhammad had been able to perform miracles or produce signs of his authenticity (which he could not) the very fact that he advocated the worship of another god, Allah, was enough to disqualify him. Actually, it was worse than that: the Jews were under instructions—from both passages—to kill him. They did not, however, and Muhammad went on to exile, enslave, or murder every one of them.
The Muslim emigrants from Mecca were living off the charity of the Arabs of Yathrib. Rather than assimilate into society and go to work for a living, they decided that it would be easier to rob caravans—a practice that was unheard of in that place and time. After nine unsuccessful attempts, they finally succeeded. Muhammad had morphed from prophet to profiteer. After a few subsequent skirmishes were disappointing in the booty department, the next logical step was to attack the Jewish tribes in Yathrib/Medina. The Muslims wanted some booty in the worst way, and the Jews were easy targets, relatively wealthy, and had proved their impertinence by scoffing at Muhammad’s Messianic claims. The Beni Qainuqa were the first tribe to go—exiled from their own city, forced to leave everything behind but their lives. Then the Beni al Nadheer were surrounded, starved out, and sent packing. The third Jewish tribe didn’t fare so well. The Beni Quraidha were captured, but rather than being merely robbed and forced out into the desert, the men were blindfolded, brought out in small groups to a large trench the Muslims had dug, and beheaded. Their wives and children were sold into slavery. Hitler had nothing on Muhammad except greater population density and German technology.
This is nowhere near the whole story, you understand. But it helps to explain things like Palestinian suicide bombers and the events of September 11—and even the fact that Muslim immigrants to this very day characteristically resist assimilation into the culture of their adopted lands. True followers of Muhammad (a phrase that describes a growing minority of Muslims) are in it for what they can get out of it—either booty in this world or paradise in the next. The prophet Joel was apparently given a glimpse of the Muslim mindset: “On account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy as payment for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head.”(Joel 3:2-4) Paradise is promised to young Palestinian Muslims willing to blow themselves up in public places, taking as many Jews as possible with them. But what is paradise? It is described in the Hadith as a place of unending sex with perpetual virgins, a land of low-hanging fruit and free-flowing wine. “They have…given a boy as payment for a harlot”“ is a pretty good description of an Islamic suicide bomber. The very things Muhammad forbade in this life were promised in the next. All you had to do to attain these goals, he said, was to die fighting people Muhammad hated: Jews and Christians. Incredibly, many bought into his scheme. Allah’s goals and Satan’s goals are identical.
If you’d like to get a better handle on the connection between Islam and terrorism, read our novel Tea With Terrorists, or better yet, if you’ve got the fortitude for it, read Craig Winn’s subsequent non-fiction masterwork on Islam called Prophet of Doom (CricketSong Books, 2003; free online at www.ProphetOfDoom.net), a comprehensive and scathing indictment of Islam using only their own scriptures as evidence.
In Tea With Terrorists, we sort of implied that Islam couldn’t be Satanic because it was soooo stupid. But alas, Winn’s research for Prophet of Doom has proved otherwise. A few isolated examples:
Ibn Ishaq, the Propheteer’s earliest biographer, reported the following comments concerning Muhammad’s faux pas of adding three pagan goddesses to the Islamic “monotheistic” pantheon (an incident revealed in the Qur’an as the “Satanic Verses”). “The Messenger was grieved and feared Allah greatly. So Allah sent a revelation to him, consoling him and making light of the affair. He informed him that there had never been a prophet or messenger before who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had interjected them on Muhammad’s tongue and into his desires.” So The Islamic scriptures freely admit that Muhammad couldn’t tell if his revelations were coming from Allah or Satan. Worse, Allah didn’t seem to mind. “Then Allah annulled what Satan had cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers. Muhammad’s lord revealed: ‘Every messenger or prophet before you recited the Message Satan cast into his recitation. Allah abrogates what Satan casts.’ Then Allah established his verses. God is knower, wise.” This is backed up in the Qur’an, in surah 22:52. Allah is saying, in effect, “Don’t sweat it, Muhammad. All the prophets before you were Satan’s stooges too.” Maybe they are in Islam. Judeo-Christianity has a slightly higher standard.
According to the Qur’an (59:16), Satan worships Allah. “When (man) denies, Satan says, ‘I have nothing to do with you. I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!’” Elsewhere, we are told that the jinn (demons) find the Qur’an a fascinating and wonderful book. What’s the old proverb about being known by the company you keep? In the Hadith of Muslim, we find: “Allah’s Messenger said [to his child-wife Aisha]: ‘It is your devil who has come to you.’ I [Aisha] said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, is there a devil with me?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Is there a devil attached to everyone?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, is there a devil attached to you also?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ " When Muhammad had his first terrifying “revelation” in a cave outside Mecca, he had come to the conclusion that he had been possessed by a demon. Here, over twenty years later, he has apparently grown quite comfortable with his resident devil.
A thousand little details point toward the conclusion that Islam is Satanic, but none quite so obviously as Muhammad’s irrational hatred of the Jews. From the very beginning, Lucifer has done everything he could to thwart Yahweh’s plan of redemption, and for most of our history, that plan has played out through the Jews. The curtain is about to go up on the final act in the play—the Jews’ own reconciliation with Yahweh. Satan will stop it if he can. It’s his last chance.
In case you still think I’m off my rocker for identifying Gog and Magog with Muslim hordes (instead of Russia), maybe you’ll take Satan’s, I mean Allah’s, word for it. The Qur’an is supposed to be the very words of god—i.e., Allah (or was it ar-Rahman?). In point of fact, it’s clearly just a series of situational justifications for Muhammad’s short-term agenda, interspersed with plagiarized and twisted Jewish stories—also told to advance Muhammad’s plan to attain power, sex, and money. The Yathrib Jews apparently told Muhammad about Ezekiel 38. He thought the invasion-of-the-Jews part sounded swell, so he built it into his version of “god’s word.” Little did he realize that he was chronicling the eventual downfall of the very doctrine he was in the process of inventing. Qur’an 21:95-97: “But there is a ban on any population which We have destroyed: [which means that once the Muslims control a place, they think it’s theirs forever] that they shall not return until Gog and Magog are let loose and they swoop down, swarming from every hill, letting loose and breaking forth from every elevated place. Then will the true promise of Doom draw nigh. Behold, the disbelieving Infidels will be terrorized, staring in horror. ‘Woe to us! Alas! We made a state heedless of this. We did wrong!’” In a way, of course, Allah/Muhammad was perfectly correct. As long as you understand that the “disbelieving infidels” are really the Muslims, it all makes sense. I’ll bet the devil’s chuckling over that one.
But wait: it gets better. Muslims are actually taught to expect a powerful Islamic-style Messianic figure to arise. He is known as the Mahdi (which means “the obliterator”) and he fits the Biblical description of Gog to a tee. We read in the Muqqadima, from the fourteenth century Islamic historian Ibn Khaldun: “It has been accepted by all the Muslims in every epoch that at the end of time a man from the family of the Prophet will, without fail, make his appearance, one who will strengthen Islam and make justice triumph. Muslims will follow him, and he will gain domination over the Muslim realm. He will be called the Mahdi….” (Take note: the Mahdi—like Gog—is prophesied to come “at the end of time.”) Lest you conclude that this belief is an ancient and all-but-forgotten bit of Muslim trivia, let me quote from the October 11, 1976 fatwa issued by the General Secretariat of the World Muslim League. After confirming the reliability of the scriptural tradition from which the doctrine of the Mahdi is derived, he said, “The belief in the appearance of the Mahdi is obligatory…. None denies it except those who are ignorant of the Sunnah and innovators in doctrine [in other words, heretics].”
Ibn Khaldun continues: There will come forth a man from my nation who will talk according to my Sunnah. God will send upon him rain from heaven, and the earth will sprout forth for him its blessing. The earth will be filled through him with equity and justice, as it has been filled with injustice and crime. He will direct the affairs of this nation for seven years, and he will settle in Jerusalem.” Seven years, is it? Jerusalem, is it? The “covenant with many” described by Daniel, is supposed to last precisely that long, and will focus on the same city.
Look at the logistics of the thing. It’s essential that Gog backs the Antichrist’s “covenant with many,” for without his blessing, it hasn’t got a prayer. But it will not be lost on him that this very backing will qualify him as the highly esteemed Imam Mahdi in the eyes of a billion Muslims—“The earth will be filled through him with equity and justice.” His support of the treaty will be a politically astute move calculated to instantly elevate him from a local imam or ayatollah to the promised “Guided One,” a.k.a. the “twelfth Imam,” revered and expected throughout the Muslim world—especially in lands (like Iran) dominated by Shi’ite theology. Jumpin’ jihad!
But the Sunnah also states that he will “settle in Jerusalem.” That expectation will inevitably precipitate the Battle of Magog—the post-treaty invasion of Israel. Gog is quite aware that if he doesn’t “settle in Jerusalem” (a phrase he’ll surely interpret as “conquer Jerusalem”) he’ll eventually be rejected as the Mahdi. And Muslim megalomaniacs never just get to quietly retire: if they lose their grasp on power, they tend to go down hard. His destiny, and the fate of his vast army, is thus sealed: once Pandora’s box is open, it will be impossible to shut. Just as Muhammad tried to sell himself as the Jews’ Messiah by equating himself with the coming “Prophet” Moses had promised (Deuteronomy 18:15-19), Gog will do whatever it takes to reverse engineer a passable fulfillment of the Mahdi prophecy, casting himself in the title role. The rest of the world, as usual, will be clueless.
The legend says the Mahdi will be tall and fair, a direct descendant of Muhammad, one whose father and mother share the “Prophet’s” names (Abdullah and Amina). He will appear in Mecca, and in the month of Ramadan prior to his ascension (at the age of forty), eclipses of the both the sun and moon will occur. For what it’s worth, just such a phenomenon took place, visible in Arabia, during Ramadan, 2005. Is the Mahdi, then, the Muslim Messiah? Sort of. Actually, they say they’re also expecting the return of the Muslim prophet “Jesus,” if you can believe that. Sayyid Rizvi relates that “Jesus will descend to the earth soon after the appearance of the Mahdi; he will join the Mahdi in establishing the Kingdom of God [i.e., Allah] on earth; and he will pray behind Imam al-Mahdi. The true Christians will follow Jesus in accepting Imam Mahdi as the leader at the time and become Muslims.”
Jesus? Not likely. As usual in Islam, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. The “Jesus” being referred to here is not the same as the risen Yahshua of Nazareth whom Christians worship. You probably figured that out on your own. He is the one referred to quite often in Muslim scriptures as “Isa, son of Maryam.” Though invariably translated “Jesus” in an attempt to fool the gullible, Isa actually means “Esau,” as in the godless twin brother of Jacob—the one whom Yahweh said He “hated” (cf. Romans 9:13, Malachi 1:2). So who, really, is this one who will “pray behind [in support of] Imam Mahdi”? His profile fits the Antichrist perfectly. It’s pretty obvious that our esteemed European diplomat will have to suck up to—excuse me, conciliate, mollify, and appease—the Muslim leadership in order to get his Middle East peace plan accepted. According to Muslim lore (not to mention political reality), that will apparently include assuming the “brown nose” position in ritual Islamic prayer. How ecumenical of him. Barack Obama will serve nicely as the prototype for this type of behavior, doing whatever he thinks is necessary, no matter how humiliating (or disingenuous), to secure the favor of Islamic world. I’m sure it will be gratifying to the Antichrist to know that he has at least some of the world fooled this early in the game: the Muslims think he’s Jesus! Good grief.
Actually, there are three prominent players in Islamic folklore who correspond (roughly) to three major Last Days characters described in the Bible—though the Muslim versions are inside-out and backwards. As we have seen, the messiah-like Mahdi is actually Gog. And the one the Muslims will recognize as “Jesus” is really the Antichrist. Confused yet? So are they. The obvious question is, do they foresee an “Antichrist” figure?
You bet your burqa they do. Islam teaches its followers to expect someone called Dajjal. According to the hadith of Imam Muslim, he is the epitome of evil, a Jew (naturally) who has been the cause of much distress to his parents. His most ardent followers will be the Yahudis (Jews) of Isfahaan (Israel?), though people of many nations will unite under his banner—against Islam. His emergence “will become known when he is in Isfahaan at a place called Yahudea [Judea].” Dajjal will, it is said, lay claim to prophethood, and then to divinity. He will have the power to perform unusual feats, such as sending rain, and blessing those who follow him with bountiful crops and fat cattle—all things, ironically, that Allah himself has historically been unable to achieve—while causing drought, hardship, and starvation to those who disbelieve in him (things that, not coincidentally, have all too commonly afflicted people who worship Allah).
Both Isa, son of Maryam (the Muslim “Jesus”) and Dajjal are called al-Maseeh (the Messiah) in the Islamic scriptures, as is the Mahdi. Actually, this Dajjal is a passable match for the real Messiah, Yahshua, though we’ll have to wait a bit to see precisely how and when. Just to keep things confusing, Dajjal is said to be blind in his right eye—a trait that may actually come to describe the real Antichrist. But remember: this is Islamic eschatology: you can’t trust it to do anything but deceive Muslims.
Muhammad Sâlih al-Munajjid writes, “The root dajala means to mix. The word dajala is used to mean deliberately confusing matters and being vague and ambiguous. The Dajjaal is the one who speaks in vagaries, who tells many lies and deceives many people.” If you remember that spiritual truth is spiritually discerned, and that to a Muslim, up is down, black is white, lies are truth, and truth is confusing and deceptive, this all makes perfect sense. But if you take their prophecies at face value, not so much. As if to confirm this observation, Imam Muslim writes (in hadith #5222) “The Dajjal…will have with him a paradise and a hell, but his hell will be a paradise and his paradise will be a hell.” Again, if your idea of “hell” is being blessed in the presence of Yahweh for all eternity, then it all makes perfect sense.
The Islamic scriptures assure Muslims, of course, that Dajjal will not prevail, that they will overcome him in the end under the leadership of the Mahdi, and that he will be slain in the end by Isa, son of Maryam, at Lydda, a.k.a. Lod, in Israel, near Tel Aviv. (In a fascinating twist, Lydda is famous for being home base of Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, who was single-handedly responsible for the final separation of Christianity from Judaism, about 133 A.D., by backing Bar Kochba as the promised Messiah.) The battle lines, then, are drawn: Yahweh’s prophets versus Allah’s.
As bewildering as this is already, it’s worth noting that the (real) Antichrist won’t likely remain such an exalted figure among Muslims for very long after his vaunted “covenant with many” is implemented. His satanic agenda—to rob Yahweh of the affections of His chosen people, the Jews—will force him to defend them against the hordes of Magog in hopes of bolstering his own messianic credentials—something Gog, misreading the Antichrist’s agenda, will characterize as betrayal.
It’s quite possible, in fact, that the Muslims will eventually conclude that he’s Dajjal, or at least in league with him. We’ll soon meet a character known as the “False Prophet” who’s more or less joined at the hip with the Antichrist, performing signs and wonders on his behalf. And being a Jew (he’s described as “the beast from the Land,” which typically refers to Israel, as the “sea” does to the gentile nations), he will be a lightning rod for Muslim expectations concerning the despised Dajjal. History will prove him to be a poor fit. (Neither the Christ nor the Antichrist will kill him at Lydda while the Muslims inherit the earth, as they predict.) But that won’t stop the armies of Magog from focusing on him in a desperate attempt to vindicate their woefully errant eschatology. In truth, the fine points of Islamic theology have never been a very substantial guide for predicting Muslim behavior anyway, since they’re specifically told not to ponder their own scriptures. So this shift shouldn’t be completely unexpected. The Qur’an, Hadith, and Sunnah are confusing, contradictory, and open to a wide variety of interpretations—just what you’d expect from the father of lies.
By the way, in case you were wondering, as I was, how Gog, a self-aggrandizing Muslim cleric operating in Iran (thus presumably Shiite), could possibly hope to unify a more moderate and dominantly Sunni Turkey and the former Soviet Islamic “republics” in holy war, the answer once again lies in Muslim expectations. Bear in mind that differences between Sunnis and Shiites are primarily historical and political, not religious. It all has to do with who were (or were not) entitled to serve as Muhammad’s successors—or caliphs—back in the seventh century. There are also minor differences in the two sects’ beliefs concerning the Mahdi, “the rightly-guided one” whose role is universally understood to bring a just global caliphate (itself something of an oxymoron) into being. Historian Timothy Furnish explains: “The major difference is that for Shiites he has already been here, and will return from hiding; for Sunnis he has yet to emerge into history: a comeback vs. a coming out, if you will.” (It’s sort of like the dichotomy between Jews and Christians concerning the Messiah: the Jews await Him, while Christians await His return.) In practical terms, the real differences between Sunnis and Shiites aren’t insurmountable at all (never mind the fact that they’ve been killing each other for centuries, without a clue as to why). The doctrinal chasm between them is not so much like Christians vs. Hindus (for example), as it is between, say, Catholics and Episcopalians. In all honesty, they have much more in common than they have dividing them.
So what do commonly held Muslim expectations have to do with it? Listen to what Abdul Rahman al-Wahabi predicts in The Day of Wrath. “The final battle will be waged by Muslim faithful coming on the backs of horses from the stans, carrying black banners. They will stand on the east side of the Jordan River and will wage war that the earth has never seen before. The true Messiah, who is the Islamic Mehdi [or Mahdi], who will kill the pig [Jews] and will break the cross [Christians] and will defeat Europe…will lead this army of Seljuks.” The Seljuks were pre-Ottoman Turks, ranging throughout northern Iran, Iraq, Syria, the southern Caucasus region, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. These areas are a pretty fair match for Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah, specified by Ezekiel as allies of Magog. So although the Mahdi (Gog) will most likely rise to power in Shiite Iran, he will (according to Muslim thought) lead an army of Seljuks—Sunnis—among a long list of Islamic allies.
And please note whom the Mahdi is expected to rally his forces against: Jews (duh), Christians (read: westerners—Middle Eastern Muslims don’t know the difference) and Europe—home base of the Antichrist, who has built his own reputation negotiating peace in Israel. Islamic expectations will lead them to their destiny like moths to a flame.
Neither Muhammad nor later Islamic scholars realized, of course, that Gog and Magog would be Islamic armies. Actually, Muhammad thought they were extraterrestrial creatures that lived near the muddy spring into which the sun descended every night. (Hey, I’m not making this stuff up, I swear.) He (channeling Allah) told a demented tale of the mighty Muslim prophet Dhu’l-Qarnain (a.k.a. Alexander the Great, if you can believe that) building a great iron wall between two mountains to keep the hordes of Magog out. Qur’an 18:99-102 says, “On that day [the day when Gog and Magog will come out] We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them [the creatures] all together in one gathering in conflict. And We shall present Hell that day for disbelievers to see, all spread out in plain view…. Verily We have prepared Hell for the hospitality of the Infidels; Hell is for the disbeliever’s entertainment.” As before, if you understand who the “infidels” really are, Muhammad’s not that far off—but only because of the background provided by Ezekiel. One gets the feeling that the Rabbis of Yathrib set him up, and he took the bait and ran with it.
Another nagging question: why would a loving God allow so many nations, those comprising the armies of Magog, to fall into the clutches of Islam—a prison from which escape is next to impossible? Read carefully the following explanation offered through the Prophet Joel. He’s speaking of Phoenicia and Philistia, but the principle can be seen to extend throughout the Middle East. “Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head, because you have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My prized possessions. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem you have sold to the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their borders. Behold, I will raise them out of the place to which you have sold them, and will return your retaliation upon your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans [from Sheba, i.e., Arabs], to a people far off. For Yahweh has spoken.” (Joel 3:4-8) Those nations who robbed Israel and sold her people into slavery ranged from North Africa to Iran, and all of them have in turn been “sold” to Islam, whose origins are—you guessed it—in the land of the Sabeans—today’s Saudi Arabia. But what was that enigmatic bit about Jewish middlemen? The Jews of Yathrib were the unwitting (and unwilling) stepping stone Muhammad needed to launch Islam into a going concern. First they sold him scripture-based lies from the Talmud and other apocryphal sources, many of which found their way into the Hadith and Qur’an. Then they served as the initial host for the Islamic parasite to feed upon. And feed it did, gaining strength until it could successfully infect pagans and Christians alike. Within a hundred years, the entire Middle East had fallen. Now you know why.
Muhammad tried his best to reshape a plethora of historic and Bible characters into his own twisted image—Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Joseph, Solomon, Yahshua, even Alexander the Great—the list goes on and on. Whereas the parallels between the founder of Islam and the heroes of the Bible are contrived at best (and non-existent at worse), there is one historical figure who bears a striking resemblance to the Madman of Medina: the lives and missions of Muhammad and Adolph Hitler are stunningly similar; the parallels are too obvious to ignore. In a previous chapter, we explored how the same demonic spirit who controlled Nero is prophesied to inhabit the Antichrist during the last days. I believe (SF3) the same thing could be true of Muhammad and Hitler—that they were both possessed by the same demon. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find the same evil spirit taking up residence in the Mahdi, Gog of the Land of Magog (i.e., the Imam in charge of Iran when Ezekiel’s World War III begins). He definitely has the same agenda: in Muhammad’s words, “Kill every Jew….”
Ezekiel’s list of the Islamic nations to be aligned against Israel, interestingly, didn’t specifically include the Arab nations within dar al-Islam (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt). Are they not to be participants in this war? I believe they are, but not as part of the Magog Federation.
That is probably more surprising than it should be. Way back in Genesis, we were warned about the nature of the Arabs—or at least their patriarch: “Then the Angel of Yahweh said to [Hagar], ‘I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.’ And the Angel of Yahweh said to her: ‘Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.’” (Genesis 16:10-12) If you’re looking for the root of the madness of Islam, you need look no farther than the Torah. Even before he was born, Ishmael, the father of the Arabs (note: his children were racially three-quarters Egyptian) was predicted to be a belligerent loner, literally an onager (Hebrew pere’, a wild ass) of a man. But because he was the son of Abraham, Yahweh promised to bless him: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you [Abraham]. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” (Genesis 17:19-21)
As Isaac grew, Ishmael’s predicted animosity began to show itself. So Yahweh did something we would do well to heed today: he separated the warring children—physically making Isaac “holy,” setting him apart for God’s divine purpose. He supplied and blessed Ishmael, but he made it clear that Isaac was to be the child of promise—they were not to live in the same land. “But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed [singular—He’s referring to the Messiah] shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away.” (Genesis 21:12-14)
A few chapters later, we get this interesting insight: “[Isaac] began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.” (Genesis 26:13-14) I’m not suggesting that there’s a genetic tie between the Philistines and the Palestinians, but since the Arabs within Israel insist on using that name, I find it fascinating that the source of “Palestinian” hatred for the Jews was identified as far back as the middle of Genesis. It’s envy. God chose Isaac; Ishmael and the Philistines felt that the blessing should have been theirs. And for his part, Ishmael’s envy led to a hatred of the Jews that’s still alive today.
Under Muhammad, the sons of Ishmael finally found their voice—and their sword. They conquered a swath of territory extending from southern France across northern Africa, through the Middle East, and into India before Islam was a hundred years old. Considering the prophecy about Ishmael, it should not be surprising that Arab nations would be players—even instigators—in the last great war, but would find themselves allied with no one but themselves.
The key to their participation is found not in Ezekiel’s prophecy, but in Daniel’s. But before we go there, let’s look at a bit more of Ezekiel’s forecast. “Prepare yourself and be ready, you [Gog] and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for [or, take command of] them. After many days you will be visited [i.e., called to arms]. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” (Ezekiel 38:7-9) Here Gog’s intended victim is identified, and the time frame in which they live. It can be no one other than modern day Israel, for they are (1) gathered from many nations, (2) brought back from the sword—an apt metaphor for the holocaust, (3) to the land Ezekiel would have known as Israel, (4) which had long been desolate—uncultivated and under-populated—and (5) in which they are now dwelling in apparent safety (with a large United Nations peacekeeping force watching their back). Further, Gog’s timing is specifically called “the latter years.”
“Thus says Yahweh Almighty: ‘On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you [Gog] will make an evil plan: You will say, “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.’” (Ezekiel 38:10-12) Only a Muslim leader who was inspired by Muhammad’s greedy annihilation of the Jewish Beni Qainuqa, Beni al-Nadheer, and Beni Quraidha tribes would see the invasion of the newly toothless Israel as a noble endeavor. In the context of jihad, however, the expedition makes perfect sense. From a religious standpoint, driving the Jews into the sea once and for all would qualify as the greatest of Islamic dreams.
Anyone who’s been to Israel lately, however, knows that it’s not exactly a “land of unwalled villages” at the moment. The settlements that have been built in the “occupied territories” (I just choke on that phrase—it means the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—oops, we blinked and Gaza’s gone) typically have sturdy fences surrounding them—and they’re not there to keep the Israeli settlers in. This is another indication that Israel will have by this time bargained away these lands for the promise of peace—a suicidal move but one they’ll have no choice but to accept.
In recent years, the Israelis have actually been trying to make the entire country a “walled village” in order to keep the terrorists out. That is, they have spent millions of dollars building an “exclusion barrier” between the West Bank and the rest of Israeli territory, to restrict the movement of Palestinian terrorists within the land—even though the West Bank is Israeli territory, liberated from the Arab aggressors in the June 1967 Six-Day War. (It used to be Jordanian territory; it was never “Palestinian” land.) The barrier when finished will snake 430 miles through the heart of Israel (though the nation itself is only about 263 miles long from north to south). 90% of the barrier is a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by a 200 foot wide exclusion area, and the remainder consists of a formidable 26 foot tall concrete wall. Ironically, much of the “wall” is built along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between Israel and the West Bank.
America, to our shame, has been insisting (with the rest of the world) that Israel cease trying to defend themselves in this way. The barrier admittedly makes things harder for Israeli Arabs who have family or interests on both sides. But one must remember why the Jews felt the need to build it in the first place: to defend their nation against suicide bombings and other attacks. And by that metric, the wall has been a spectacular success. At any rate, I infer from these references to “a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” that the barrier will indeed be torn down or otherwise be rendered useless before the War of Magog (perhaps simply by exclusion: the new country could be defined by whatever's inside the wall). Whatever territory Israel will be reduced to by the “covenant with many” (Daniel 9:27) will be aptly described as a land of unwalled villages. In fact, the “covenant” itself will probably be the shotgun that blows it full of holes.
And the defending U.N. “peacekeeping” armies? Any student of warfare knows that soldiers don’t fight for political causes like they’ll fight for their own homeland. Gog would much rather face U.N. troops than the IDF. Everyone with a decent grasp of recent history knows what happens when Israelis fight for their own land—they win.
Besides, just as Muhammad himself never fought for “religion,” but only for money, sex, and power, there is now something (besides land and bragging rights) worth stealing in Israel. Even if it were not for the billions of barrels of oil locked in the shale under the Negev and the newly discovered natural gas deposits offshore, there is now enough gold and silver stored up by the world’s religions for their temple mount building projects to pay for the expedition several times over. The prosperity the Antichrist’s false peace has brought to Israel means there is plenty here worth stealing—it’s a target-rich environment. Iran may sit on ten percent of the world’s oil reserves (mocking the poverty of its people), but many of its allies (notably, Turkey) are not so fortunate. They’ll need some incentive. To quote a hadith from Imam Muslim: “Oh, the booty!”
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land.” (Ezekiel 38:14-16) The “far north” reference, of course, was one of the factors that suggested Russia as the identity of Magog. But Tehran is almost as far north of Jerusalem as it is east, and several of Magog’s allies (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah) have been identified with Turkey or the Caucasus region—land directly to the “far north” of Israel. “Far” or “remote parts” is the Hebrew noun yerekah, meaning flank, side, rear, extreme or uttermost parts, depths, or recesses. TWOT notes, “The remotest parts, particularly the distant north, are conceived of as those away from God. All countries, except Egypt, had to approach Jerusalem from the north, because of desert and sea.” And actually, there may be a symbolic component to this: “far” may be a reference to the spiritual distance between Magog (or Iran) and Israel. You can hardly get farther away from Yahweh than in Islam, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more rabidly Islamist state than Iran.
The rhetorical question, “Will you not know that Israel is dwelling in safety,” implies a level of communications unheard of in Ezekiel’s day. How could the events surrounding the Antichrist’s peace deal be hidden—from anyone? It’s certain that they’ll know Israel is a sitting duck. But wait a minute. Did I say “peace” deal? How could Gog even dream about invading Israel? His nation is among those who solemnly swore that they would abide by the terms of the peace treaty. Indeed, it is apparently Gog’s (i.e. the Mahdi’s) prestige that sold the deal to dar al-Islam in the first place. We’re only a year into the accord’s term (admittedly a guess, but it can’t be very far off) and there are no indications that Israel has done anything to breach the peace. What gives?
You must remember the Islamic mindset when it comes to treaties. According to Muhammad’s teaching and practice, any treaty with an infidel power may be broken if it is in the Muslims’ perceived advantage to do so. Deals with non-Muslims are not binding—on the Muslims, that is. Americans, and in fact most of the western world (laboring under the burden of their Judeo-Christian heritage), automatically assume that yes means yes and no means no, no matter who you’re talking to. Sure, there’s a whole sub-language of diplomatic double-speak, in which when it is said, “The talks were cordial but frank,” it means, “The parties couldn’t find a single thing they could agree on, but they stopped short of declaring war.” But this kind of deception is in an entirely different league. Muhammad specifically instructed his followers to say “Peace” until it’s too late for anyone to do anything about their plans for war.
One more thing: the passage mentions “horses.” Does this mean that modern weaponry will be non-existent when this all takes place? No, I don’t think so, though many expositors would disagree with me. My guess is that Ezekiel just didn’t have the vocabulary to indicate a “Russian-built T-90C heavy tank with artillery and missile cannon capabilities.” Even if Yahweh had shown him one, he wouldn’t have known what to call it. “Chariot” doesn’t quite do it justice. But Zeke did know the armored weapons platform of his day, the warhorse. State of the art.
“‘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.’ Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?’” (Ezekiel 38:16-17) Here we get our first hint as to what Yahweh intends to do with Gog and his Muslim hordes. He says He will be “made holy” (that is, shown to be unique and matchless) in the eyes of the world, and Gog’s blunder will be the reason. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math on this. Yahweh has promised to preserve Israel. Gog and his gangsters want to rub her out. The fight of the century? Hardly. I must save the details of the actual “battle” for a future chapter, but suffice it to say that this won’t be quite as easy as Gog figured.
I mentioned that some of the likely players won’t be Gog’s overt allies. That is, there are major Muslim players in the Middle East who aren’t named as Gog’s allies. Some, like Egypt (Mizraim), are conspicuous by their absence in the Ezekiel 38 list; others are specifically said to be against the war.
Lets take a look at who will protest the War of Magog: “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’” (Ezekiel 38:13) As I hypothesized in our very first chapter, “the merchants of Tarshish” are probably the commercial and financial interests of the western world. “All their young lions” could include the governments and bureaucracies that feel like they can’t make it through the day without throwing money (borrowed money) at every problem, real and imagined. This makes perfect sense in light of what we have learned about the Illuminati: it seems the real power behind western governments lies in the banks and industries to whom they have sold their souls in the quest for power and influence.
But why would they protest the aggression? They’ve been making a fortune arming both sides for decades. Could it be that they’re afraid that this one might get out of control and burn them along with the primary antagonists? Or could it be that they just want to appear to be “peacemakers,” knowing that such pleas for restraint invariably fall on deaf ears as the requisitions for armaments come rolling in? Or are they merely playing the game they themselves invented: trying to keep all sides in every conflict as evenly matched as possible—assuring maximum destruction, which in turn precipitates maximum profits, when war inevitably engulfs their clueless pawns? (Of course, it’s possible that the strictly literal interpretation is the correct one: that the “merchants of Tarshish and their young lions” lodging diplomatic protests are Spain and its Latin American progeny—who realize that distant wars between Muslims and Jews can do them no possible good, but could conceivably spill over into global mayhem. But I’m having a hard time visualizing that scenario.)
Considering the force of arms brought to bear, these efforts to avert the invasion sound pretty lame, don’t they? I have a feeling Gog will think so too. He will no doubt protest his innocence and deny his warlike intentions at the U.N. and in the world press, and then do pretty much as he pleases. Sound familiar? It’s exactly what Iran does every day of the week, because it’s exactly what Muhammad would have done.
Sheba and Dedan will also be among those who lodge diplomatic protests when Magog invades Israel. So who and where are they? Sheba was at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula—today’s Yemen. And Dedan was located in western Arabia—the modern equivalent is Saudi Arabia. This is fascinating: Saudi, the home of the two “holiest” Muslim sites (Mecca and Medina), the custodian of the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the possessor of one of the best-equipped military organizations in the region, not to mention being the unrivaled source of financing for worldwide terrorism, is seen not fighting in Allah’s cause, but protecting its own backside when the chips are down. Perhaps part of the reason is that the Saudis practice an extreme form of Islam known as Wahabism—a Sunni sect that hates Shiites (the majority in Iran) virtually as much as it does Jews and Christians. At any rate, the one Muslim nation whose heritage demands that it pick up the torch of Islam and lead the final jihad against the Jews—those despised infidels who have the temerity to occupy a fraction of one percent of the land the Muslims claim by right of conquest—are happy to let others with less to lose go in and risk their lives for the cause, opting instead to sponsor U.N. resolutions and debate the merits of sanctions against the aggressors.
How appropriate. Muhammad usually did exactly the same thing, sending in his thugs to do the dirty work while staying a safe distance from the battleground himself. The “prophet” stayed at home with his harem on at least fifty of the seventy-five raids he ordered. His platitudes and promises spurred his jihad warriors on to murder, mayhem, and mammon (of which he was all too pleased to take his twenty percent off the top). But he wouldn’t do any “wet work” himself unless there was little or no personal risk. That didn’t get in the way of his boasting, of course. He told his followers in effect that he’d love to go into battle and be killed (he used the term “martyred”), but his people couldn’t get along without him. Yeah, right. So we see the Arabian peninsula, Islam’s birthplace, sitting this one out, or at least intending to. (I find it ironic that Yemen was the home of Islam’s first rock idol, ar-Rahman, the one Muhammad invoked before he switched to Allah.)
What about the other Arabic nations not specifically named in Ezekiel’s list of Gog’s allies? Egypt and Syria fit this profile (though Syria could be included in the “Persia” designation, for they were part of the Persian empire when the prophecy was written). In all of scripture, very little is prophesied of Syria. Damascus, the oldest continually occupied city in the world, has been judged in the past for her sins, and will be again. But I find little direct reference to Syria’s role (as a nation) in the events of the last days. Aram, or Syria, is mentioned often in the Tanach, but the references mostly seem to be historical accounts detailing the perpetual animosity between God’s people and the Syrians.
The root cause of it all apparently goes all the way back to the time of the Judges: “The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook Yahweh and did not serve Him. So the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel.” (Judges 10:6-7) The Syrians (a.k.a. Arameans), like virtually every nation in the region at that time, were practicing a form of Nimrod’s Babylonian mystery religion—the same evil cult that precipitated God’s ban on the seven nations of Canaan. The Arameans, however, were not singled out for destruction (nor were the other peripheral nations listed here) because they were not living within the Land that had been promised to Abraham. Israel was commanded to remain separate from them (and their false gods), but as we can see, they did not. So from before the time of David until the Babylonian conquest, Syria was a constant thorn in the side of God’s chosen race. And even during those times when Syria allied themselves with the children of Israel, it was invariably with the ten apostate northern tribes—collectively known as Ephraim—against Judah.
But for all that, there is only one prophecy in the entire Bible that clearly speaks of Syria’s ultimate destruction (and frankly, most English translations are still pretty cryptic). The New Living Translation puts it like this: “‘Look, Damascus will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted. Sheep will graze in the streets and lie down unafraid. There will be no one to chase them away. The fortified cities of Israel will also be destroyed, and the power of Damascus will end. The few left in Aram will share the fate of Israel’s departed glory,’ says Yahweh Almighty.” (Isaiah 17:1-3 NLT) We’ll revisit the fate of the city of Damascus in a later chapter, but for now, note that in the end, the nation of Syria is to be severely depopulated—just as Israel was for so long. Yahweh has a very long memory.
And what about Egypt? Today Egypt is a mere shell of its former self, rife with poverty and conflict despite the billions of dollars America has pumped into its economy (and its war machine). The birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood (back in 1928), Egypt is known as the center of Islamic scholarship (an oxymoron if ever there was one) in the entire Middle East. Well did Isaiah prophecy concerning Egypt, “Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaoh, ‘I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?’ Where are they? Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, and let them know what Yahweh, Lord of hosts, has purposed against Egypt. The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived; They have also deluded Egypt, those who are the mainstay of its tribes. Yahweh has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her work, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.” (Isaiah 19:11-14) Here, as in so many cases in scripture, we see Yahweh “hardening the heart” of the Egyptians. It bears repeating that Yahweh’s blinding of the eyes of sinners to the truth (or as it’s put here, mingling “a perverse spirit in her midst”) is always in response to a previous rejection of his Word. God will never force anyone to change his mind; but He will occasionally petrify a previously held attitude, effectively closing his enemy’s mind on the subject.
As in Isaiah’s day, the modern “princes” of Egypt have delivered the nation to folly, falling deeper and deeper into the morass of fundamentalist Islam. But Egypt is far from being alone in this regard: the entire Arab world has suddenly taken a sharp turn away from their historic “business as usual” to more chaotic, and far more Islamist (i.e., religiously driven and controlled) forms of government. At the turn of the century, the typical Arab state in the Middle East or North Africa was nominally democratic at some level, but invariably controlled by a secular Islamic despot (or an outright dictator) who held tightly to power through repression and intimidation, rendering only lip service to Islam. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi were typical examples. Though nominally Muslims, they were motivated not by religious fervor or dogma, but rather by the quest for personal power. Ironically, as with the Soviets of the previous century, their oppressive regimes prevented the truly dangerous aspects of Islam from gaining much traction within their borders. Good and evil alike were kept on a very short leash.
But in late 2010, several things happened that conspired to begin toppling the dominoes of Arab stability (such as it was) in the region. In August, the American President Barack Hussein Obama made a major, but unannounced, foreign policy shift regarding America’s policy toward the nations of the Arab world. Instead of continuing to maintain the status quo, something that, though less than ideal, provided a measure of stability to the region, Mr. Obama, true to his socialistic “community organizer” roots, decided instead to promote “hope and change” in the Arab world. Understanding neither the insidious nature of Islam nor the uncanny similarity of pure democracy to mob rule, he assumed that “democratic” governments would prove to be more stable and secure than the oppressive quasi-dictatorships that had ruled the Arab world since the colonial age. His goal, ostensibly, was to enhance U.S. interests in the region. The effect was precisely the opposite, due to the overlooked fact that the Muslim scriptures (and the men who lived by them, who would fill the power vacuum created through toppling the despots) demand the enslavement and/or annihilation of the “Christian” world—that is, the infidel West, whether it’s actually Christian or not.
So in August 2010, Obama issued his secret Presidential Study Directive 11, asking U.S. agencies to prepare for the changes to come. The document cited “evidence of growing citizen discontent with the region’s regimes”—months before the revolution of the so-called Arab Spring broke out. It warned that “the region is entering a critical period of transition” and it directed the Presidential advisers to “manage these risks by demonstrating to the people of the Middle East and North Africa the gradual but real prospect of greater political openness and improved governance.” It certainly makes one wonder if perhaps agents of the U.S. government were dispatched to the region to precipitate the “hope and change” so near and dear to the President’s heart—starting with toppling or destabilizing the existing governments of the Arab world. The mantra, as always, was “never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to create one yourself.”
The tinder had been dry for years, and Mr. Obama had just thrown gasoline all over it. The match that set the whole thing on fire was a personal protest, borne of frustration and injustice: a Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi just wanted to feed his family. He was unable to find work, so he began selling fruit at a roadside stand. Enter the bureaucrats: on December, 2010, a government inspector named Faida Hamdi, flexing her municipal muscles (as such people are wont to do) confiscated Bouazizi’s wares (apparently because he was too poor to pay the customary bribes), slapped him, spit upon him, and otherwise subjected the poor man to public humiliation (and remember, this is a Muslim society: the fact that a woman was abusing her power made Muhammad’s contempt for women seem almost justified). Driven to desperation by the bureaucracy’s lack of mercy, justice, or plain old common sense, Bouazizi doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire, dying from his injuries a few weeks later—but not before uniting Tunisia’s unemployed masses, human rights activists, labor unions, academia, and lawyers in a common rage against the endemic oppression of the Tunisian status quo. Rioters took to the streets, eventually bringing down the whole government.
But Tunisia was merely the first domino in line. The citizens of the neighboring Arab nations, suddenly awakened to the reality of the repression under which they’d been living, took to the streets demanding reforms. Egypt, Libya, and Yemen all saw their rulers forced from power. Major uprisings ranging from street demonstrations to full blown civil war broke out in Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and the Sudan. And Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, and Western Sahara have all experienced protests as well.
At the time of this writing, the smoke has not yet cleared. Syria, in particular, is experiencing a particularly brutal and costly civil war. Across the region, each skirmish pits Muslim against Muslim—the forces of the status quo in their entrenched oppressive regimes, against the forces of emerging Islamic terror and anarchy, backed by influential Islamist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and al-Qaeda. The majority of the populace, of course, merely want to live their lives in peace and safety, but the times no longer allow that. Ironically, all this turmoil makes Israel the safest place in the region at the moment—even with the Islamic version of the sword of Damocles hanging over its head, even with the constant threat of Palestinian suicide bombers and rocket attacks from Gaza.
Where is it all headed? Is there a foreseeable outcome to all this turmoil? Biblical prophecy doesn’t demand this, of course, but one scenario generally compatible with scripture suggests that when the dust settles, the nations of dar al-Islam (or at least some of them) will once again decide that they need to be ruled by an overall religious authority—a successor (or caliph) to Muhammad. If nothing else, it would follow the recent trend of nations to join together in common cause—like the United States, the European Union, and a plethora of similar associations entered into for commerce, common ground, or mere political clout—up to and including the United Nations.
Sunni Islam (the majority sect) views this “caliphate” concept as beginning with Muhammad’s immediate successor, Abu Bakr (the father of the prophet’s child-bride Aisha), and running through a succession of caliphate dynasties—the last one ending (as a result of the outcome of World War I) in 1924. Shiites, on the other hand, see the caliphate as a series of twelve imams, beginning with Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali. Ali was actually the fourth caliph of the Rashidun (or “Guided”) Caliphate that had begun with Abu Bakr, but he wasn’t accepted by all Muslims: his ascension precipitated the first Muslim civil war—and the split of the Shiites from the Sunnis.
But as with so many “splits” between rival groups in this world, the actual issues are not insurmountable, or even fundamental. With the “right” set of circumstances, I see it as perfectly plausible that the long awaited “twelfth imam” of Shia Islam—the Mahdi (a.k.a. “the Guided One,” a.k.a. Gog of the land of Magog) could also be hailed among Sunnis as the progenitor of a new and glorious caliphate dynasty. Once again, Muslim expectations can be expected to play a major role in how things play out—it’s the phenomenon of “self-fulfilling prophecies.” As As-Silsilah As-Sahihah writes (Volume 1, No. 5) “Prophethood will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain, then Allah will raise it up wherever he wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood remaining with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, He will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a reign of violently oppressive rule and it will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, there will be a reign of tyrannical rule and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, Allah will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Then, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood.” The “drift” here is that whatever happens was (obviously) Allah’s will; thus all Islamic prophecy is by its very nature unfalsifiable, and therefore unverifiable as well. How convenient. But note that the final caliphate is expected to “follow the guidance of prophethood.” That is, this new caliph would seem to fit both Sunni and Shiite expectations. It’s all a question of marketing (and a little satanic suggestion).
Daniel’s prophecy of a war in the last days meshes quite nicely with Ezekiel’s description of the invasion by Magog. Here, however, it’s told not from Gog’s point of view, but from that of the Antichrist, described here as “the king [who] shall do according to his own will.” Without getting too involved with the details of the action, which I’ll cover later, notice that Egypt (who, you’ll recall, wasn’t listed among Gog’s coalition) plays the part of the aggressor. “At the time of the end the king of the South [Egypt] shall attack him [Antichrist]; and the king of the North [probably Syria] shall come against him…. Many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his [Antichrist’s] hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.” (Daniel 11:40, 41-43)
As always, directions are given in relation to the Holy Land. Egypt is invariably described in scripture as the Kingdom of the South. The context reveals that the Antichrist is occupying Israel at the time (probably in the form of a United Nations peacekeeping force with a large European contingent—cf. Daniel 11:45). Egypt makes the first move, Invading Israel in a pincer action with “the king of the North,” but the Antichrist strikes back, putting Egypt, Cush, and Phut under his thumb. In other words, he ends up controlling all of northern and eastern Africa (which, by the way, makes his “kingdom” look a lot like that of Rome under Nero). Whether even more nations than these are included under the heading “many countries” is a matter of speculation, but I think that’s a safe assumption. The first place to look for candidates for his conquest are the nations under the banner of the Magog federation, listed above. Muslim countries, one and all.
Interestingly, Jordan (called Edom, Moab, and Ammon in the Daniel passage), escapes his grasp (though we shall learn that their fate is sealed anyway). At the risk of getting ahead of our story (again), there will come a time when Israel will have to hurriedly flee from the Antichrist. Where will they go? Since Daniel specifically says the beast will not control Jordan, that makes Israel’s neighbor to the east a likely candidate. More on this later.
Further, there is no specific indication that Saudi Arabia or Yemen are taken. Nor do we know precisely what happens to the Muslims living in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and so forth. A few hundred million Muslims live in India, and Indonesia and the Philippines are infected with the same plague. Of these and others, we have few Biblical insights, other than that they’re lost like all the other Muslims in the world. The Islamic nations have but one thing in common: an irrational hatred for Yahweh’s chosen people, Israel. It will be their downfall, their Achilles heel. Remember: Yahweh will use the Tribulation to right all the wrongs, to purge the world of all of its evil. Repent or die.
The psalmist Asaph had Islam pegged when he wrote these words: “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You.” (Psalm 83:1-5) A “confederacy?” As in a revived Islamic caliphate? We can’t say we weren’t warned. Note that the passage flatly declares that any enemy of Israel is an enemy of God.
Jeremiah’s prophecy of the Babylonian invasion will look as fresh as tomorrow’s news when the invasion begins. “Out of the north calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says Yahweh. They shall come and each one set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around, and against all the cities of Judah. I will utter My judgments against them concerning all their wickedness, because they have forsaken Me, burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.” (Jeremiah 1:14-16) It’s interesting that Yahweh will not judge them for their idolatry until they attack Israel. Note also that these verses specify the direction from which Gog’s invasion will come—from the north, the direction from which Iran, Turkey and the rest of the Asian contingent of the Magog Federation would have to invade due to the difficulty fording the Euphrates with a large army in the South.
Yahweh takes his oath to Israel seriously. The nation who helps itself to her land is in for a humiliating shock, for God will not allow it to be taken away from His people permanently: “Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Because the enemy has said of you [the mountains of Israel], “Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession” …because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people…surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country…. Because you have borne the shame of the nations… I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.’” (Ezekiel 36:2-3, 5-7) Since the seventh century, the sword of Islam has plundered and shamed the land of Israel as the Jews endured their exile among the nations. Edom (part of modern Jordan) is singled out as a lead perpetrator, reminding us that the West Bank was originally “given” to them by the United Nations (the “talkers” and “slanderers” of whom Ezekiel spoke). Will the U.N. assume control over the whole disputed territory again, making it the “possession of the rest of the nations?” Apparently, they’ll try. But Yahweh has other ideas.
And what of those “peace-loving” Muslims to which the media keeps referring? First, understand that those Muslims who preferred to live peaceably and avoid bloodshed were the first to earn the scathing condemnation of “Allah and his Prophet.” They were called hypocrites, assigned as prime targets in this life by Muhammad’s jihad fighters, and then consigned to the hottest fires of Allah’s hell. But the Bible has something to say about them as well: “Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalm 120:5-7)
Will Islam have a role to play in the last days? Most certainly. They will be the very puff of wind that brings this house of cards we call human civilization crashing to the ground.
(First published 2005. Updated 2015)