Coming World Crises --Part 14

Coming World Crises
Part 14

James Gunn

These are the notes of lectures given to the Men’s Bible Class which meets every two weeks during the winter at Central Gospel Hall, 25 Charles St. E., Toronto, Canada.

“Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” As a light shining in a dark place, during these lectures prophecy illuminated areas which to the human mind seem quite obscure:

The Future of the Ecumenical Movement.
The Return and the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The Future of the Nations.
Europe in Prophecy.
Who is Anti-Christ?
Russia Invades Israel!
Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?
The Millennial Reign of Christ.
Climax of the Ages.

The Armageddon

(continued from last issue)

In fourth place: Tidings from the east and from the north shall trouble him. What he hears infuriates him. He therefore withdraws his army from Egypt and pitches his camp, both military and administrative, between the seas, between the Mediterranean and the Dead seas. There, “he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Dan. 11:45). These closing words of Daniel 11 imply one of three things: first, that the sudden end of the Asyrian, the King of the North, will be by direct divine intervention and under such circumstances, of course, none could help him, no one could deliver him out of the hand of God. Second, that the power that had supported him as the King of the North (Dan. 8:24), forsakes him; that is, withdraws all support in the way of war effort, and leaves him to defeat and destruction.

Third, that the supporting power, Russia, is itself destroyed, the entire northern confederacy being crushed upon the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 39:1-7). This is probably what will happen.

This we are sure of, the King of the North and his supporter, the Prince of Rosh, with their armies and allies will be defeated in such a manner that as the Lord says, “The heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Ezek. 39:7).

In this, another battle in the campaign of the great day of God Almighty, the Lord severely punishes the Syrians, the Russians and those aligned with them.

Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39): Another phase of this mighty campaign of God against the nations is seen in the movements of the Prince of Rosh. In other studies we have identified him as the ruling power of Russia.

It seems obvious that Russia is the political and diplomatic leader of a northern confederacy of nations which invades Palestine either immediately after the King of the North or simultaneously with him. There are a number of salient points here to consider: First, it would seem that Russia will ignore the military purpose of Syria (Isa. 10:7), and will enter the Holy Land “to take a prey, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take great spoil” (Ezek. 38:13). It will be the determination of Russia in the future to enrich herself with the natural resources of Israel rather than to help anyone else. This may be the news out of the north that troubles the King of the North, and makes him withdraw from Egypt into Palestine.

Second: Russia’s invasion of the Holy Land will probably be toward the close of the first half of Daniel’s seventieth week. Through a covenant with the European nations under the leadership of the beast (Dan. 9:27), Israel will have a sense of safety and security. She will live in unwalled cities which have neither gates nor bars (Ezek. 38:11).

It should be remembered that the 70th week is divided into two periods of 3 ½ years. In the first part, as suggested, Israel under the terms of the covenant of peace, which will turn out to be a refuge of lies, lives at ease. The first half of Daniel’s week is called by our Lord, “The beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:8). Many in Israel will be deceived by a false Christ (Matt. 24:4-5, John 5:42-43), and there will be wars and rumours of wars among the nations, but Israel’s reliance upon the beast, the Revived Roman Empire, will give this false feeling of security.

Third: If Russia and Syria, the Prince of Rosh and the King of the North, simultaneously attack Israel, then we can expect that their defeat and destruction will also be simultaneous. So complete will be their destruction and so supernatural, God says, “All the heathen shall see My judgment that I have executed, and My hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezek. 39:21-22).

Once more we see God’s chastening hand upon Israel for their rejection of Christ, and also His punishment of those very nations which He uses as instruments of His indignation. Of the King of the North, He says, “O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger” (Isa. 10:5), and then to that statement He adds, “O My people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and Mine anger in their destruction. And the Lord of Hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian” (Isa. 10:24-26). Truly this is the campaign of the great day of God Almighty.

The Revived Roman Empire: Scripture does not directly state that the Roman Empire will fulfil its security pact with Israel, yet it does imply this.

The people of “the prince that shall come” (Dan. 9:26) destroyed the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70; they were Romans, consequently through the prince to come the Romans will make a covenant with Israel; it later shall be broken by the changing of its terms. Let us notice several salient points here:

First: It has been suggested that when Syria and Russia penetrate into Israel’s territory, that in compliance with the covenant Rome will go to the defence of Israel. Notwithstanding, Rome does not contribute much to the defeat of the northern enemies. The defeat of these invaders is supernatural, and this is made so evident that both Israel and the heathen will know it is by God’s intervention (Ezek. 38:16).

Second: A strict honouring of the security pact would require a withdrawal of Roman forces and authority after the defeat of the invaders, but obviously this will not occur. In fact, Roman power is imposed upon Palestine, and under the Anti-Christ Israel becomes willingly subservient to Confederate Rome. Furthermore, Israel will indulge in the idolatrous worship of the head of the Empire. His image will be set up in the temple at Jerusalem (Rev. 13:14-15). How sad! The future idolatrous state of Israel will be more than at any former time in her history (Matt. 12:43-45).

Third: It appears that this imposition of imperial and idolatrous power upon Israel will precipitate the Great Tribulation. At that point the words of Christ for His own will be that they should flee (Matt. 24:1528). This godly remnant will be pursued by Satan through his own chosen means, but they will be helped by the earth that swallows up the flood of malignity and hatred (Rev. 12:14-17).

The Battle of Armageddon

It is now time to consider what appears to be the last battle in the campaign of the great day of God. There have been a number of historical battles fought on the plains of Armageddon, but in this prophetical one there is an element of finality. Some have thought of battles being fought after the Armageddon, and some even of battles being fought during the Millennium, but this does not seem probable. If Rome after the defeat of Russia becomes the principle world power, and if she eventually is also defeated and destroyed, and if her head, the beast along with the Anti-Christ is cast into the Lake of Fire, further battles at this time seem impossible. Let us consider the preparations for this awful battle.

First: The mutual enemies: In a survey of the nations which are antagonists the one against the other, it becomes necessary that we attempt to identify “the Kings of the East” (Rev. 16:12).

While references to the Orient are few in the Bible, there are three which do have some significance. Let us ponder these. The first is found in Isaiah 49:12. In this context the Lord is speaking of the regathering of Israel, and He says, “Behold, these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the Land of Sinim.” It seems most interesting to find in the Oxford Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names that Sinim is Chinese. It seems as if God were saying that so surely and thoroughly would He regather poor scattered Israel that from even so far away as unfriendly China He would bring back His people to Himself and to the land He promised to them in Abraham.

The second passage is in Revelation 9:13-21. It pictures a vast army of 200 million coming from east of the Euphrates. The numbers in this army are overwhelming and their description terrifying. It is not too difficult from the description to imagine this army being equipped with atomic weapons. We read, “Out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.”

It was reported within recent years in an American magazine that China also had 200 million of young men and young women engaged in military training. This figure does not take into consideration the other Asiatic powers.

The last passage we shall examine is in Revelation 16:12. Here we read of a miraculous drying up of the river Euphrates to allow this vast Asiatic army easy access to Palestine and Jerusalem. No wonder that the King of the North shows concern over tidings from the east (Dan. 11:44).

Second, demon power: God in His permissive will permits three spirits of demons to go forth from the trinity of evil: the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, to gather all the kings of the earth together into the Holy Land and particularly around Jerusalem.

The horrors of a conflict between the European nations and the remnant armies from the north and the south against the millions from the Orient cannot be imagined. We read, “By these three (fire, smoke and brimstone) the third part of men were killed.” This is what John saw in vision (Rev. 9:18).

What happens in Jerusalem itself is described by Zechariah, “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half the city shall go forth in captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 4:2). Notwithstanding, Jerusalem shall be supernaturally defended by God: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people on the earth be gathered together against it … In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:3-6).