War In The Middle East — Is This The End?


August 2006

Dear Ministry Partners,

The TV news in recent memory has constantly had a focus on the Middle East — war in Iraq (the Old Testament Babylon), war between Israel and its border countries ("Palestinians" comes from the Old Testament Philistines who lived in the Gaza strip), and potential war with Iran (the Old Testament Persia). With the modern news sounding like you are reading your Bible, how close are we to the Biblical "end times", the great translation of the believers (the rapture), the final battle of Armageddon, and the physical return of Jesus? And what should we do about it?

First of all, Jesus said that in the end times, there would be wars and rumors of war. The full text of what Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-14 is important (my commentary inserted in italics). "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars (24 hours a day from television news). See that you are not troubled (for fear is a major temptation we need to overcome in these days); for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines (in Africa, India, etc.), pestilences (like AIDS, bird flu, etc.), and earthquakes (underwater causing a tsunami) in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you (which made more martyrs in Russia, China, etc. in the last 100 years than all of previous history), and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake (like "Christian" America is hated right now). And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another (causing "hate laws" to be created). Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many (through false religions). And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold (resulting in a 50% divorce rate). But he who endures to the end shall be saved (which causes one to reconsider once-saved-always-saved theology). And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations (which is the main way to know when the end is here), and then the end will come."

Jesus said we will have wars and rumors of wars. With modern "push-button" technology, it has never been easier in the history of the world for any people group to initiate some form of harm on another group of people. This kind of "power" is very tempting to unsaved mankind who sees no valid reason to refrain, so it makes perfect sense that there will be more wars more often — especially in the Middle East. So expect skirmishes, small wars, cease-fire agreements to be broken, United Nations efforts to fail, and Israel to be hated by nearly every country. It may make you nervous to keep hearing of another war breaking out in the region. And the new long-term tactic of choice is "terrorism" rather than massing a uniformed army which just makes a great target for long-range weapons of destruction. But the Bible makes it clear that Israel will survive through to the very end.

Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39 tell us that this cycle of wars will eventually unite Russia with Iran and some northern neighbors of Israel. Russia (Magog) will send a huge army to the Middle East, probably due to oil shortages, and Russia will make a play to try to get ownership of the Middle East (initially by attacking Israel, which will appease the Muslim neighbors to allow Russia into the region). But Russia's goal will certainly not be just Israel, but really all of the Middle East oil reserves.

"The merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil (oil)?" (Ezekiel 38:13, with the word oil added). The wealthy merchants of "Tarshish" (Spain) refers to western civilization. Columbus sailed from Spain, and the "young lions" are nations younger which were produced thereof (America). Chances are good that the "rapture" of believers will have already taken place before the Ezekiel 38 & 39 attack on Israel from Russia. This great translation of believers from the earth would decimate the American economy and war machine, emboldening Russia to strike out for the Middle East.

"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog (the leader of Magog — Russia), 'Thus says the Lord GOD...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." (Ezekiel 38:14-15). But God has always seen that a remnant of Israel remains as according to prophecy. So Russia will have made a very bad military decision. This is not the battle of Armageddon, and Israel will win this war with its military means.

The outcome is recorded in Ezekiel 39:6, "And I will send fire on Magog." Many scholars believe this will be a nuclear response by Israel. Ezekiel 38:19-22 prescribes what will occur: a great "earthquake", every wall will fall to the ground, and a huge rain of "fire and brimstone." It sounds like a documentary of the atomic blast at Hiroshima. It has been known that Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists states that Israel's nuclear arsenal includes perhaps 200 (to 400) atomic weapons. Israel has at least 50 to 100 land based Jericho II missiles which have the capability to reach Russia. These are stored at the missile base at Zechariah (which in Hebrew means "God remembers with vengeance"). Israel operates 3 German-built submarines with the capability of launching cruise missiles with a range of almost 1,000 miles. Israel also has air-to-ground nuclear bombs and purchased at least 25 American F-15 aircraft which have a nuclear role in the US Air Force. In Israel, these planes are called Ra'am (Thunder) and are stationed at the Hatzerim air base in Squadron 69 (called the "Hammers" Squadron — a clear reference to Judah "the Hammer" Maccabee who once delivered Israel from the Syrians).

Dead bodies contaminated by nuclear radiation would explain the narrative in Ezekiel 39:12-15, "For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land... They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it... whenever anyone sees a man's bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog."

The world will be in shock at the re-emergence of actual nuclear war. This is what will set the stage for the world to be willing for the man known in the Bible as the Antichrist to rise to leadership and control that part of the world. The Bible indicates he will be the head of the "revived Roman empire" (Dan. 7 & 8, Rev. 13) so he will certainly control what we know as the European Union and probably many other countries who sign-on in the years to come. That side of the world uniting against Israel (under the Antichrist) is what will result 7 years later in the battle of Armageddon where a 200 million man army (Rev. 9:13-17, 16:12) from the east (China) will march on Israel (and the remaining Middle East oil reserves). This is when the Bible records that Jesus will physically return and personally destroy this enormous army and be the deliverer of Israel the Jews have always looked for. Jesus will begin His 1,000 year reign on earth, and we will experience life on this earth the way God intends it to be.

So how soon will this all happen? The world’s known oil production has been projected to begin depleting around the year 2020 to 2065 and running out around 2100, depending on which assumptions are used (www.trendlines.ca). However, the most scriptural trigger is when "this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world... and then the end will come." We are getting closer, but we are not there yet. Another clue comes from Matt. 24:32-34 where Jesus said the generation that sees "the fig tree" put forth leaves would experience these events. Most theologians believe this is either Israel becoming a nation again (1948) or when Israel re-took Jerusalem during the 6 day war (1967). A Biblical generation can be up to 100 years (Gen. 15:13-16), so this would imply the end could be as far out as 2048 or 2067. No one but the Father knows for sure (Acts 1:7). And all our human assumptions "look through a glass darkly" (1st Cor. 13:12). So the best plan is to live and give for Jesus while we can. We do not know when the rapture may occur, or even our own death, so we should "work the works of Him...while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).

Working while it is day,

Dale & Judi Leander


FINANCIAL PARTNERSHIP: You can help us continue ministering and making many of our resources available without charge by sending a monthly or one time offering to: Words of Life, P.O. Box 701045, Tulsa, OK, 74170. To give by credit card, you may call and leave a secure message at 1(800) GET-WORD. To order ministry materials or give by credit card, you can also visit our web site, www.WordsOfLife.org.

REPRODUCTION AGREEMENT: Paper duplication or electronic forwarding of this teaching is permitted for non-commercial purposes provided that the complete message and contact information for Words of Life is included. Thank you. Copyright 2002 - 2006, Dale W. Leander.

TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE: Just email us and tell us your preference.