Weekly Newsletter – March 5, 2018
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
The Coming War with Russia
Russia will invade Israel at a time when war is not expected.
Students of Bible prophecy have long expected a Russian military move in the Middle East. Early in the 20th century, Dr. Ironside wrote:
In the last days, the final head of the Russian people will look with covetous eyes upon the great developments in the land of Palestine. They will determine that Russia must have her part of the wealth there produced. Consequently, we have the picture of a vast army, augmented by warriors from Persia, Cush, Phut, marching down toward Palestine.
Aggressors in Conflict
But why have prophetic experts come to this conclusion?
The reasons are found in chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel’s prophecy. There a devastating war is described that takes place in the Middle East involving Israel, Russia, and a number of other nations. The following is Ezekiel’s indictment of the aggressors in the conflict:
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of amour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands: and many people with thee… (Ezekiel 38:1 – 6)
It is no secret that the majority of prophetic speakers and writers identify the prime mover among these nations named by Ezekiel as Russia. Millions of booklets, pamphlets, and books have been circulated describing the coming war between Russia and Israel. But is there hard evidence that the conclusions of these students of prophecy are correct?
Did Ezekiel really foresee Russia rising as a military power in the end time and having a special interest in the Middle East, or have present-day writers and speakers simply used today’s international tensions as an opportunity to sell books and attract crowds?
Is the public the victim of ecclesiastical opportunists who have themselves set the stage for what they describe as the end-time drama?
How can anyone be sure that Ezekiel’s prophecy has anything to do with modern nations when the words used in his description of this conflict are so unfamiliar to today’s Bible reader?
Who is Gog? Where is the land of Magog? Where would one look on a map to find the cities of Meshech and Tubal? To what nations did Ezekiel refer when he wrote of Gomer and Togarmah?
Unless these questions can be answered satisfactorily, there is good reason to question the conclusions being so widely accepted and promoted in our time.
Let us begin at the beginning. A table of nations is given in Genesis 10. At the opening of this important chapter, we are confronted with the key names in Ezekiel’s prophecy: “Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras” (Genesis 10:1, 2).
These key verses describe the repopulating of the earth after the flood. It was the custom in ancient times for the descendents of a man to adopt his name for their tribe. Understanding this, historians and Bible students have been able to trace the movements of some of the tribes and know where their descendents can be found today. Using this system, the editors of the Scofield Reference Bible have furnished the following information about the names that concern us in the table of nations:
Magog — “From Magog are descended the ancient Scythians or Tarters, whose descendents predominate in modern Russia.”
Tubal — “Tubal’s descendents peopled the region south of the Black Sea from whence they spread north and south. It is probable that Tobolsk perpetuates the tribal name.”
Meshech — “Progenitor of a race mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations. Broadly speaking, Russia, excluding the conquests of Peter the Great and his successors, is the modern land of Magog, Tubal, and Meshech.”
The Scofield Reference Bible was published in 1909. These notes alone let us know that the identification of Russia as the main aggressor in Ezekiel’s end-time battle is not the conclusion of prophetic opportunists. But there is more.
In the orient al tongue, the name of the Caucasus Mountains that run through Russia means “Fort of Gog” or “Gog’s last stand.” If you were to ask a Russian what he calls the heights of the Caucasus Mountains, he would say, “the Gogh.”
The evidence builds.
The word that is translated “chief” in Ezekiel 38:3 is “Rosh” in the Hebrew language. For centuries prophetic scholars have generally agreed that the word “Rosh” is a proper name. Allowing this long-accepted conclusion in the translation of this verse would make it read, “And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the Rosh prince of Meshech and Tubal.”
But who is Rosh?
“Rosh” was the name of the tribe dwelling in the area of the Volga. And “Rosh” is the word for “Russia” today in some languages of the world. In Belgium and Holland it is “Rus.” Here, abbreviated, it’s “Russ,” and often appears in that form in the headlines of newspapers. An understanding of this truth moved Robert Lowth, Bishop of London two hundred years ago, to write: “Rosh, taken as a proper name in Ezekiel signifies the inhabitants of Scythia from whom the modern Russians derive their modern name. The name ‘Russia’ dates only fro m the seventeenth century and was formed from the ancient name ‘Russ.’
It is clear then that Ezekiel was delivering a warning to the Russian prince (leader) of Meshech and Tubal.
We have already seen from Scofield’s notes of 1909 that Tubal is the root of the name Tobolsk, but what about Meshech? In his note on Ezekiel 38:2, Scofield continues his work of identification, stating: “That the primary reference is to the northern European powers headed by Russia, all agree… Gog is the prince, Magog his land, the reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification.”
As has been already shown, Dr. Scofield was by no means the first to come to this conclusion. In 1890, Arno C. Gaebelein wrote a book on Ezekiel. Commenting on chapters 38 and 39, he declared: “This is Russia, Moscow, and Tobolsk.”
Another important voice of the past is that of Josephus. In Book I, Chapter VI of his work, this historian who lived almost two thousand years ago stated that the Scythians were called Magogites by the Greeks. Why is that important? The Scythians populated Russia.
It is little wonder then that the weight of prophetic scholarship has gone with the conclusion that Russia is the chief aggressor named by Ezekiel in this end-time war with Israel. The allies of Russia in that fierce conflict will be Persia (Iran and Iraq), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer (Eastern Germany and Slovakia), and Togarmah (Turkey).
It is interesting that Daniel adds Egypt to the names of nations coming against Israel and the final world dictator, so that the invasion includes attacks from the north and the south, as well as the prospect of trouble from the east (see Dan. 11:40-44).
There is no need to marshal the scholars of the past to confirm the place or purpose of this war. Ezekiel explained:
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is broug ht forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them (Ezek. 38:8).
What a clear and up-to-date description of Israel! She is certainly the land that is brought back from the sword — gathered out of many people — a former wasteland — brought forth out of the nations.
The invaders of Israel will come with immense air power: “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ezek. 38:9).
They will also come in full confidence of victory:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land (Ezek. 38:11,12).
We will continue our study in this next week
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Is God Listening?
Several years ago I contracted a dangerous viral infection which threatened the sight of my left eye and produced severe discomfort and pain. Just as I was getting a little better, I came down with pneumonia in my right lung.
During this time of unusual stress and trauma, Jack and I spent even more time than normal praying and seeking God. Thank the Lord, He heard and answered our prayers!
Experiencing those wearisome days when I might have been tempted to ask, “Does God care? Is He listening?”-I found new assurance that the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary (Isaiah 40:28). And I can truthfully say with the psalmist that I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1).
While prayer has always been an important part of our lives and ministry, now it has become even more vital-an integral part of the very fabric of Jack’s life and mine. Prayer has become as natural as breathing to me, and has carried me into the Father’s presence where I draw directly from His unlimited strength.
In the times of testing I often felt as if the Lord comforted me by saying, “Pray.” And in saying “Come to me,” He also said, “Wait patiently.” It has been my experience that life’s difficulties may sometimes be meant for the strengthening of one’s heart and soul.
The power of prayer
When we enter into prayer, we enter into the realm of divine omnipotence and tap into the unlimited power of God. Prayer leaps over boundaries, stops at no distances, and balks at no obstacles. No wonder Jesus said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
The late Dr. M. R. DeHaan recognized the tremendous force God placed in the hands of His people through prayer. DeHaan said, “I would far rather have the power of prayer to move the powers of heaven, than to have the power of preaching to move the masses on earth.”
While some of us may not have the gift of preaching or the anointed eloquence to proclaim the gospel to all who will hear-all of us do have the power of prayer at our disposal. We can commune directly with our Creator, and cry out to the God of the universe with the steadfast assurance that HE IS LISTENING… and He will answer.
Why, then, do we go about laden with burdens too heavy to bear? Why do we endure overwhelming sorrows and pain? Why do we attempt to make the best of living with want and lack? The Lord gently scolds us for failing to seek His help by saying, Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
I love the grand old gospel song that asks, “Are you weary, are you heavy-hearted?” then responds, “Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus!” On and on the song goes, listing man’s most common troubles and fears, and always reminding, urging, commanding-“Tell it to Jesus alone!”
God has invited us to come to Him with our needs and burdens. Jesus said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7).
Are the answers you need being given? Have you asked?
Are you finding the solutions to life’s problems? Are you seeking?
Are the doors of opportunity being opened to you? Are you knocking?
God is ready and willing to meet your every need. He is more than enough for all your problems. But to receive what He wants you to have, you have to take the first step. Have you ever taught your children to come to you for assistance with their needs? Even though you sometimes knew what they needed before they asked, have you ever waited until they made their petition to you?
Jesus said, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).
So we need to learn to ask-we need to be sure to make our petitions known to God through prayer.
Pray in faith
Then, too, we must pray with faith. Some people feel their faith is too weak, but I believe, with the Apostle Paul, that God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3). If our faith comes from God-if He has provided it for us, then we have enough…and it is sufficient!
When in the midst of suffering and in need of healing, many of us may find it difficult to receive healing directly from the hand of God. But the Lord often uses other hands, other instruments to meet our need. Often healing comes through the channel of doctors and medicine. Depending on such healing aids is not necessarily a lack of faith.
An old motto I’ve heard suggests that we should work as though everything depended on us, but pray as if everything depended on God. Perhaps this is the perfect blending of faith and works endorsed by the Apostle James (see 2:20-26).
I thank God for the fine doctors and “miracle” drugs employed in my treatment during my illness. But I am absolutely convinced that prayer helped speed my healing by making my body more receptive to the treatment than it ordinarily would have been.
I recovered with no lasting ill effects, no scars, no permanent damage. Yet, another lady with almost the same condition, being treated by the same doctor, with the same medication, did experience facial scarring and ongoing trauma.
Is God really interested in our individual needs and problems? Aren’t our personal difficulties too small to bring to the attention of the Almighty? Isn’t He preoccupied with wars and cataclysmic events, interested only in global and universal affairs?
Not at all! Nothing is too great or too small to bring to the Lord. He knows! He sees! He cares! Oh, yes, my friend. He is listening…and He will answer.
I know this-when our own strength and provision fail, prayer helps us tap into an inexhaustible divine supply. And it is undeniably true that more miracles are wrought by prayer than this world could ever imagine.
The Holy Spirit intercedes
Dr. Van Impe and I are finding that when we pray, the Holy Spirit directs us and helps us to pray. We do not have to depend on long prayer lists and “vain repetitions” that become meaningless rituals (see Matthew 6:7).
There are times when I feel so overwhelmed by needs or challenges before me that I don’t even know how to pray. But the Holy Spirit does-and He ministers through me to touch the heart of God. Paul wrote, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26).
There have been times when I knelt to pray and could only weep-I couldn’t find the words to express what was inside. I would cry out, “Oh God, I don’t know how to put this because I’m so burdened. ” What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit went right on interceding for me with groanings and expressions too deep to be uttered.
And sooner or later, as I waited before God on my knees, that deep peace that passes all understanding would sweep over me, and my troubled spirit would be at rest. Once again I would have the blessed assurance of knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
My friend, what God has done for me, He will do for you. The Lord is ready to minister to you in every part of your life. He is listening.
TAKE TIME TO PRAY
I got up quite early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I took no time out to pray.
The problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came every task;
“Why doesn’t God help me,” I wondered,
He said, “Why, you didn’t ask!”
I saw naught of joy or of beauty-
The day sped on, gray and bleak;
I asked, “Why won’t the Lord show me?”
He said, “But you didn’t seek!”
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock,
God gently, lovingly chided,
“My child, why didn’t you knock?”
I woke up quite early this morning
And paused ere entering the day;
There was so much to accomplish
I HAD TO TAKE TIME TO PRAY!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Hello Rexella and Jack
Haven’t seen you on any of my TV Stations so I thought I would check the web and there you were. You are both still fighting the good fight. Bless you both and I will be praying for you both my brother and sister. When We all get to Heaven Oh what a day that will be! Love you both
Yes, dear Brother & Sister Van Impe – I LOVE YOUR E-MAILS…they’re like, simply put, total smorgasbord that’s FREE & so enriched with nutrition, taste & it lasts & lasts & lasts…
IT’s the best…
Can’t thank you enough, as often during your services, sometimes I can’t get the scriptures written down fast enough OR sometimes, didn’t hear/catch exactly where you’ve said they’re located…so this is wonderful.
You folks have a great ministry & I love it truly, pray you won’t stop sending these great blessings.
May our dear Lord & Savior continue to strengthen you both…
SO LOOKING FORWARD to HIS speedy RAPTURE too!!!
Yours in Christ,
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Do you know where you will be eternally?
It’s the most important question you will ever answer!
Bible prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use their vast knowledge of the Scriptures to show you:
- Eternity is real – and every human will spend it in either heaven or hell.
- Jesus Himself talked about hell – this video shows you what He said and what it means for you, your family, and all humanity.
- Preachers who don’t talk about hell are dishonoring God – because Jesus Himself was the first hell-fire preacher.
- The concept of the Trinity is integral to your belief in God – and only faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can save.
- The Rapture is foretold in the Scriptures – and you can see which prophetic signs have already taken place and prove the return of the Lord is at hand.
- And much more!
This teaching is perfect for any believer and great to share with non-Christians who want the truth about eternity, heaven, hell, and the return of Christ!
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