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You are here: Home  > Faith Alive! | October 2012

Faith Alive! | October 2012

In Faith Alive! this issue:

  • Are you RTGAA?
  • Editorial – The witness of the Middle East
  • Bits and bobs
  • Jesus believed …?
  • Works of faith – are you working faithfully or faithfully working? Test yourself
  • Zechariah – man of visions
  • COVER FEATURE: Israel and the Middle East: – where do we stand?
  • Israel restored
  • The Middle East nations today
  • Israel’s future
  • Puzzle pathword
  • Our future
  • What are you afraid of?
  • Commandments of Christ – husbands and wives
  • UKYC (week 1) and UKYP (week 2)
  • Youth of the Isolation League

A sample article from this edition:

Israel – their future

IN Ezekiel 38 we have a prophecy of the Jews returning back to the Land of Israel after years of exile. Israel is described at this future time as:

“The land … brought back from the sword … gathered out of many people …” (Ezekiel 38:8).

Though this prophecy was written over two thousand five hundred years ago, we can see that this is the general situation of Israel today. For nearly two thousand years the Jews had been scattered throughout the world; yet in 1948, against all the odds, they returned back to their homeland, just as the prophets had foretold.

Future invasion

Ezekiel also warns us about a future invasion of Israel but says that, just prior to this event, the Jews will occupy “the mountains of Israel” (verse 8) – the territories of Judah and Samaria. Remarkably, on June 7th 1967, at the end of the Six-Day War, the Jews took sole possession of Jerusalem and began to inhabit Judah and Samaria (i.e., “the mountains of Israel”). So this prophecy could not have been fulfilled before 1967!

Are we told who invades Israel? We read that the lead is “Gog, the land of Magog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (verse 3). Ezekiel refers to them as dwelling in “the uttermost parts of the north” (38:6; 39:2). In ancient literature these people were spoken of as Scythians and were cruel and bloodthirsty. In chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel the prophet predicts another northern invasion, on a much larger and frightening scale than any time before.

There are also a number of accompanying nations and three that stand out are “Persia, Ethiopia and Libya” (verse 5). Persia is modern-day Iran and so these countries are easy to identify. All three are Islamic countries and as we know from the news, the Islamic fundamentalists hate Israel. Just think about Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said that he wants to wipe Israel off the map! Even at the time of writing there is concern that Israel might attack Iran because of Iran’s increasing nuclear threat.

It’s when this attack takes place that God becomes known in the whole earth because of how He delivers God’s people. It says there will be “a great shaking” in Israel which is probably a great earthquake (verse 19). Israel’s enemies are so overwhelmingly defeated that their weapons will supply fuel for seven years (39:9), and it will take seven months to bury their dead (39:14)! The outcome will be that Israel will obey God for evermore (39:22).

So we might think prophecies are difficult to understand and irrelevant. We see here that they’re not. But let’s not be overly anxious about these future calamities, because God loves us and wants us to be in His kingdom. If we put our trust in Him then God will keep us safe.

Stephen WHITEHOUSE

 

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