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False Prophets, Russia and America

Reader comment on item: Tour d'Horizon: ISIS, Iran, Turkey, and the Palestinians
in response to reader comment: A Closer Look at Ezekiel - Footstool Commentaries III

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Feb 11, 2015 at 09:28

Hi, Tovey

...are we to infer that any human understanding of one version or another of Scriptural pronouncements will occur as humanly ordained; or do we not instead, look for the LORD's understanding that we are to await His enactments of His will in each and every instance and be prepared to give an account to the furtherance of His Gospel and not those of every other man or woman, this reader included...

I don't exactly understand what you are asking here. Too many words for the old boy.

In our case of point, Hal Lindsay is not, by any Biblical labeling, a prophet. For all of the prognostications that might be laid at his feet, in this reader's experience, he had not claimed any Biblical proclamation to be his own. Identify any that he did and then it can be deliberated, Following that, his musings of Meshech and Tubal are not unique to him; there were such hypothecations going back to the eighteen hundreds, their failings being that Israel was not yet regathered.

Good point, Tovey. I know little of Mr. Lindsey himself; but I know that his words are widely received by Christians as coming from God. As far as I know, he has done little or nothing to quell this cultish adoration; and indeed, he has certainly profited from all the fame. The same goes, probably, for the majority of big-name Christian preachers and teachers. Concerning his erroneous musings re Meshech and Tubal: They may not be unique to him, but he seems to have been the main vehicle for their dissemination.

I will allow God to pass judgment on Hal and all the other religion-peddlers of the world. That's God's business, not mine. I only brought him up, because it upsets me to see so many believers being led astray by this sort of teaching. It's the teaching that I oppose, not the people.

To re-iterate, God has not pronounced any specific judgment against Russia -- absolutely none. Hal's and others' twisting of the Hebrew word "rosh" (a common word, meaning "head", "primary" or "chief" in Ezekiel and everywhere else) diverts people AWAY from the true meaning of the passages. "Russia" and "Rus" did not exist until the Ninth Century AD, some 1400 years after Ezekiel's time, so such an application would have been meaningless to Jews, Christians and even Muslims who happened to read the prophecy. Unlike Lindsey, Ezekel certainly WAS a prophet; and as such, his words were meant to give instruction to the hearers. Those hearers, throughout the ages, knew perfectly well that God was speaking about Anatolia (modern Turkey), the northernmost land known to the Jews of Ezekiel's time.

Josephus identified Magog with Scythia; but he lived centuries after Ezekiel. When Darius the Mede fought against the Scythians around 520 BC (after Ezekiel's death), they were not a significant world power. Lydia, on the other hand was a major power in Ezekiel's time; and its leader, Croesus, of the house of Gog, was thought of as the richest man in the world. There could have been little doubt among the hearer's of Ezekiel's prophecy, just whom he was talking about. What's more, his territory encroached upon the lands of Tubal and Meshech, as per the prophecy. By following this simple, straightforward understanding,

There was no need to the readers of this prophecy, to cobble together the Scythians with the Anatolians. We know what became of the House of Gog -- the King of the Medes conquered Croessus; and he, in turn, joined forces with the Medes to conquer Babylon -- beginning the Persian Empire. The Scythians were not involved to a significant degree at that time; and we also know that the Jews had not yet returned to Judea (It was the Persian king who allowed them to return, long AFTER the Persian conquest of Babylon). Ezekiel 38-39, therefore, were not prophecies about those times; and as long as people understood the identity of the nations involved (which they thoroughly did), they would understand this.

If the Jews were to think that "Gog, chief ruler of Tubal and Meshech" was to be identified with the Scythians, on the other hand, they would have waited in vain to see the fulfillment: The Scythians ultimately disappeared from history, having never attacked Israel as part of an alliance with Persia, Phut and Cush (modern Iran, Libya and Sudan, as per the prophecy). The most likely remnant of the Scythians today are the Ossetians of the Caucasus, and insignificant people.

Russia became a major European power only after around 1700, as you can see on this map. In Ezekiel's time, what is now the "Russians" were not even a person, much less a clan, tribe or nation: The Slavic people, who were the ancestors of the modern Russians, lived in barbaric anarchy in the area of the Pripet marshes. In fact, the first significant peoples to come out of that group were not Russians or even Ukrainians: They were the ancestors of the modern-day Slovenians, Czechs and Slovaks.

I dare say, Ezekiel was not prophesying concerning the Czechs and Slovaks. It is obvious to me, however, why some modern Bible interpreters, particularly English-speaking ones, would have seen the Russians as "Magog": Russia became a major rival of the British in the Ninetheenth Century; and in the Twentieth Century, it became a major rival of the English-speaking Americans. It is always expedient for false prophets, today as well as in the ancient times of Ahab, Zedekiah and others, to prophecy that God is on the side of the "good guys" and against their enemies. That is why Ahab threatened to kill the prophet Micha'ah, and why Jeremiah was left to die in a well.

This whole business of Ezekiel 38-39 being about "Moscow and Tobolsk" reeks of carnality, and I will assure you that this prophecy has nothing to do with our nemesis, the Russians. Neither does any other prophecy speak against them. The West, however, who are the modern-day descendants of the Roman Empire in language, law, religion and culture, are spoken against often. And just as there was no profit for Micha'ah to speak against Israel, or for Jeremiah to speak against Judah, there is no profit for modern-day pseudo-spiritual talking heads to speak against Christendom (Europe and America). That is carnality; it is not of God.


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