The CIA provides us with the following statistics on the distribution of the world’s religions: "Christians 32.88% (of which Roman Catholics comprise 17.39%, Protestants 5.62%, Orthodox 3.54%, Anglicans 1.31%), Muslims 19.54%, Hindus 13.34%, Buddhists 5.92%, Sikhs 0.38%, Jews 0.24%, other religions 12.6%, non-religious 12.63%, atheists 2.47% (2000 est.)." Christians tempted to exult in their "leading" position should be reminded of two sobering facts: First, Yahshua gave us a commission to preach the gospel to all the world; these statistics only demonstrate how miserably we have failed. Second, the world of "Christianity" is fragmented beyond recognition. Each of its three largest branches have serious reservations about the eternal destinies of the other two.
The second-place (and fastest growing) religion, Islam, is also split several ways. Its Sunni branch, though, comprises about 88% of the religion’s adherents--putting it in a dead heat with Roman Catholicism for the world’s number one splinter group. This fact makes it clear that if truth were a popularity contest, it would shift radically with the passage of time--yesterday paganism, today Catholicism, tomorrow Islam. But that’s not the way it works. Truth is truth, regardless of how many (or how few) people believe it.
Indeed, the people through whom Yahweh has chosen to reveal his plan, the Jews, have never been anywhere close to being a significant numerical component of the world’s population. Yet God has promised to bless those who bless her, and curse him who curses her--not because He’s impressed with Israel, but because He chose to demonstrate His own power and love through her relative insignificance. Throughout most of their history, the Jews have been surrounded by peoples who were bigger and stronger than she was, many of whom displayed open hostility toward her. The consequences of their actions are often recorded in scripture, so as we approach the last days we should not be surprised to find predictions about nations who will align themselves against her.
As we pick up our prophetic timeline, we find ourselves less than a year (SF3) into the "Tribulation." Here’s the scenario as my admittedly overactive imagination envisions it: The charismatic European leader has pushed his peace plan through the U.N. and has apparently succeeded where so many others had failed. All of the participants have come to the table and laid down, in the interests of peace, what they swore they never would: the Jews have retreated to their pre-1967-war borders, leaving the rest of their nation to the "Palestinians." Their nuclear arsenal has been placed in the hands of the occupying United Nations peacekeeping forces. Jerusalem has been made an "international city." The Muslims have swallowed hard and relinquished their exclusive control of the temple mount. And to a stunned and delighted world, the peace seems to be holding.
Jerusalem has become a boom-town. All faiths with over ten million adherents have been invited to build shrines or temples on or near the temple mount. The Jews, as sort of a consolation prize, have been given their pick of spots (the Dome of the Rock or Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and the Al Aqsa Mosque, of course, are off limits). They choose a site lined up with the Eastern Gate--placing the Holy of Holies right where the Dome of the Spirits had been. The Catholics and liberal Protestants decide to work together, and in a surprise move opt to enlarge and modernize the existing Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian quarter of the old city instead of building something new on the temple mount. (There aren’t enough fundamentalist Protestants left to make the cut.) Hindus and Buddhists announce their plans to build small shrines on the south end of the mount, between the Dome and the Mosque. The Sikhs pick a spot on the far northern end. The various traditional, animist, and spiritist groups can’t come to a consensus, so even though their numbers have qualified them, they opt out of the project. The Baha’i don’t have quite enough members to qualify, but plan to build something nearby anyway--until they get a look at the skyrocketing real estate prices in Jerusalem.
The whole project is put under the auspices of a panel of internationally respected architects and engineers, promising to make the temple mount one of the architectural wonders of the modern world. Though height limits are imposed (as much because of earthquakes as to assuage delicate Muslim sensibilities), the inevitable atmosphere of friendly competition soon makes it apparent that no expense will be spared--by anyone. The existing golden dome of the Muslim shrine (actually gold-anodized aluminum, rebuilt in 1920, refinished in 1965, and gilded in 1993) is seen as the opening ante. Nobody is willing to let the seventh-century Islamic icon upstage their new edifice. The building materials--priceless Italian marble, granite, steel, glass, bronze, silver, and gold leaf by the ton--begin to pour into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv warehouses. Not intending to be outdone, competitive Saudi princes donate millions to make improvements to the Dome.
The Jews were able to begin construction almost immediately, since their part of the project has been anticipated for years by temple enthusiast groups. And now, a year into the treaty, the magnificent new temple is almost ready to be dedicated. The priests (or "Cohanim") have been identified and trained. Provision has been made for the sanitary disposal of the blood that will be spilled during the ritual sacrifices. Persistent rumors circulate concerning a hidden underground chamber containing the original ark of the covenant--somewhere near the temple mount. Most Jews brush them off as wishful thinking. Still, can you imagine what it would mean if they found it? Our sins could be atoned just as Moses prescribed--properly--for the first time in 2,500 years! It would surely be a sign heralding the Messiah.
But the new temple turns out to be a two-edged sword for thoughtful Jews. All their lives they had ignored or dismissed as allegory huge chunks of their scriptures. Now, in order to better understand their own religion in the context of the newly reinstituted temple sacrifices, they begin to study. And they find some rather disturbing things, especially in their prophetic writings. The last ten chapters of the book of Ezekiel are particularly troubling. They contain a detailed description of what the temple and its environs will look like, and the circus they see going up on the temple mount doesn’t remotely resemble it. Then, moving back a few chapters, they find the ominous prophetic account of a devastating war.
Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel; he had been deported to Babylon in the wake of Jehoiachin’s rebellion in 597 B.C. and received his prophetic commission there some years later. The war he describes in chapters 38 and 39 of his book could not have been historical when he wrote about it, for it speaks of the Jews’ return to the land--and they had just been exiled for the first time. But one will search in vain throughout subsequent history for a war that remotely fits the description of the participants and the outcome of this war, especially since it is prophesied to open the eyes of the Jews to the truth about their God--permanently. The prophet writes, "So the house of Israel shall know that I am Yahweh their God from that day forward." (Ezekiel 39:22)
Only two conclusions can be drawn. Either Ezekiel was wrong, or the war is yet future. The really disturbing part of the story is the identity of the target, the intended victim: it is Israel, but she is described as dwelling "in safety" in a land of "unwalled villages" when she is attacked. That has never been the case--certainly not since the days of Solomon--until the new European leader arranged to have the world’s armies, under the U.N. banner, guarantee the integrity of Israel’s anorexic new borders.
The main protagonists in this coming war are described in the first few verses of the passage: "Now the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops--many people are with you.’" (Ezekiel 38:1-6) All of these nations will join forces to invade Israel, and Yahweh will use their ignominious defeat as the mechanism for bringing His chosen people to repentance and eventual acceptance of their Messiah.
There is quite a roster of players listed here, and there’s no shortage of controversy as to what these names mean in the world as we know it today. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya pop out from the list as place names we know. But who are the others? Ezekiel didn’t use the 21st century names of the nations involved, for obvious reasons. Instead, he referred to a document that was already ancient in his day, the Table of Nations, recorded in Genesis, chapter 10. We will find that most of these names represent people groups that date back to within a few generations of the great Flood. "The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan." (Genesis 10:2-8)
The key player seems to be "Gog, of the land of Magog." Gog is apparently a personal name or the title of their leader, so let’s concentrate on Magog for now. Genesis 10 lists Magog as the second son of Japheth, who, as you’ll recall, was one of the three sons of Noah; Japheth was the father of the Indo-European races. Of Magog, we know almost nothing directly. Josephus identifies him as the progenitor of the Scythians, and most modern commentators agree with him: "Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians."
Presuming Josephus was correct, who (and where) were the Scythians? They flourished between the 8th and 4th centuries B.C. Their language was an Indo-Iranian dialect, but they, being a warlike and nomadic folk, had no form of writing. Jerome indicated that the Scythians were "fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis (the smallish lake just north of the Black Sea), and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India." These nomadic warriors eventually covered a huge territory stretching across southern Eurasia from the Danube River to the borders of China. Some settled in an area north and northeast of the Black Sea, just north of the Caucasus Mountains. In fact, the word "Caucasus" means "Gog’s fort." Others ended up south of the Caspian Sea. So in modern terms, we’re talking about the Ukraine, southern Russia, Azerbaijan, the Georgian Republic, and northern Iran. Another theory (still in the same neighborhood) insists that the Scythians are the descendents of Gomer’s son Ashkenaz (which would make him Magog’s nephew). Thus the Magogites are of the Japhetic line, though they may or may not be identified specifically with the Scythians. Either way, their ancestry is a close family matter, and their territorial boundaries can be expected to overlap to a great extent.
Perhaps we can pin Magog down another way: Gog, its leader, is said (in this translation) to be the "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." If he’s the prince, it would be logical to assume he would be in close geographical proximity, so it should be helpful if we can figure out who these other nations were. Unfortunately, we can’t even get past the first name without running into controversy. When we say "Rosh," everyone in the modern world immediately thinks, "Russia!" But if you’re reading in the King James Version (and most others), it simply says "the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." What’s up? The Hebrew word, roshe, meaning head, chief, ruler, or principal, is translated "chief" or "head" 423 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. It is never translated "Russia." It seems therefore to be highly presumptive to suggest that "Rosh" is a proper name in this one case, just because we recognize the name and can readily imagine how a big strong bear of a nation could think they could get away with invading somebody as small as Israel.
The name "Russia" is derived from an 11th century Viking word, "Rus." Linguists tell us that although words morph over time and usage, it is generally the vowels that change, not the consonants. Thus rosh (RŠ) might change into rush, but probably not into ros or rus (RS). This fact alone makes it extremely unlikely that roshe means Russia. The text, therefore, almost certainly means, "the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal."
By the way, one reason for the relative stability of consonants when compared to vowels is that ancient languages that were written with phonetic alphabets (notably Hebrew) often didn’t originally include vowels at all--the pronunciation and meaning of a word--written as a string of consonants--were determined from the context. It was possible, therefore, to radically alter the meaning of a passage just by assigning, either accidentally or deliberately, incorrect vowel sounds to it--and there is strong evidence that the Masoretic scribes who transmitted our Hebrew scriptures to us (complete with vowel points added a couple of thousand years after the fact) did that very thing, purposely trying to obfuscate the Messianic impact of the Tanach. The consonants, however, are not nearly so susceptible to tampering. If you’d like an eye-opening look at how clear and stunningly beautiful Yahweh’s message can be with the correct vowels in the Hebrew text, I’d strongly suggest you check out Craig Winn’s book, Yada Yahweh (available free at www.YadaYahweh.com).
But I digress. We were back in Ezekiel, trying to identify the tribal territories of the listed players in the coming Magog war. Some commentators, taking the "Rosh-equals-Russia" myth and expanding upon it, have noticed the vague similarity between Meshech and Moscow and between Tubal and Tobolsk, jumping to the hasty conclusion that the capitals of Russia and Siberia are meant. But there’s nothing quite so sinister as that afoot here. Referring back to Genesis 10, we see that both Meshech and Tubal were brothers of Magog--sons of Japheth, and grandsons of Noah.
Meshech, depending upon who you listen to, settled either north, south, or east of the Black Sea (the truth is probably: all of the above). Most commentators equate Meshech with Phrygia, in modern west-central Turkey. Linguistically, equating Meshech with Moscow runs into the same kind of difficulty Rosh did: MŠK would have to be changed to MSK, or worse yet, to the Russian variant, Moskva (MSKV). However, MŠK fits Mushki, the name by which the early Greeks would have known Phrygia, quite well indeed. Others place them slightly to the east, in the Caucasus Mountains. Assyrian inscriptions from the time of Sargon refer to a people living in the Caucasus range as "Moschi." So take your pick, east or west (or both). Bottom line: if Gog is the "chief prince" of Meshech, he’s going to have to somehow exercise authority over west-central Turkey or points east.
And what about Tubal? There aren’t any linguistic problems in linking Tubal to Tobolsk, but that city is in the middle of Siberia, about 3000 miles away from anything else we’ve looked at so far. It’s like saying that Gog is mayor of both Seattle and Acapulco. It therefore behooves us to look for more likely candidates. As it turns out, TBL is a perfect fit for Tabal, in eastern Asia minor--modern Georgia--just east of the Black Sea. Nor is it too much of a stretch to imagine that the name of the Georgian city of Tbilisi got its name from our old friend Tubal.
So what we have so far might be rendered, "Set your face against Gog, from the people ‘near the Caspian Sea and spread out even onward to India,’ the chief prince of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Georgian Republic, and Northern Iran...." Gog could be either the leader of these lands or a leader who comes from this area--centering on the Caucasus region, between the Black and Caspian Seas. Bear in mind that a leader needn’t be born in the nation he leads: Napoleon was born in Corsica; Hitler was born in Austria; Osama bin Laden made Afghanistan his base of operations, though he was a Saudi national; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Iraq’s al-Qaeda terrorists, actually hailed from Jordan. And the "land of Magog?" If I had to render a guess as to the identity of Magog as a modern political entity from clues in the Bible, Josephus, and the morning paper, it would quickly boil down to a very short list: only one nation today fits all the criteria. Who? I’ll tell you in a minute.
But first, let’s look at the list of Magog’s other allies, beginning with Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. At last--somebody familiar. Well, maybe. You see, we need to take into consideration the time in which the prophet wrote, and we would be advised to take modern place names with a big grain of salt as well.
Let’s start with Persia. Every schoolchild knows that Persia is Iran (or at least they used to when I was a kid). But Ezekiel, who died about 560 B.C., lived in a very different world. Persia proper was in what is now the southern portion of Iran, primarily the area east of the Persian Gulf. By the end of Ezekiel’s life, however, Persia’s borders extended well beyond those of modern Iran. In the terms of his day, Persia (with her close ally, Media, whose lands she eventually absorbed) encompassed Urartu, Elam (Susiana), Parthia, Bactria, and Gandhara. In modern terminology, that equates roughly to Iran, northern Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and eastern Turkey. And within a few short decades, the list would include Pakistan in the East, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and a big chunk of southern Kazakhstan in the North, and Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the rest of Turkey, the rest of Iraq, Egypt, and Israel in the West. In case you missed it, that’s pretty much the whole map of the Middle East today. Note that with the exception of that little Massachusetts-sized sliver of ground hugging the Mediterranean’s eastern coastline, almost all of it is Muslim-controlled. What’s hard to say is how much of these lands were meant to be included in Ezekiel’s simple description, "Persia." Of particular interest on another level is how many of the modern nations on the list have nuclear arsenals--in other words, is Pakistan in or out, and will Iran have them by the time this all unfolds? In Ezekiel’s lifetime, Pakistan was not yet a part of the empire. I’m afraid there’s only one way to find out for sure: miss the rapture.
Ethiopia seems simple enough, but it’s not. The Genesis 10 name is Cush, who was the eldest son of Ham (i.e., brother of Japheth and Shem, and son of Noah). From the point of view of the Table of Nations, Cush is the father of those who settled in eastern Africa, south of Egypt. Today, that would include the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. (Egypt, by the way, was originally named Mizraim, after one of Cush’s brothers. Egypt/Mizraim is not specifically named in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy, but stay tuned.)
The word translated "Libya" was another son of Ham, a man named Put (or Phut). His descendents have spread from the border of Egypt/Mizraim all the way across Northern Africa: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
The next nation on the list of Magog’s allies is Gomer. For some reason, many (still fixated on the non-existent Russian connection) have tried valiantly to identify Gomer with Germany, perhaps seeing a linguistic link between Gomer’s consonants GMR and Deutschland’s derived initials GRM. It won’t work: the R and M are out of order; the similarity is superficial at best. But again, we find a perfect match right where we’ve come to expect it. GMR was well known to the ancients as Cimmeria (the gutturals often shift from G to C). And where is Cimmeria? Its other name is Cappadocia, located in--you guessed it--Asia Minor, as in Eastern Turkey.
There’s only one ally left on the list. Togarmah was the third son of Gomer. As early as the 14th century B.C. its territory was described as lying "between Carchemish and Harran," on a main trade route through southwest Armenia. It was called Til-garimanu by the Assyrians, and bordered Tabal (Tubal) on the south. In other words, Togarmah was located in modern Armenia, Azerbaijan and northern Iran, an area that’s beginning to look real suspicious.
Once again, careful exegesis and a little research have put me in hot water. Among premillennial expositors, the vast majority of them insist that Magog is Russia, Gog is some kind of crazed Commie throwback, Meshech is Moscow, and Tubal is Tobolsk. I’m sorry. I just can’t buy it.
It’s not just the ethnological and geographical evidence above, although that’s compelling enough. It’s that there’s no motive for Russia to attack Israel. Nothing rational, anyway. Israel has no natural resources to speak of--no strategic mineral deposits (although the Dead Sea--which it shares with Jordan--has some pretty interesting stuff in it), no vast reserves of oil--at least none that anyone has found yet. The intriguing possibilities latent in verses like, "Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains" (Genesis 14:10) have not been explored by the geologists. And even if they did find significant quantities of oil under the sands of the Negev, that in itself is still not a significant incentive for the Russians to invade--they themselves have the seventh largest oil reserves of any nation on earth. As of now, whatever prosperity Israel enjoys is the direct result of the industry of its people and the blessing of Yahweh. Destroy its people and you destroy its wealth. Nations like Russia (i.e., sane and self-interested) do not unilaterally attack foreign powers--especially those with nuclear capability--without extremely good reasons.
I’ll admit, as long as Russia was merely the largest province in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the whole Ezekiel 38 scenario made very little sense. But now that the "republics" are independent once again, the pieces are starting to come together. We’re looking for a motive here. Who wants Israel dead, no matter the cost, no matter the consequences? Sure, people have persecuted the Jews for millennia, but never against their own perceived self interests. But today there exists one nation whose hatred for the Jews regularly boils over into suicidal rage, a nation whose sole point of unity and purpose is their often-stated goal of ridding themselves--and the world--of the Jews. Forever.
Who is this nation? You won’t find their name on any map, but they boast a population of over 1.3 billion people. They possess some of the world’s greatest mineral resources, and yet their people are among the world’s poorest. They have been around for fourteen hundred years, but they’ve never learned how to transfer power from one generation to the next. They are deeply religious, and yet their scriptures declare that salvation from their sins is impossible, that good works do no good, that God is not interested in their welfare, and that the very best thing they can do in this life is to get themselves killed fighting against anyone who does not agree with their founder. This nation calls itself dar al-Islam, the house of Islam. It is comprised of every Muslim-controlled state in the world. And our analysis of Ezekiel’s prophecy has just taken a look at most of them.
As evil as they were, the old Soviet Union kept a lid on the insanity of the Muslim component in their southern territory for seventy years during the 20th century. But now the lid is off and the pot is on full boil. Suddenly, Ezekiel 38 and 39 make perfect sense. The motive for Gog’s attack is religious hatred, pure and simple. Muhammad told his followers to "wipe the infidels out to the last," and to "kill every Jew who falls under your control." The people of Magog and their allies are following the Prophet’s orders. The only surprise is that we are surprised about this.
So who is Magog, exactly? Well, let’s see. Who has borders compatible with the Scythians’, with a capital city within twenty miles of the Caspian Sea? Who is wealthy enough to single-handedly equip a modern multi-national army, is influential enough to lead like-minded countries into battle, and has proven its willingness to defy international law? Whose land is floating on an ocean of oil, yet is spending vast sums of money building nuclear power plants to produce their electricity--power plants whose byproducts have no purpose except for the manufacture of atomic weapons? Who is the only Middle Eastern nation (at the moment) ruled not by a secular government of some sort but by fundamentalist clerics of Islam, the fastest growing, most aggressive religion in the world? Who carries the spiritual torch of this militant doctrine whose founder commanded his followers to kill every Jew they could? What nation’s leadership blatantly and publicly anticipates the coming of a leader whose description fits the Biblical Gog to a tee? The answer’s pretty obvious, at least to me: Magog is Iran.
Consider this passage from Isaiah. It’s one of the few in which the noble prophet seems genuinely terrified at what he’s seen. "The burden against the Wilderness of the Sea. [That this is the Caspian Sea will become clear in a moment.] As whirlwinds in the South pass through, so it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. A distressing vision is declared to me. The treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, O Elam! Besiege, O Media! All its sighing I have made to cease. Therefore my loins are filled with pain; Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor. I was distressed when I heard it; I was dismayed when I saw it. My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me; the night for which I longed He turned into fear for me. Prepare the table, set a watchman in the tower, eat and drink. Arise, you princes, anoint the shield!" (Isaiah 21:1-5) Because this is the passage where Isaiah later relates that the watchman reports, "Babylon has fallen, has fallen..." everyone naturally assumes it’s all about Babylon. But it’s not--not about historical Babylon, anyway. At its height, Babylon controlled most of Elam (Susiana), but it never controlled Media. Where are these nations? Elam and its northern neighbor Media straddled the territory between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea: the prophet has defined modern-day Iran. (Persia, by the way, was Elam’s neighbor to the east and south.) Israel is admonished to get up and oil its shield, that is, prepare its defenses. Of course, she’s just put her defense into the hands of the Antichrist’s U.N. peacekeepers when this happens; the timing couldn’t be worse. On the other hand, it’s this very surrender of Israel’s military sovereignty that’s driving the timing: it’s the heart of Gog’s battle strategy. As we shall see, Israel will rise to the challenge anyway.
And what was that about Babylon? When John heard the angel use exactly the same phrase, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen," (Revelation 14:8) it was no coincidence. The angel was referring to the same event Isaiah had--the final downfall of the world’s system of false worship. The event that triggers "Babylon’s" impending demise is the invasion of Israel by "Elam" and "Media," a.k.a. Magog, a.k.a. Iran.
At the time of this writing, Iran is the only nation within dar al-Islam whose leaders consider the Muslim scriptures their primary law. (The wisdom-impaired American politicians, however, are doing everything possible to turn Iraq, Iran’s western neighbor, into an Islamic fundamentalist state--don’t get me started.) The "inspired" Islamic scriptures consist principally of four ancient works: the Qur’an (supposedly the very word of Allah), the Hadith (or "Sayings of the Prophet") recorded by al-Bukhari (supported by the Hadith of Imam Muslim, though it runs a distant second in credibility), and the biographies, or Sunnah (i.e., "example") of the Prophet Muhammad. The earliest of these was written by Ibn Ishaq (of which only the version edited many years later by Ibn Hisham survives). A later biography by al-Tabari borrows heavily from Ibn Ishaq. (It’s particularly valuable--and damning--because it retains much of what Ibn Hisham edited out.) The Hadith and Sunnah are essential to Islam because the Qur’an is incomprehensible without the background, commentary, and timeline they provide. In fact, Islamic law has no basis in the Qur’an without the support it derives from Muhammad’s recorded words and deeds.
Now take a closer look at the opening verse of the account of this future war. "The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog’... and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, O Gog.’" (Ezekiel 38:1) God tells the prophet that he is "against" the leader, "Gog," not merely his nation. Political leaders good and bad, from Nimrod to Caesar, are mentioned in their historical context throughout the Bible, but the only ones taken to task are the ones who purposely attempt to lead people away from God’s truth: for example, Balak, Jeroboam, Ahab, etc. We are admonished to obey the other leaders, even the less-than-perfect ones, observing the laws of the land and paying our taxes to them. That means that Gog is more than just another dictator out to line his own pockets, like Saddam Hussein was. He is deliberately keeping his people in spiritual bondage, enforcing with the machine of government his own religious views and convictions. Could there be a better description of the man who bears the title of Ayatollah, Imam, or Mullah?
And what about Russia? Am I saying Russia won’t be a part of this? Actually, I’m not. I believe--for reasons I’ll explain in another chapter--that they will be dragged into the fray, as will America. But they won’t be the instigators. They aren’t "Magog," and Russia’s leader, Communist or not, is not Gog. The Russians will merely be protecting their own interests. After all, the Muslim nations are their biggest trading partners, their primary source of hard currency. But Russia isn’t going to unilaterally attack Israel any more than the tail of an undisciplined dog will chase a car down the street. They may come along for the ride, but the driving force in this insane war of Gog and Magog--World War III--will be Islam.
You’ve probably noticed my annoying tendency to take pot-shots at Islam every few pages. Please forgive me; I can’t help myself. You see, on September 11, 2001, as the rest of the country watched in horror as the hijacked airliners plunged into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Craig Winn and I were finishing up the production details on our first book. As the first reports of al-Qaeda’s role came trickling in, Craig told me sadly, "I know exactly what’s going to happen here. Our reaction is going be all wrong. We’ll send troops into harms way, fire off a bunch of cruise missiles and blow up some mud huts. But going after al-Qaeda will be attacking symptoms, not causes. I’ll bet the real problem has something to do with Islam--these terrorists have somehow twisted their religion and made it violent."
Craig was right that day, and wrong. Yes, America pursued only the symptom, Al-Qaeda. We went hunting for Osama bin Laden, blindly refusing to consider any deeper cause (even though Osama himself told us plainly what his motivation was). When we discovered that the Taliban in Afghanistan had harbored this terrorist club while dragging the country back to the seventh century, we set out on a crusade to right a wrong--one that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. But when Craig went looking for the root causes of Muslim violence, he discovered that the problem wasn’t in Islam--the problem was Islam. The terrorists hadn’t twisted Islam to their own purposes; they were merely doing what their holy books commanded them to do. (Why don’t more Christians do that?) As Winn began to analyze the Muslim scriptures, he realized that the life and words of Muhammad were a recipe for terror--that the closer you modeled your life on Muhammad, the more you’d look like Osama bin Laden.
The research resulted in our second book together, this time a novel (easier to assimilate than non-fiction), entitled Tea With Terrorists (CricketSong Books, 2002). Real Islam is totally unlike the picture our politicians and media have been painting for the last forty years. But incredibly, because Muslims don’t study their own scriptures (they’re actually instructed not to), the majority of them don’t understand it either. They just do and think what their imams tell them--after all, Islam means "submit." Winn and I discovered that the gap between truth and perception was truly cavernous, especially here in America. Once again, we had as a nation proven ourselves willingly ignorant of something that could kill us.
Because it’s been said so often, most Americans believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is not, at least, not as any non-Muslim would describe peace. The Islamic scriptures define "peace" as the state of affairs that will exist only when the entire world submits to Allah and His Messenger and pays their taxes to them. In reality, Islam is peaceful only insofar as its practitioners ignore or deny the teachings and example of its founder, Muhammad, but even then the definition is deceptive, for those Muslims who refuse to "fight in Allah’s cause with full force and weaponry" are labeled by their own scriptures as "hypocrites," for whom are reserved the hell fire--they’re not Muslims. In fact, from its beginning, Islam has been far less a religion than a political doctrine designed to enrich and satiate the carnal cravings of its founder and his followers. The "religious" part, the five pillars of Islam, aren’t even specified in the Qur’an (the collection of "revelations" supposedly handed down from Allah). The "pillars" have to be gleaned from the Hadith. Muhammad invented (or more correctly, adopted from earlier local pagan custom) these rites and rituals for one purpose only: to keep his followers in a posture and mindset of blind, unthinking obedience. The very word Islam means submission.
And who is Allah? Many Christians, duped by a gullible press (who have in turned been duped by Muslim propagandists), have imagined that Allah is the Arabic word for God, which makes him the same as Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian deity. Our pundits and politicians--right up to the President of the United States--insist that we all worship the same God. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the Qur’an says, "There is no god but God," it uses two different words. It says: "There is no ilah but Allah." As much as they’d like you to believe that "Allah" simply means "god," it doesn’t. It is, rather, the name of Islam’s deity. Actually, the name Allah is linguistically linked to Halal, the name translated "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12. Allah, to put it bluntly, is Satan.
According to Muslim scriptures, Allah cares nothing for the welfare of people. While there are a hell and a paradise in Islamic theology to which men will go after death, there is no way to choose between them or even influence one’s eternal destiny. Yes, a paradise populated with big-eyed sex-starved virgins and rivers flowing with wine is offered to jihad fighters as a perverse bribe (sick, considering such things are strictly forbidden in this life). But Islamic teachings as a whole are quite clear: everyone is predestined to one fate or the other--the vast majority to hell, by the way. Good works avail nothing, and Christian-style grace is a concept foreign to Islam. According to Muhammad’s words recorded in the Hadith of al-Bukhari, the total capacity of paradise is 70,000 souls. Since there have been perhaps three billion Muslims on earth throughout history, the odds are about 43,000 to one that you won’t make it--and that’s if you’re a Muslim!
Where will Allah be throughout eternity? In paradise with the chosen few? No. In heaven? (It’s a separate place in Muslim theology.) No. He’ll be in hell, tormenting the infidels whom he decided--long before they were even born--to send there. Muhammad assures us that Allah likes to turn the spit upon which Jews, Christians, and other "infidels" are to be roasted alive. That’s but one of many fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam: in Islam, hell is being in the presence of "God," but in Christianity, hell is being separated from Him. That should tell you something about who Muslims are really worshiping.
Why can’t Muslims see the folly of their religion? You don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to discover that there’s no hope there. Why don’t they leave, quit, rebel? It’s not that simple, I’m afraid. Islam is structured to systematically persecute any who leave the fold--they are ostracized by family, shut out of society, sometimes killed. Moreover, Muslims are discouraged--in their own scriptures--from looking too closely at the nature of Islam. Those who do, it is said, are apt to "lose their faith." Rather, they are told merely to obey, to submit, to do what they’re told. Memorize; don’t analyze. Thinking is bad; blind obedience is good.
When Muhammad received his first (and only) "revelation," a being whom he was convinced was a demon demanded that he read. But Muhammad, who was illiterate, could not comply. So the spirit molested him until he couldn’t breathe, then told him to read again. This is all hauntingly reminiscent of what Isaiah had written thirteen hundred years previously: "The whole vision has become to you [the enemies of Israel] like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I am not literate....’"
Neither the "literate" enemies of Israel, like the Babylonians and the Romans, nor their "illiterate" adversaries, the Muslims, would have a clue that by oppressing the Jews they were inviting the wrath of God. "Therefore Yahweh said: ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden." (Isaiah 29:11-14) This is a pungent warning to all man-made religious constructs. Although written to and about apostate Israel, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting description of Islam than this.
But Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all monotheistic religions, you protest. Surely there must be points upon which you can agree. Who ever said Islam was monotheistic? Oh yeah, they did. Sorry; it’s just not true. Muhammad started off in Mecca, supposedly receiving his "revelations" from a god he simply called "Lord," even though there were over three hundred local gods and goddesses from which to choose in the local shrine known as the Ka’aba. Allah was there, and three of his "daughters," al-Lat, Manat, and al-Uzza, were close by, but the prophet didn’t call upon any of them. As time went on, Muhammad began invoking a god named Ar-Rahman instead of the generic "Lord." Ar-Rahman (whose name means "the Merciful") was a bloodthirsty pagan deity worshipped not in Mecca, but far to the south in Yemen. It wasn’t until Muhammad was run out of town as a public nuisance, finding shelter among the gullible Arabs in Yathrib (Medina), that he began calling upon the name of Allah.
Why? It’s simple. As backward as the Meccans were, they knew that the Christian and Jewish God had prophets who performed miracles in His name. If Muhammad invoked a local god (like Allah) he would be hard pressed to explain why he couldn’t do any signs or wonders. If he were a great prophet as he claimed, he would be expected to be the vehicle for God’s power, like Moses, Elijah or Yahshua had been. At the very least, the black rock that represented Allah in the Ka’aba would have been expected to give a sign authenticating his prophet--roll over, or change colors, or something. But that wasn’t going to happen, and Muhammad knew it. No, the deity du jour would have to be somebody from out of town, somebody who couldn’t be put to the test. In Mecca, of course, they saw right through Muhammad’s ploy. They knew him.
In Yathrib, the city to which Muhammad ignominiously fled in 622, three of its five tribes were Jewish. There, true to form, Muhammad picked up just enough information to be dangerous from the Jews’ recitations from the Talmud and other sources, apocryphal and otherwise. Reshaping these quasi-Biblical stories into Muslim propaganda, Muhammad once again found himself the target of ridicule--it was like Mecca all over again. In his versions, "prophets" like Lot and Moses were sent to the men of Sodom and to Pharaoh, and judgment was visited upon anyone who rejected them--in other words, everybody. The moral of the story was always the same: obey the prophet or suffer disastrous consequences. When Muhammad’s Messianic aspirations became apparent, the derision meter redlined. Muhammad was losing his taste for Jews.
You see, Muhammad apparently got wind of Moses’ prophecy concerning a coming prophet, the Messiah, and tried to convince the Jews of Yathrib that he was the fulfillment of that promise: "I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him." Of course, Muhammad conveniently ignored the rest of the prophecy: "But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?’--when a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which Yahweh has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)
For their part, the Yathrib Jews may have been thinking about another Mosaic passage: "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’--which you have not known--‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Yahweh your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which Yahweh your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst." (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) This upped the ante. Even if Muhammad had been able to perform miracles or produce signs of his authenticity (which he could not) the very fact that he advocated the worship of another god, Allah, was enough to disqualify him. Actually, it was worse than that: the Jews were under instructions--from both passages--to kill him. They did not, however, and Muhammad went on to exile, enslave, or murder every one of them.
The Muslim emigrants from Mecca were living off the charity of the Arabs of Yathrib. Rather than assimilate into society and go to work for a living, they decided that it would be easier to rob caravans--a practice that was unheard of in that place and time. After nine unsuccessful attempts, they finally succeeded. Muhammad had morphed from prophet to profiteer. After a few subsequent skirmishes were disappointing in the booty department, the next logical step was to attack the Jewish tribes in Yathrib/Medina. The Muslims wanted some booty in the worst way, and the Jews were easy targets, relatively wealthy, and had proved their impertinence by scoffing at Muhammad’s Messianic claims. The Beni Qainuqa were the first tribe to go--exiled from their own city, forced to leave everything behind but their lives. Then the Beni al Nadheer were surrounded, starved out, and sent packing. The third Jewish tribe didn’t fare so well. The Beni Quraidha were captured, but rather than being merely robbed and forced out into the desert, the men were blindfolded, brought out in small groups to a large trench the Muslims had dug, and beheaded. Their wives and children were sold into slavery. Hitler had nothing on Muhammad except greater population density and German technology.
This is nowhere near the whole story, you understand. But it helps to explain things like Palestinian suicide bombers and the events of September 11. True followers of Muhammad (a phrase that describes a growing minority of Muslims) are in it for what they can get out of it--either booty in this world or paradise in the next. The prophet Joel was apparently given a glimpse of the Muslim mindset: "On account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy as payment for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head." (Joel 3:2-4) Paradise is promised to young Muslims willing to blow themselves up in public places, taking as many Jews as possible with them. But what is paradise? It is described in the Hadith as a place of unending sex with perpetual virgins, a land of low-hanging fruit and free-flowing wine. "They have...given a boy as payment for a harlot" is a pretty good description of a Palestinian suicide bomber. The very things Muhammad forbade in this life were promised in the next. All you had to do to attain these goals, he said, was to die fighting people Muhammad hated: Jews and Christians. Incredibly, many bought into his scheme. Allah’s goals and Satan’s goals are identical.
If you’d like to get a better handle on the connection between Islam and terrorism, read our novel Tea With Terrorists, or better yet, if you’ve got the fortitude for it, read Craig Winn’s subsequent non-fiction masterwork on Islam called Prophet of Doom (CricketSong Books, 2003; free online at www.ProphetOfDoom.net), a comprehensive and scathing indictment of Islam using only their own scriptures as evidence.
In Tea With Terrorists, we sort of implied that Islam couldn’t be Satanic because it was soooo stupid. But alas, my friend’s research for Prophet of Doom has proved otherwise. A few isolated examples:
Ibn Ishaq, the Propheteer’s earliest biographer, reported the following comments concerning Muhammad’s faux pas of adding three pagan goddesses to the Islamic "monotheistic" pantheon (an incident revealed in the Qur’an as the "Satanic Verses"). "The Messenger was grieved and feared Allah greatly. So Allah sent a revelation to him, consoling him and making light of the affair. He informed him that there had never been a prophet or messenger before who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had interjected them on Muhammad’s tongue and into his desires." So The Islamic scriptures freely admit that Muhammad couldn’t tell if his revelations were coming from Allah or Satan. Worse, Allah didn’t seem to mind. "Then Allah annulled what Satan had cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers. Muhammad’s lord revealed: ‘Every messenger or prophet before you recited the Message Satan cast into his recitation. Allah abrogates what Satan casts.’ Then Allah established his verses. God is knower, wise." This is backed up in the Qur’an, in surah 22:52. Allah is saying, in effect, "Don’t sweat it, Muhammad. All the prophets before you were Satan’s stooges too." Maybe they are in Islam. Judeo-Christianity has a slightly higher standard.
According to the Qur’an (59:16), Satan worships Allah. "When (man) denies, Satan says, ‘I have nothing to do with you. I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!’" Elsewhere, we are told that the jinn (demons) find the Qur’an a fascinating and wonderful book. What’s the old proverb about being known by the company you keep?
In the Hadith of Muslim, we find: "Allah’s Messenger said [to his child-wife Aisha]: ‘It is your devil who has come to you.’ I [Aisha] said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, is there a devil with me?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Is there a devil attached to everyone?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, is there a devil attached to you also?’ He said: ‘Yes.’" When Muhammad had his first terrifying "revelation" in a cave outside Mecca, he had come to the conclusion that he had been possessed by a demon. Here, over twenty years later, he has apparently grown quite comfortable with his resident devil.
A thousand little details point toward the conclusion that Islam is Satanic, but none quite so obviously as Muhammad’s irrational hatred of the Jews. From the very beginning, Lucifer has done everything he could to thwart Yahweh’s plan of redemption, and for most of our history, that plan has played out through the Jews. The curtain is about to go up on the final act in the play--the Jews’ own reconciliation with Yahweh. Satan will stop it if he can. It’s his last chance.
In case you still think I’m off my rocker for identifying Gog and Magog with the Muslim hordes (instead of Russia), maybe you’ll take Satan’s, I mean Allah’s, word for it. The Qur’an is supposed to be the very words of god--i.e., Allah (or was it ar-Rahman?). In point of fact, it’s clearly just a series of situational justifications for Muhammad’s short-term agenda, interspersed with plagiarized and twisted Jewish stories--also told to advance Muhammad’s plan. The Yathrib Jews apparently told Muhammad about Ezekiel 38. He thought the invasion-of-the-Jews part sounded swell, so he built it into his version of "god’s word." Little did he realize that he was chronicling the eventual downfall of the very doctrine he was in the process of inventing. Qur’an 21:95-97: "But there is a ban on any population which We have destroyed: [which means that once the Muslims control a place, they think it’s theirs forever] that they shall not return until Gog and Magog are let loose and they swoop down, swarming from every hill, letting loose and breaking forth from every elevated place. Then will the true promise of Doom draw nigh. Behold, the disbelieving Infidels will be terrorized, staring in horror. ‘Woe to us! Alas! We made a state heedless of this. We did wrong!’" In a way, of course, Allah/Muhammad was perfectly correct. As long as you understand that the "disbelieving infidels" are really the Muslims, it all makes sense. I’ll bet the devil’s chuckling over that one.
But wait: it gets better. Muslims are actually taught to expect a powerful Islamic-style Messianic figure to arise. He is known as the Mahdi (which means "the obliterator") and he fits the Biblical description of Gog to a tee. We read in the Muqqadima, from the fourteenth century Islamic historian Ibn Khaldun: "It has been accepted by all the Muslims in every epoch that at the end of time a man from the family of the Prophet will, without fail, make his appearance, one who will strengthen Islam and make justice triumph. Muslims will follow him, and he will gain domination over the Muslim realm. He will be called the Mahdi...." Lest you conclude that this belief is an ancient and all-but-forgotten bit of Muslim trivia, let me quote from the October 11, 1976 fatwa issued by the General Secretariat of the World Muslim League. After confirming the reliability of the scriptural tradition from which the doctrine of the Mahdi is derived, he said, "The belief in the appearance of the Mahdi is obligatory.... None denies it except those who are ignorant of the Sunnah and innovators in doctrine [in other words, heretics]."
Ibn Khaldun continues: There will come forth a man from my nation who will talk according to my Sunnah. God will send upon him rain from heaven, and the earth will sprout forth for him its blessing. The earth will be filled through him with equity and justice, as it has been filled with injustice and crime. He will direct the affairs of this nation for seven years, and he will settle in Jerusalem." Seven years, is it? The "covenant with many" described by Daniel, is supposed to last precisely that long. It’s essential that Gog backs the treaty, for without his blessing, it hasn’t got a prayer. But it will not be lost on him that this very backing will qualify him as the highly esteemed Imam Mahdi in the eyes of a billion Muslims--it’s a politically astute move calculated to instantly elevate him from a local Ayatollah to the promised "Guided One," a.k.a. the "twelfth Imam," revered throughout the Muslim world. Jumpin’ jihad! But the Sunnah also states that he will "settle in Jerusalem." That expectation will inevitably precipitate the Battle of Magog--the post-treaty invasion of Israel. Gog is quite aware that if he doesn’t "settle in Jerusalem," he’ll eventually be rejected as the Mahdi. His destiny, and the fate of his vast army, is thus sealed. Just as Muhammad tried to sell himself as the Jews’ Messiah by equating himself with the coming "Prophet" Moses had promised (Deuteronomy 18:15-19), Gog will do whatever it takes to reverse engineer a passable fulfillment of the Mahdi prophecy, casting himself in the title role. The rest of the world, as usual, will be clueless.
The legend says the Mahdi will be tall and fair, a direct descendant of Muhammad, one whose father and mother share the "Prophet’s" names (Abdullah and Amina). He will appear in Mecca, and in the month of Ramadan prior to his ascension (at the age of forty), eclipses of the both the sun and moon will occur. For what it’s worth, just such a phenomenon took place, visible in Arabia, during Ramadan, 2005. Is the Mahdi, then, the Muslim Messiah? Sort of. Actually, they say they’re also expecting the return of the Muslim prophet Jesus, if you can believe that. Sayyid Rizvi relates that "Jesus will descend to the earth soon after the appearance of the Mahdi; he will join the Mahdi in establishing the Kingdom of God [i.e., Allah] on earth; and he will pray behind Imam al-Mahdi. The true Christians will follow Jesus in accepting Imam Mahdi as the leader at the time and become Muslims."
Jesus? Not likely. As usual in Islam, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. The "Jesus" being referred to here is not the same as the risen Yahshua of Nazareth that Christians worship. You probably figured that out on your own. He is the one referred to quite often in Muslim scriptures as "Isa, son of Maryam." Though invariably translated "Jesus" in an attempt to fool the gullible, Isa actually means "Esau," as in the godless twin brother of Jacob--the one whom Yahweh said He "hated" (cf. Romans 9:13, Malachi 1:2). So who, really, is this one who will "pray behind [in support of] Imam Mahdi"? His profile fits the Antichrist like a glove. It’s pretty obvious that our esteemed European diplomat will have to suck up to--excuse me, conciliate, mollify, and appease--the Muslim leadership in order to get his Middle East peace plan accepted. According to Muslim lore, that will apparently include assuming the "brown nose" position in ritual Islamic prayer. How ecumenical of him. I’m sure it will be gratifying to the Antichrist to know that he has at least some of the world fooled this early in the game: the Muslims think he’s Jesus! Good grief.
Actually, there are three prominent players in Islamic folklore who correspond to three major Last Days characters described in the Bible--though the Muslim versions are inside-out and backwards. As we have seen, the messiah-like Mahdi is actually Gog. And the one the Muslims will recognize as "Jesus" is really the Antichrist. Confused yet? So are they. The obvious question is, do they foresee an "Antichrist" figure?
You bet your burqa they do. Islam teaches its followers to expect someone called Dajjal. According to the hadith of Muslim, he is the epitome of evil, a Jew (naturally) who has been the cause of much distress to his parents. His most ardent followers will be the Yahudis (Jews) of Isfahaan [Israel], though people of many nations will unite under his banner--against Islam. His emergence "will become known when he is in Isfahaan at a place called Yahudea [Judea]." Dajjal will lay claim to prophethood, and then to divinity. He will have the power to perform unusual feats, such as sending rain, and blessing those who follow him with bountiful crops and fat cattle, while causing drought, hardship, and starvation to those who disbelieve in him--all things, ironically, that Allah himself has historically been unable to achieve. Actually, this Dajjal is a passable match for the real Messiah, Yahshua, though we’ll have to wait a bit to see precisely how and when. The Islamic scriptures assure Muslims, of course, that Dajjal will not prevail, that they will overcome him in the end under the leadership of the Mahdi, and that he will be slain in the end by Isa, son of Maryam, at Lydda, a.k.a. Lod, in Israel, near Tel Aviv. (In a fascinating twist, Lydda is famous for being home base for Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, who was single-handedly responsible for the final separation of Christianity from Judaism, about 133 A.D., by backing Bar Kochba as the promised Messiah.) The battle lines, then, are drawn: Yahweh’s prophets versus Allah’s.
As bewildering as this is already, it’s worth noting that the (real) Antichrist won’t likely remain such an exalted figure among Muslims for very long. His satanic agenda--to rob Yahweh of the affections of His chosen people, the Jews--will force him to defend them against the hordes of Magog in hopes of bolstering his own messianic credentials. It’s quite possible that they’ll eventually conclude that he’s Dajjal, or at least in league with him. We’ll soon meet a character known as the "False Prophet" who’s more or less joined at the hip with the Antichrist, performing signs and wonders on his behalf. And being a Jew, he will be a lightning rod for Muslim expectations concerning the despised Dajjal. History will prove him to be a poor fit (neither the Christ nor the Antichrist will kill him at Lydda while the Muslims inherit the earth, as they predict), but that won’t stop the armies of Magog from focusing on him in a desperate attempt to vindicate their woefully errant eschatology. In truth, the fine points of Islamic theology have never been a very substantial guide for predicting Muslim behavior anyway, since they’re specifically told not to ponder their own scriptures. So this shift shouldn’t be completely unexpected. The Qur’an and Sunnah are confusing, contradictory, and open to a wide variety of interpretations--just what you’d expect from the father of lies.
By the way, in case you were wondering, as I was, how Gog, a self-aggrandizing Muslim cleric operating in Iran (thus presumably Shiite), could possibly hope to unify a normally moderate and dominantly Sunni Turkey and the former Soviet Islamic "republics" in holy war, the answer once again lies in Muslim expectations. Bear in mind that differences between Sunnis and Shiites are primarily political, not religious. Listen to what Abdul Rahman al-Wahabi predicts in The Day of Wrath. "The final battle will be waged by Muslim faithful coming on the backs of horses from the stans, carrying black banners. They will stand on the east side of the Jordan River and will wage war that the earth has never seen before. The true Messiah, who is the Islamic Mehdi [or Mahdi], who will kill the pig [Jews] and will break the cross [Christians] and will defeat Europe...will lead this army of Seljuks." The Seljuks were pre-Ottoman Turks, ranging throughout northern Iran, Iraq, Syria, the southern Caucasus region, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. These areas are a pretty fair match for Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah, specified by Ezekiel as allies of Magog. And please note whom the Mahdi will be rallying his forces against: Jews (duh), Christians (read: westerners--Middle Eastern Muslims don’t know the difference) and Europe--home base of the Antichrist, who has built his own reputation negotiating peace in Israel. Islamic expectations will lead them to their destiny like moths to a flame.
Neither Muhammad nor later Islamic scholars realized, of course, that Gog and Magog would be Islamic armies. Actually, Muhammad thought they were extraterrestrial creatures that lived near the muddy spring into which the sun descended every night. (Hey, I’m not making this stuff up, I swear.) He (channeling Allah) told a demented tale of the mighty Muslim prophet Dhu’l-Qarnain (a.k.a. Alexander the Great, if you can believe that) building a great iron wall between two mountains to keep the hordes of Magog out. Qur’an 18:99-102 says, "On that day (the day when Gog and Magog will come out) We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together in one gathering in conflict. And We shall present Hell that day for disbelievers to see, all spread out in plain view.... Verily We have prepared Hell for the hospitality of the Infidels; Hell is for the disbeliever’s entertainment." As before, if you understand who the "infidels" really are, Muhammad’s not that far off--but only because of the background provided by Ezekiel. One gets the feeling that the Rabbis of Yathrib set him up, and he took the bait and ran with it.
Another nagging question: why would a loving God allow so many nations, those comprising the armies of Magog, to fall into the clutches of Islam--a prison from which escape is next to impossible? Read carefully the following explanation offered through the Prophet Joel. He’s speaking of Phoenicia and Philistia, but the principle can be seen to extend throughout the Middle East. "Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head, because you have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My prized possessions. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem you have sold to the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their borders. Behold, I will raise them out of the place to which you have sold them, and will return your retaliation upon your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans [from Sheba, i.e., Arabs], to a people far off. For Yahweh has spoken." (Joel 3:4-8) Those nations who robbed Israel and sold her people into slavery ranged from North Africa to Iran, and all of them have in turn been "sold" to Islam, whose origins are--you guessed it--in the land of the Sabeans--today’s Saudi Arabia. But what was that about Jewish middlemen? The Jews of Yathrib were the unwitting stepping stone Muhammad needed to launch Islam into a going concern. First they sold him scripture-based lies from the Talmud and other apocryphal sources, many of which found their way into the Hadith and Qur’an. Then they served as the initial host for the Islamic parasite to feed upon. And feed it did, gaining strength until it could successfully infect pagans and Christians alike. Within a hundred years, the entire Middle East had fallen. Now you know why.
Muhammad tried his best to reshape a plethora of historic and Bible characters into his own twisted image--Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Joseph, Solomon, Yahshua, even Alexander the Great--the list goes on and on. Whereas the parallels between the founder of Islam and the heroes of the Bible are contrived at best (and non-existent at worse), there is one historical figure who bears a striking resemblance to the Madman of Medina: the lives and missions of Muhammad and Adolph Hitler are stunningly similar; the parallels are too obvious to ignore. In a previous chapter, we explored how the same demonic spirit who controlled Nero is prophesied to inhabit the Antichrist during the last days. I believe (SF3) the same thing could be true of Muhammad and Hitler--that they were both possessed by the same demon. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find the same evil spirit taking up residence in the Mahdi, Gog of the Land of Magog (i.e., the Imam in charge of Iran when Ezekiel’s World War III begins). He definitely has the same agenda: in Muhammad’s words, "Kill every Jew...."
Ezekiel’s list of the Islamic nations to be aligned against Israel, interestingly, didn’t specifically include the Arab nations within dar al-Islam (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt). Are they not to be participants in this war? I believe they are, but not as part of the Magog Federation.
That is probably more surprising than it should be. Way back in Genesis, we were warned about the nature of the Arabs--or at least their patriarch: "Then the Angel of Yahweh said to [Hagar], ‘I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.’ And the Angel of Yahweh said to her: ‘Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.’" (Genesis 16:10-12) If you’re looking for the root of the madness of Islam, you need look no farther than the Torah. Even before he was born, Ishmael, the father of the Arabs (note: his children were racially three-quarters Egyptian) was predicted to be a belligerent loner, literally an onager (Hebrew pere’, a wild ass) of a man. But because he was the son of Abraham, Yahweh promised to bless him: "And as for Ishmael, I have heard you [Abraham]. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year." (Genesis 17:19-21)
As Isaac grew, Ishmael’s predicted animosity began to show itself. So Yahweh did something we would do well to heed today: he separated the warring children. He supplied Ishmael, but he made it clear that Isaac was the child of promise--they were not to live in the same land. "But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away." (Genesis 21:12-14)
A few chapters later, we get this interesting insight: "[Isaac] began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him." (Genesis 26:13-14) I’m not suggesting that there’s a genetic tie between the Philistines and the Palestinians, but since the Arabs within Israel insist on using that name, I find it fascinating that the source of "Palestinian" hated for the Jews was identified as far back as the middle of Genesis. It’s envy. God chose Isaac; Ishmael felt that the blessing should have been his. His envy led to a hatred of the Jews that’s still alive today.
Under Muhammad, the sons of Ishmael finally found their voice--and their sword. They conquered a swath of territory extending from southern France across northern Africa, through the Middle East, and into India before Islam was a hundred years old. Considering the prophecy about Ishmael, it should not be surprising that Arab nations would be players--even instigators--in the last great war, but would find themselves allied with no one but themselves.
The key to their participation is found not in Ezekiel’s prophecy, but in Daniel’s. But before we go there, let’s look at a bit more of Ezekiel’s forecast. "Prepare yourself and be ready, you [Gog] and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for [or, take command of] them. After many days you will be visited [i.e., called to arms]. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you." (Ezekiel 38:7-9) Here Gog’s intended victim is identified, and the time frame in which they live. It can be no one other than modern day Israel, for they are (1) gathered from many nations, (2) brought back from the sword--an apt metaphor for the holocaust, (3) to the land Ezekiel would have known as Israel, (4) which had long been desolate--uncultivated and under-populated--and (5) in which they are now dwelling in apparent safety (with a large United Nations peacekeeping force watching their back). Further, Gog’s timing is specifically called "the latter years."
"Thus says Yahweh Almighty: ‘On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you [Gog] will make an evil plan: You will say, "I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates," to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.’" (Ezekiel 38:10-12) Only a Muslim leader who was inspired by Muhammad’s annihilation of the Jewish Beni Qainuqa, Beni al-Nadheer, and Beni Quraidha tribes would see the invasion of the newly toothless Israel as a noble endeavor. In the context of jihad, however, the expedition makes perfect sense. From a religious standpoint, driving the Jews into the sea once and for all would qualify as the greatest of Islamic dreams.
Anyone who’s been to Israel lately, however, knows that it’s not exactly a "land of unwalled villages." The settlements that have been built in the "occupied territories" (I just choke on that phrase--it means the West Bank and the Gaza Strip--oops, we blinked and Gaza’s gone) typically have sturdy fences surrounding them--and they’re not there to keep the Israeli settlers in. This is another indication that Israel will have by this time bargained away these lands for the promise of peace--a suicidal move but one they’ll have no choice but to accept. In recent years, the Israelis have actually been trying to make the entire country a "walled village" in order to keep the terrorists out. America, to our shame, has been insisting that they cease trying to defend themselves in this way. I read from these verses that the barrier will indeed be torn down before the War of Magog. Whatever territory Israel will be reduced to by the "covenant with many" (Daniel 9:27) will be aptly described as a land of unwalled villages.
And the defending U.N. "peacekeeping" armies? Any student of warfare knows that soldiers don’t fight for political causes like they’ll fight for their own homeland. Gog would much rather face U.N. troops than the IDF. Everyone knows what happens when Israelis fight for their own land--they win.
Besides, just as Muhammad himself never fought for "religion," but only for money, sex, and power, there is now something (besides land) worth stealing in Israel. Gold, silver, you name it--enough wealth has been stored up by the world’s religions for their temple mount building projects to pay for the expedition several times over, and the prosperity the false peace has brought to Israel means there is plenty here worth stealing--it’s a target-rich environment. Iran may sit on ten percent of the world’s oil reserves (mocking the poverty of its people), but many of its allies are not so fortunate. They’ll need some incentive. To quote a Muslim hadith: "Oh, the booty!"
"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then 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. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. (Ezekiel 38:14-16) The "far north" reference, of course, was one of the factors that suggested Russia as the identity of Magog. But Tehran is almost as far north of Jerusalem as it is east, and several of Magog’s allies (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah) have been identified with Turkey or the Caucasus region--land directly to the "far north" of Israel.
The rhetorical question, "Will you not know that Israel is dwelling in safety," implies a level of communications unheard of in Ezekiel’s day. How could the events surrounding the Antichrist’s peace deal be hidden--from anyone? It’s certain that they’ll know Israel is a sitting duck. But wait a minute. Did I say "peace" deal? How could Gog even dream about invading Israel? His nation is among those who solemnly swore that they would abide by the terms of the peace treaty. Indeed, it is apparently Gog’s prestige that sold the deal to dar al-Islam. We’re only a year into the accord’s term (admittedly a guess) and there are no indications that Israel has done anything to breach the peace. What gives?
You must remember the Islamic mindset when it comes to treaties. According to Muhammad’s teaching and practice, any treaty with an infidel power may be broken if it is in the Muslims’ perceived advantage to do so. Deals with non-Muslims are not binding--on the Muslims, that is. Americans, and in fact most of the western world (laboring under the burden of their Judeo-Christian heritage), automatically assume that yes means yes and no means no, no matter who you’re talking to. Sure, there’s a whole sub-language of diplomatic double-speak, in which when it is said, "The talks were cordial but frank," it means, "The parties couldn’t find a single thing they could agree on, but they stopped short of declaring war." But this kind of deception is in an entirely different league. Muhammad specifically instructed his followers to say "Peace" until it’s too late for anyone to do anything about their plans for war.
One more thing: the passage mentions "horses." Does this mean that modern weaponry will be non-existent when this all takes place? No, I don’t think so, though many expositors would disagree with me. My guess is that Ezekiel just didn’t have the vocabulary to indicate a "Russian-built T-90C heavy tank with artillery and missile cannon capabilities." Even if Yahweh had shown him one, he wouldn’t have known what to call it. "Chariot" doesn’t quite do it justice. But Zeke did know the armored weapons platform of his day, the warhorse. State of the art.
"‘It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.’ Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?’" (Ezekiel 38:16-17) Here we get our first hint as to what Yahweh intends to do with Gog and his Muslim hordes. He says He will be "made holy" (that is, shown to be unique and matchless) in the eyes of the world, and Gog’s blunder will be the reason. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math on this. Yahweh has promised to preserve Israel. Gog and his gangsters want to rub her out. The fight of the century? Hardly. I must save the details of the actual "battle" for a future chapter, but suffice it to say that this won’t be quite as easy as Gog figured.
I mentioned that some of the likely players won’t be Gog’s overt allies. Lets take a look at who will protest the War of Magog: "Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’" (Ezekiel 38:13) As I hypothesized in our very first chapter, "the merchants of Tarshish" are probably the commercial and financial interests of the western world. "All their young lions" could include the governments and bureaucracies that feel like they can’t make it through the day without throwing money (borrowed money) at every problem, real and imagined. This makes perfect sense in light of what we have learned about the Illuminati: it seems the real power behind western governments lies in the banks and industries to whom they have sold their souls. But why would they protest the aggression? They’ve been making a fortune arming both sides for decades. Could it be that they’re afraid that this one might get out of control and burn them along with the primary antagonists? Or could it be that they just want to appear to be "peacemakers," knowing that such pleas for restraint invariably fall on deaf ears? Or are they merely playing the game they themselves invented: trying to keep all sides in every conflict as evenly matched as possible--assuring maximum destruction, which in turn precipitates maximum profits, when war inevitably engulfs their clueless pawns? (Of course, it’s possible that the strictly literal interpretation is the correct one: that the "merchants of Tarshish and their young lions" lodging diplomatic protests are Spain and its Latin American progeny. But I’m having a hard time visualizing that.)
Considering the force of arms brought to bear, these efforts to avert the invasion sound pretty lame, don’t they? I have a feeling Gog will think so too. He will no doubt protest his innocence and deny his warlike intentions at the U.N. and in the world press, and then do pretty much as he pleases. Sound familiar? It’s exactly what Muhammad would have done.
Sheba and Dedan will also be among those who lodge diplomatic protests when Magog invades Israel. So who and where are they? Sheba was at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula--today’s Yemen. And Dedan was located in western Arabia--the modern equivalent is Saudi Arabia. This is fascinating: Saudi, the home of the two "holiest" Muslim sites (Mecca and Medina), the custodian of the world’s largest oil reserves, the possessor of one of the best-equipped military organizations in the region, not to mention being the unrivaled source of financing for worldwide terrorism, is seen not fighting in Allah’s cause, but protecting its own backside when the chips are down. The one Muslim nation whose heritage demands that it pick up the torch of Islam and lead the final jihad against the Jews--those despised infidels who have the temerity to occupy a fraction of one percent of the land the Muslims claim by right of conquest--are happy to let others with less to lose go in and risk their lives for the cause, opting instead to sponsor U.N. resolutions and debate the merits of sanctions against the aggressors.
How appropriate. Muhammad usually did exactly the same thing, sending in his thugs to do the dirty work while staying a safe distance from the battleground himself. The "prophet" stayed at home with his harem on at least fifty of the seventy-five raids he ordered. His platitudes and promises spurred his jihad warriors on to murder, mayhem, and mammon (of which he was all too pleased to take his twenty percent off the top). But he wouldn’t do any "wet work" himself unless there was little or no personal risk. He told his followers in effect that he’d love to go into battle and be killed (he used the term "martyred"), but his people couldn’t get along without him. Yeah, right.
So we see Saudi Arabia and Yemen sitting this one out, or at least intending to. (I find it ironic that Yemen was the home of Islam’s first rock idol, ar-Rahman, the one Muhammad invoked before he switched to Allah.) What about Egypt and Syria then? In all of scripture, very little is said of Syria. Damascus has been judged in the past for her sins, and will be again (Isaiah 17:1). But I find little direct reference to Syria’s role in the events of the last days. Indirect, though, is another matter.
The same Messianic passage from the prophet Micah that pinpointed the birthplace of Yahshua also foretold the eventual downfall of Assyria at the hand of Yahweh and the "shepherd-princes" He raises up for the task. Thus when Assyria falls during the last days, the Jews will know exactly Who it is who has saved them: "When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders." (Micah 5:5-6) Isn’t Assyria Iraq, not Syria? Yes and no. Syria, as you know, is not the same as Assyria, though they were geographical neighbors. Modern Syria was originally known as Aram, whereas Assyria derives its name from Asshur; these were two of the five sons of Shem, and grandsons of Noah. Today’s borders have little to do with the territories of the ancient kingdoms. Though Assyria’s capital, Nineveh, is now a hundred miles or so within the borders of the immense present-day mass of Iraq, the original Assyria spread mainly to the west, encompassing much of present day Syria. And remember, this was all part of the Persian empire in Ezekiel’s day. So it appears likely that Syria will indeed find itself on the losing end of this war--just like the other Islamic allies of Magog. At the very least, as we shall see, Damascus is toast.
And what about Egypt? Today Egypt is a mere shell of its former self, rife with poverty and conflict despite the billions of dollars America has pumped into its economy. It is known as the center of Islamic scholarship (an oxymoron if ever there was one) in the entire Middle East. Well did Isaiah prophecy concerning Egypt, "Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaoh, ‘I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?’ Where are they? Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, and let them know what Yahweh, Lord of hosts, has purposed against Egypt. The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived; They have also deluded Egypt, those who are the mainstay of its tribes. Yahweh has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her work, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit." (Isaiah 19:11-14) Here, as in so many cases in scripture, we see Yahweh "hardening the heart" of the Egyptians. It bears repeating that Yahweh’s blinding of the eyes of sinners to the truth (or as it’s put here, mingling "a perverse spirit in her midst") is always in response to a previous rejection of his Word. God will never force anyone to change his mind; but He will occasionally petrify a previously held attitude, effectively closing his enemy’s mind on the subject.
Daniel’s prophecy of a war in the last days meshes quite nicely with Ezekiel’s description of the invasion by Magog. However, it’s told not from Gog’s point of view this time, but from that of the Antichrist, described here as "the king [who] shall do according to his own will." Without getting too involved with the details of the action, which I’ll cover later, notice that Egypt plays the part of the aggressor. "At the time of the end the king of the South [Egypt] shall attack him [Antichrist]; and the king of the North [probably Syria] shall come against him.... Many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his [Antichrist’s] hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels." (Daniel 11:40, 41-43)
As always, directions are given in relation to the Holy Land. Egypt is invariably described in scripture as the Kingdom of the South. The context reveals that the Antichrist is occupying Israel at the time (probably in the form of a United Nations peacekeeping force with a large European contingent--cf. Daniel 11:45). Egypt makes the first move, Invading Israel in a pincer action with "the king of the North," but the Antichrist strikes back, putting Egypt, Cush, and Phut under his thumb. In other words, he ends up controlling all of northern and eastern Africa (which, by the way, makes his "kingdom" look a lot like that of Rome under Nero). Whether even more nations than these are included under the heading "many countries" is a matter of speculation, but I think that’s a safe assumption. The first place to look for candidates for his conquest are the nations under the banner of the Magog federation, listed above. Muslim countries, one and all.
Interestingly, Jordan, called Edom, Moab, and Ammon in the Daniel passage, escapes his grasp (though we shall learn that their fate is sealed anyway). And there is no specific indication that Saudi Arabia or Yemen are taken. Nor do we know precisely what happens to the Muslims living in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and so forth. A few hundred million Muslims live in India, and Indonesia and the Philippines are infected with the same plague. Of these and others, we have no Biblical insights, other than that they’re lost like all the other Muslims in the world. The Islamic nations have but one thing in common: an irrational hatred for Yahweh’s chosen people, Israel. It will be their downfall, their Achilles heel.
The psalmist Asaph had Islam pegged when he wrote these words: "Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You." (Psalm 83:1-5) Note that the passage flatly declares that any enemy of Israel is an enemy of God.
Jeremiah’s prophecy of the Babylonian invasion will look as fresh as tomorrow’s newspaper when the invasion begins. "Out of the north calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north," says Yahweh. They shall come and each one set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around, and against all the cities of Judah. I will utter My judgments against them concerning all their wickedness, because they have forsaken Me, burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands." (Jeremiah 1:14-16) It’s interesting that Yahweh will not judge them for their idolatry until they attack Israel. Note also that these verses specify the direction from which Gog’s invasion will come--from the north.
Yahweh takes his oath to Israel seriously. The nation who helps itself to her land is in for a humiliating shock, for God will not allow it to be taken away from His people permanently. "Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Because the enemy has said of you [the mountains of Israel], "Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession" ...because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people...surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.... Because you have borne the shame of the nations... I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.’" (Ezekiel 36:2-3, 5-7) Since the seventh century, the sword of Islam has plundered and shamed the land of Israel as the Jews endured their exile among the nations. Edom (part of modern Jordan) is singled out as a lead perpetrator, perhaps indicating that they will once again try to help themselves to the West Bank. Or maybe the United Nations (the "talkers" and "slanderers" of whom Ezekiel spoke) will assume control over the whole disputed territory, making it the "possession of the rest of the nations." Sorry--Yahweh has other ideas.
And what of those "peace-loving" Muslims the media keeps referring to? First, understand that those Muslims who preferred to live peaceably and avoid bloodshed were the first to earn the scathing condemnation of "Allah and his Prophet." They were called hypocrites, assigned as prime targets in this life by Muhammad’s jihad fighters, and then consigned to the hottest fires of Allah’s hell. But the Bible has something to say about them as well: "Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war." (Psalm 120:5-7)
Will Islam have a role to play in the last days? Most certainly. They will be the very puff of wind that brings this house of cards we call human civilization crashing to the ground.