Is This Gog-Magog?

Zola Levitt and I were talking privately, and Zola was thoroughly exercised about the topic of replacement theology. Some mainline denominations were beginning at the time to adopt the rising theological position termed “progressive dispensationalism.” The “doctrine” put forward that Christ’s throne had been transferred to Heaven with the Lord’s sitting down at the right hand of His Father. Therefore, the Davidic throne (throne of King David,) was also transferred from an earthly throne to Heaven. This meant, according to the progressive dispensationalists, that Israel had, in effect, been replaced in matters involving God’s promises to the nation.

This was not much different than pure replacement theology, and Zola was about to address, as I recall, the Pre-Trib Research Center group at Dallas that December on this topic. Such once-conservative seminaries as Moody and Dallas Theological had begun to go strongly toward the progressive dispensationalist viewpoint.

Zola, as anyone who knew him will attest, was passionate like few others about Israel and God’s dealing with the Jews. I have never seen him quite so animated as during that conversation somewhere around the turn of the century, as I recall. He said that he and Dr. J. Vernon McGee had once “gotten into it” on a television program over whether Israel was back in the Middle East for fulfillment of prophecy. Dr. McGee held that while it was interesting that Israel had its nation restored after more than 1,900 years in its geographical homeland, he didn’t believe this meant that Israel was necessarily there for the final time. They could yet be put out of the land and return again at a later date.

This, of course, was like throwing a glass of gasoline on a raging fire. Zola said they really got crosswise. Zola held that Israel was there for the final time–for the wind-up of this dispensation (Age of Grace) and into the Tribulation. I told him that Dr. McGee knew the truth now, his having gone to be with the Lord at age 84 in 1988. Zola’s only comment was: “Well, I would hope so…”.

Boy! Would old Dr. McGee have done a 180 on his view of the situation, if he could suddenly be shown developments since getting his–as Zola would later say of his own impending going to be with the Lord–promotion to that magnificent realm. As a matter of fact, I sometimes have wondered if they have not again had their conversation, with both now being in complete agreement on the veracity of God’s Word in regard to His promises to His chosen people.

Every day that passes brings into focus that truth. Israel is like a laser pointer indicating with pinpoint precision that these must indeed be the closing days of this Church Age. Stage-setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy, as we have pointed out many times, literally fills today’s geopolitical, socioeconomic and religious landscape. Culture and society aren’t just headed toward the cesspool–we have arrived in the septic tank.

The world’s economy is poised to implode, with those in charge of the Fed (Federal Reserve Bank) not knowing which way to turn. to raise interest rates will bring the world’s economy crashing down. To not raise interest rates means that dynamic exigencies as part of the intricately linked world monetary system will heat up even further, making the ultimate crash far worse than any in history when it happens.

The pope is traversing the world apparently spouting strange doctrinal changes in his Catholic system and sticking his papal nose in every free nation’s business. He seems to me in cahoots with the Marxist ideology espoused by those who are said to have mentored the current U.S. president.

Russia looks to be making alliances that will one day -perhaps sooner rather than later–form a coalition like that forewarned by the prophet Ezekiel in his Gog-Magog prophecy. Iran occupies the geographical area of ancient Persia. This Israel-hating state of satanic rage is Putin’s client-state, as is Syria–these and other nations of the Islamist sort prophetically destined to be part of a horrendous end-times event.

Specifically, we must ask whether the most recent movement by Vladimir Putin might be, in fact, the actual staging for this great conflict of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

Those who hold to the likelihood that a Psalm 83 war will precede the Gog-Magog attack will say this cannot be the time of that great Ezekiel 38-39 conflict. I continue to respectfully disagree with the proposition that such an inner ring of nations as given in what I believe to be an Imprecatory prayer by God’s chosen nation in Psalm 83 indicates a separate military action. I continue to believe that the prayer offered in Psalm 83 will be answered powerfully and unequivocally by the God of Heaven with the all but total annihilation of the combined Gog-Magog forces of all surrounding nations who come against Israel.

That Russia has inserted itself into the Middle East in ways that trouble America’s top military generals goes without saying. The Russians have said they won’t hesitate to send a large contingent of ground troops into Syria if the request is made by the Syrian regime.

The AP reported September 17 that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Damascus wouldn’t hesitate to ask for Russian troops if needed. At the same time he denied that Russian combat troops were already fighting in Syria. Proof continues to accumulate that the Russians are moving in to stay in the region. Many military and other intelligence officials are asking in television appearances what the build-up means. Ezekiel, we remember, said some would be asking the same question as the Gog-Magog invasion began to take shape.

One respected intelligence advisory writes the following.

The Russian military deployment to the Bassel al Assad air base in Latakia, Syria, is continuing at a rapid tempo, Stratfor can confirm. Previous imagery of the airfield, taken Sept. 4, showed significant engineering works underway. New imagery from Sept. 15, provided by our partners at All Source Analysis, reveals the completion of several large concrete aprons that were previously under construction. A large amount of Russian military equipment has also arrived at the airfield. A battalion-sized Russian contingent now appears to be located at the base, along with artillery and attack helicopter support. Several large Russian transport aircraft are also visible on the runway and the nearby ramps. (Stratfor, “Russia fortifies its position in Syria,” September 17, 2015)

With American fighter jets and other military assets in the same general area, there is growing concern that an incident of dangerous sort could happen whether by accident or by instigation. The Russian and American officials have been shown to be engaging in meetings over developments in the war-torn region.

Are we seeing the beginning of a Russian build-up for the fulfillment of the Gog-Magog assault?

I’m of the opinion that this is indeed a point in the staging for that prophesied war. Just what point is anyone’s guess.

My own thinking is that the Gog-Magog assault will take place some time after the Rapture of the Church. This is because this will be a world-shaking, cataclysmic event. Many other lands besides just this region will be affected. This war, in my view, will take the world out of the business-as-usual state that Jesus prophesied will be prevalent at the time He next intervenes into human history in a catastrophic way. Judgment will fall, the Lord said, that very day, just as in the days of Noah and the days of Lot (again read Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30).

We see developing a sure signal that the Tribulation period is fast approaching. It it time for believers to work hard to bring as many of the lost into God’s family as possible. At the same time, we must remember to lift up our heads and keep looking up!

Israel, Iran, and the End Times

Israel, Iran, and the End Times -By Britt Gillette – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg63.html

Israel and Iran have been in the news a lot lately. Currently, several nations are trying to strike a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear ambitions. The question on the minds of many Bible prophecy students is what does the Bible say about this? Are Iran’s nuclear ambitions a sign of the end times? Maybe. Maybe not.

Rest assured that Iran itself does have a role in the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). But no one can say for sure whether or not the current nuclear talks will play a significant role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. What I can tell you is that this generation is already a witness to the fulfillment of numerous Bible prophecies, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s much publicized speech from earlier this week should make that crystal clear.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Israeli Prime Minister addressed the U.S. Congress, and while the media replayed several sound bites from the speech, one passage in particular resonated with me. Here it is:

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

Why do I find this passage so interesting? Because this simple paragraph reads like a collection of Bible verses. In fact, it reads like a collection of recently fulfilled and soon-to-be fulfilled Bible prophecies. Here are the key points that stood out:

1) “We are no longer scattered among the nations…” This is a direct fulfillment of God’s promise to bring the Jews back into the land of Israel. A promise made multiple times thousands of years ago through the prophets:

“Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” Ezekiel 39:28 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

“However, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” Jeremiah 16:14-15 (NLT)

“Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again.” Deuteronomy 30:3-5 (NLT)

2) “We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Note to Netanyahu: This should read “God restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Why? Because God made it clear thousands of years ago this was all a part of His plan:

“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.” Ezekiel 20:41-42 (NLT)

“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Jeremiah 23:3 (NLT)

“I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered – with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.” Ezekiel 20:34 (NLT)

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess'” Jeremiah 30:3 (NLT)

“Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return.” Zechariah 10:9 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

3) “The soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage.” God promised even the weakest soldier in modern day Israel will be like David:

“On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David.” Zechariah 12:8 (NLT)

“Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.” Jeremiah 30:10 (NLT)

4) “We, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.” This is a big one. Israel barely cracks the Top 100 nations in terms of population, but its military consistently ranks among the most powerful on earth. Think this is the result of random chance? I don’t think so. Israel’s exceedingly great army was foretold over 2,000 years ago:

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.” Zechariah 12:6 (NLT)

“They came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.” Ezekiel 37:10 (NLT)

5) “Even if Israel has to stand alone…” According to God’s Word, the day will come when Israel will stand alone. The war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 portrays Israel as an isolated nation under attack, and only God comes to Israel’s aid. Furthermore, the prophet Zechariah foresees a day when “all the nations of the earth are gathered against her”:

“In that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” Zechariah 12:3 (NLT)

6) “Israel will stand.” Nevertheless, even though Israel will one day stand alone, Israel isn’t going away. Because God not only promised to bring His people back from their faraway lands of exile and firmly plant them in Israel, he promised they will never be uprooted again:

“And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. ‘They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:14-15 (NLT)

Israel’s enemies should take note: “Israel will stand.” She isn’t going anywhere. Not because it has a great military or the support of the United States, but because the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made a promise:

“I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” 1 Kings 6:13 (NLT)

When the dark days of this age come to an end, God will make good on His promise, and He will come to live among the nations, and there will be no more war:

“‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.'” Zechariah 2:10-13 (NLT)

Whether or not the events of this week have any immediate prophetic significance, you can be sure that we’re living in the last days. Jesus, Moses, and the prophets pointed to the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as one of the foremost signs of the Second Coming. Jesus Himself said the generation that witnesses the re-emergence of Israel will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).

So what’s the big lesson from this past week’s events? While we’re not yet in the seven-year period the Bible calls the “Tribulation,” we’re very close. Much closer than we’ve ever been.

Jesus is coming. Are you ready?

Britt Gillette is the author of Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime and Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose. He’s also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy.

Down to the Wire

Down to the Wire – By Daymond Duck – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/duck/dd144.html

With regard to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, two important things took place in Washington, DC on Wednesday October 2, 2014: 1) A report prepared by James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee was released, and 2) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House to discuss several issues, but primarily Iran’s efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Mr. Clapper’s report revealed that Iran’s nuclear program has made great strides and the nation is close to being able to produce and deliver nuclear bombs. This confirms the Sept. 17, 2014 statement of Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, Yuvall Steinitz, who said Iran is nine to eighteen months away from developing a nuclear bomb and Iran already has missiles that can deliver one.

Mr. Clapper’s National Intelligence group has determined that Iran has the knowledge and manufacturing facilities to eventually produce nuclear bombs and his group is well aware of the fact that Iran has installed large numbers of additional centrifuges and stored large amounts of slightly enriched uranium hexafluoride that will allow Iran to eventually produce nuclear bombs. Emphasis was placed on the fact that Iran has a large inventory of missiles, an active space program and would eventually be able to produce intercontinental missiles.

Iran’s devilish antagonism toward Israel, and really the whole world including all non-Shiite Muslims, causes this to be a major problem. Iran’s leaders have often said if they get a nuclear bomb they will use it on Israel. They even call Israel a one-bomb nation because they believe they only need one bomb to wipe the tiny nation of Israel off the map. This is a major reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran is a greater threat to Israel and the world than is ISIS when he addressed the UN General Assembly on September 29, 2014.

The other event was the meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Pres. Obama. I got the sense that Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t trust Pres. Obama, or if he does trust him, he doesn’t think Pres. Obama the seriousness of the Iranian threat. He seemed to believe that Pres. Obama will cave in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was reported that he told Pres. Obama that “Iran seeks a deal that would lift the tough sanctions that you worked so hard to put in place and leave it as a threshold nuclear power, and I firmly hope that under your leadership that would not happen.”

Mr. Netanyahu wants Iran’s nuclear facilities put out of commission, but he believes Pres. Obama is going to let Iran have the ability to go nuclear. If Iran has the ability to go nuclear, they could do so in a matter of weeks. Israel would probably attack them and it could trigger a bigger war. If Iran’s nuclear facilities are put out of commission, it could be years before they could be restarted. Israel wouldn’t have to attack them anytime soon and it could prevent a bigger war.

Israel should not overlook Pres. Obama’s Muslim background (father, mother, step father) or the fact that Pres. Obama’s Senior Advisor, and perhaps the real power in the White House, is Iranian born Valerie Jarrett (although her parents were American citizens). Israel should not overlook the fact that Pres. Obama placed a Muslim is in charge of the CIA, placed Muslims in the U.S. Dept. of Defense and in the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

Israel should not overlook the fact that Pres. Obama has allowed thousands of Muslims to immigrate to the U.S. Nor should they overlook the fact that he has often shown animosity toward Mr. Netanyahu and condemned Israel’s settlement policies, the death of Palestinians, etc. Pres. Obama obviously has Muslim sympathies that may be clouding his decisions.

Nevertheless, the decision on what to do about Iran’s nuclear reactors is coming down to the wire and the world could be only weeks or months away from world changing events.

Prophecy Plus Ministries

Daymond & Rachel Duck

daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Nearing Midnight: Cry for Peace: Chief Indicator

Nearing Midnight: Cry for Peace: Chief Indicator – Terry James – http://www.raptureready.com/rap16.html

No sooner had I written, “Peace is again about to take front and center stage in the ongoing drama that is Israel versus the world,” than we find ourselves arrived at that point. There is no other matter so relevant to end-of-the-age prophecy than what is about to unfold. Some of the most recent headlines on our Rapture Ready News tell the story of the passion for peace-a flawed attempt to avoid war, I might add.

Iran’s Rouhani Warns West against ‘Excessive’ Nuclear Demands
Netanyahu: Iran Has Enough Low-Grade Uranium for 5 Nuclear Bombs
Abbas: Regardless of What Happens, Peace Talks to Continue
Syria Peace Conference Likely in Mid-December
Ex-IDF Intel Chief: Regional War Unlikely if Israel Strikes Iran
Mossad Working with Saudis on Plans for an Attack on Iran
The United States Must not Cease to Be Vigilant about Iran
Israel and Strategic US Partner Fall Out over Iran

My prediction isn’t because of any prescience on my part. The signals should be obvious to even the blind…well… like me, for example. But, the spiritually blind, I’m afraid, continue to miss the truly significant import of this end- times signal.

While the one-world builders of the international community fret over how the threat to world stability will affect their drive to achieve long-sought goals of enslaving the rest of us-for our own good, of course-the prophetic truth slips right past their cognitive awareness capability.

The unrest that is in the process of causing movement toward war, thus the almost frantic call for peace, is set forth in God’s Holy Word. In terms of the world’s top politicians, it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu might be the only one who has an inkling that things going on between Israel and the rest of the world have been prophesied by the only One who knows the end from the beginning. I base this observation on Netanyahu recently bringing Old Testament quotations into his speeches. Even the Israeli prime minister, however, doesn’t really recognize why things have come to this portentous point.

It should be overtly obvious to anyone who studies the treatment of the Jewish people over the eons of time that war more often than not revolves around God’s chosen people-and they are at the center of the issues of war and peace at this very moment while history bulldozes ahead, pushing all nations toward Armageddon.

With human intellectual curiosity being what it is-having brought forth answers to many questions of life on this planet-there should be a blazing curiosity to know why there has been a hatred for the Jews of such magnitude and in apparent perpetuity. But, there isn’t.

“Christ-killers” was the accusation against the Jews by those of the Spanish Inquisition and other such periods. Hitler’s ravings revolved around similar rants, mixed with racial accusatory insanity. They killed God’s Son, is the primary scream of accusation. Yet, Hitler and all others of the Jew-hating world denied the very Son of God at every turn, making the whole matter beyond comprehension-that is, unless God’s Word is believed by the observer of the long history of hatred of the Jewish race as absolute truth. Then it becomes understandable.

Here is the reason for the hatred: It is a spiritual anger that the world harbors against the Jew. The Bible pinpoints the reason the world, whose constituency-lost humanity-murders and persecutes God’s chosen people. It is the inner rage that is the separation from the Creator that foments the insane notion that the Jews killed God’s Son, all the while denying that God’s Son be given any credence whatsoever.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Satan hates the human race and did his dead-level best to forever separate man from God. God provided the way to reestablish that broken, fallen relationship. The woman’s (Eve’s) offspring would eventually produce the Savior of the world, the Christ, who would bring redemption to those who believe and are born again (John 3:3).

It was through Eve’s progeny, Abraham’s seed, that Jesus came in the flesh into the world.

Peace-true peace-can only be reestablished when Christ is at the center of the relationship-no matter the relationship. Lucifer the fallen one uses the very Son of God in his mind-bending methodology of making the Jew the hated people who caused the death of the Christ, the Redeemer-who, of course, the devil hates with all his perverse heart. He continues to battle against the seed of the woman that eventually produced the Messiah-whom, sadly, that seed (the Jews) rejected. Israel today is at the center of all controversy that is leading to Earth’s final battle before Christ’s return. The prophet Jeremiah gave the reasons this is so. The following Scriptures paint the picture of the rebellious chosen people, the Jews, and of the lack of peace that is prominent today in our headlines.

“Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD…For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 8:5-7, 11)

Rebellious Israel and the whole world system so filled with satanic hatred for the nation will soon have to undergo God’s mighty hand of course correction for Israel, and wrathful judgment for anti-God earth-dwellers.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

A Prophecy About Elam

A Prophecy About Elam
A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah: (Zedekiah ruled the Southern Kingdom from 597 to 586 BC).

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go. I will shatter Elam before their foes, before those who want to kill them; I will bring disaster on them, even my fierce anger,” declares the Lord. “I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them. I will set my throne in Elam and destroy her king and officials,” declares the Lord. Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come,”declares the Lord (Jeremiah 49:34-39).

Shem, a son of Noah, was the father of all the Semetic people (primarily Jews and Arabs). Elam was Shem’s oldest son (Genesis 10:22). He was born after the flood and was the patriarch of the Elamites. His descendants settled in the valley between the north eastern shore of the Persian Gulf and the Zagros Mountains, where some believe Noah’s ark might have come to rest.

(Genesis 11:2 says that after the flood the new population of Earth spread out from the east. They found a plain in Shinar and settled there. This plain is where the Tirgis and Euphrates Rivers flow parallel to each other toward the Persian Gulf. It became known as Mesopotamia which means “between the rivers.” The Zagros mountains are due east of Mesopotamia whereas the mountains of Ararat, traditional location of the Ark, are several hundred miles to the north.)

Elam’s capital city, Susa, was one of the world’s first post flood cities, and was a regional center off and on for many centuries before being destroyed by Ashurbanipal, the last of the great Assyrian Kings, in 647 BC. As was the custom of Assyrian kings, he removed many of the surviving Elamites from their homeland. He took them to the former Northern Kingdom of Israel, which had been conquered by Assyria 74 years earlier, where they were resettled among the Israelites who remained there.

That Was Only The Beginning

But this did not fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy, which wouldn’t even be given for at least another 50 years. Susa was rebuilt, only to be conquered again, this time by the Persian King Cyrus. It was rebuilt again and renovated by King Darius the Great to serve as the capital of the Persian Empire. Susa was mentioned in Daniel 8:2 as the location where the prophet received a vision recorded in Daniel 8 of the subsequent conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great. This prophecy was fulfilled two hundred years later when Susa surrendered without a battle to Alexander.

Daniel 8:2 identifies Susa as being in the province of Elam, indicating it was already a part of the Persian Empire at the time. From this brief history it appears that all but the last verse of Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in the Assyrian and Persian conquests. By the way, Daniel was buried in Susa and his tomb has been preserved to this day because he has always been highly revered among the Persian people.

Who Are These People?

A case can be made for the view that “Persian” and “Elamite” are not two names for the same people but that having conquered Elam, Persia became the successor to Elam, whose original inhabitants, as Jeremiah’s prophecy indicates, have been scattered to the four winds and absent from the pages of history for over 2,500 years. Evidence of the difference in origin between the Elamites and the Persians came from the mouth of none other than Persian King Darius the Great who said,

“I am Darius, the great king, the king of kings, the king of many countries and many people, the king of this expansive land, the son of Wishtaspa of Achaemenid, Persian, the son of a Persian, ‘Aryan’, from the Aryan race” (From Darius the Great’s Inscription in Naqshe-e-Rostam).

Some scholars say Iran means “land of the Aryans” and claim that the Iranians are not descendants of Shem, as the Elamites were, but more likely came from Japeth, whose descendants are mostly Caucasians. This supports the view that Elam and Persia are not different names for the same people. Also, the native languages of the two groups were different.

This may explain why Ezekiel, who wrote from Babylon at the same time Jeremiah was writing from Jerusalem, identified one of the major participants in the Battle of Ezekiel 38 as being Persia, and not Elam. God might have informed him, as He did Jeremiah, that the Elamites would be conquered and scattered to the four winds by their Persian neighbors.

It could also help us understand why the Arabs of the Middle East today are so opposed to the Iranians gaining any kind of political or military advantage over them. Even though they share varieties of the same religion (Islam), the Persians are not Arabs. As an example, if you follow our “Prophecy in the Headlines” feature, you’ve probably read about Saudi Arabian officials announcing that because of the US pursuit of a more cooperative relationship with Iran, the Saudi kingdom will henceforth be limiting its interaction with the US and going its own way where Middle Eastern affairs are concerned.

(From my days as a business consultant, I remember hearing one of the owners of a client company talking on the phone in a language I didn’t recognize. When he hung up I asked what language he had been speaking. “It was Farsi,” he said, “the Persian language.”

“Then you’re an Arab,” I responded.

For an instant, I thought I had offended him. Then, as if he was correcting a child, He said, “Persians are not Arabs. We’re Caucasians.”)

But there’s one verse that prevents us from proclaiming Jeremiah’s prophecy to be completely fulfilled in history. Jeremiah 49:39 says, “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come, declares the Lord.”

What Happened To Elam?

There’s no record of a re-emergence of the Elamites since the Persian conquest 2500 years ago. Some say Jeremiah 49:39 is currently being fulfilled through the Iranians. They say this partly because Iran’s primary nuclear facilities are in the area once called Elam. Its recently completed nuclear reactor in Bushehr lies on the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf in the heart of ancient Elam. If that’s the case then God’s restoration of Elam’s fortunes is both brief and haphazard, its stated purpose is opposed to God’s plan for Israel, and it is doomed to end in even more destruction.

Currently, the most popular view is that the complete fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy is for our time and will take place shortly through Iran’s defeat in the Battle of Ezekiel 38. But if that’s true, then the Iranian people will have to be scattered among all the nations following their defeat and then somehow regain God’s favor during Daniel’s 70th Week in order for the last verse to be fulfilled. There’s simply no good reason to believe this will happen. After one brief reference in Ezekiel 38:5, the future of Persia is never mentioned in the Bible again.

I think it’s reasonable to expect prophecies that have only been partially fulfilled in history to have their ultimate fulfillment in our future. The idea that a partial historical fulfillment points to a complete future fulfillment is a well established principle in the Bible. Two examples we’ve reviewed recently are Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83. The literal and complete fulfillment of these prophecies has not happened yet.

But from my research it appears that the only part of Jeremiah’s prophecy that remains a question mark is verse 39. The Elamites were defeated and scattered among the nations just as Jeremiah predicted. The nation ceased to exist and there’s been no mention of them since.

There are other cases of nations being as totally erased from history and then suddenly reappearing. Israel and Babylon are two obvious examples. But with both of them there are multiple chapters with detailed descriptions of their re-emergence and subsequent destiny. With Elam we get one non-definitive verse.

Let’s Try To Be More Careful

I think there are a number of people today who are guilty of interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events when the reverse is supposed to happen. We are supposed to interpret current events in light of Bible prophecy. These people read the world news and then scour the Bible for prophetic verses that seem to fit without fully researching their history to see to what extent they’ve already been fulfilled. Many of them are novices where Bible prophecy is concerned, but some should know better.

We also need to remember that Bible prophecy only illuminates world history where Israel is concerned. Great Empires have come and gone during Israel’s absence without so much as a hint of their existence in the Bible. Even the United States, by any measure the most successful of them all, is missing from the prophetic record. You can’t tell me God didn’t know these empires were coming, so their absence has to mean that He sees them as irrelevant to Israel’s destiny. Don’t get me wrong, He has used them all to advance His plan for His people, and they were all blessed through their time of participation. But He didn’t find any of them worthy of mention because He didn’t actually need any of them to fulfill His plan.

I frankly can’t say how or when God will restore Elam’s fortunes. But based on what I know currently, I am not comfortable with the substitution of Iran for Elam in Jeremiah 49:34-39. The truth is, we don’t need Jeremiah 49 to know what will happen to Iran, and the Bible doesn’t say how or when Elam’s fortunes will be restored. The only thing we know for sure is that God said it and therefore He will do it.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please (Isaiah 46:10). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah 10-26-13.