TGP Prophecy Letter – September 23, 2023
It has been many weeks since our last Prophecy Letter, and much has happened! In a feeble effort to cover at least a portion of these events, this letter will be a little longer than usual. We will discuss recent natural disasters, the US-Iran deal, the Israel-Saudi deal, and Israel's position when Gog is foretold to descend.
Around 2,000 years ago, Christ told his disciples that the last days would be characterized by an increase in natural disasters.
Matthew 24:7 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
This is part of the Olivet prophecy, and while the meaning and time period of some of its aspects are debated, I think all agree that the days leading up the termination of Gentile rule of the earth would see a drastic uptick in natural disasters. In light of this, here a few recent ones that occurred in the past weeks:
Libya floods wipe out quarter of city, thousands dead – Reuters
Massive earthquake kills over 2,000 in Morocco, thousands more injured – World Israel News
After Morocco, Israel could be next to suffer massive earthquake - Israel News – The Jerusalem Post
What interests us most with earthquakes in particular is that the Bible shows them to be a mechanism of altering the geography of Israel to prepare it as the capitol of the Kingdom of God. There are numerous earthquakes described in post-advent times, and the first (in my belief) is recorded in
Zechariah 14:4-5 – And his (Christ’s) feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (5) And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
I believe that a careful consideration of Zechariah 12 through the end of the book shows this to be the moment Christ appears in Israel to rescue them from the Arab “heathen round about” (Zechariah 14:14). Having defeated some of the Arab armies while making his advance from Sinai to Jerusalem (Isaiah 63:1-4), it is at this point that the Jews will physically see him again for the first time in 2,000 years.
If this chronology is correct, I wish to stress the import for you and I. It is undoubtedly Christ’s feet that set upon Mount Olivet, but note who is with him: “the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” I see this a clear support for Christ having already gathered and judged his servants before saving Israel. If that is the case, then there is an important point to consider: the only way you and I will be able to witness the earthquake that reshapes the geography of Israel is if we have been accepted at the judgement seat, for those who are found unworthy are sentenced to “the second death” (Revelation 21:8). It is yet another reason for us to strive for the high mark of Christ!
The Latest on the Iran Deal
Now this is important! Iran is the largest sponsor of many of the Arab nations listed in Psalm 83, and their grip on the region is growing more and more firm:
WATCH: Iran beefs up air force with new fleet of Russian fighter jets – World Israel News
Defense Minister reveals: Iran building airport for terrorist use in southern Syria – Israel National News
What’s most alarming is a recent deal between the US and Iran. In exchange for a prisoner swap, the Biden Administration appears to have agreed to release $6 billion for Iran to use however they please.
The US moves to advance a prisoner swap deal with Iran and release $6 billion in frozen funds – AP News
Iran releases 5 American prisoners for 'ransom' payment of $6 billion – World Israel News
Seems like a fair deal, right? Both sides swap prisoners, but one also receives $6 billion. Nonsense! And what do we think Iran is planning to do with these funds? The Iranian president has said that they will use the funds “wherever we need it” (NBC News). We know what that means: “to destroy Israel!”
What has caused the US to make these concessions? Perhaps this is a pat on the back for Iran’s willingness to comply with US and Israeli demands? Maybe Iran has finally began to decrease their Uranium stocks? None of the above. In fact, the opposite has happened. Iran has only become more extreme and defiant:
In 'unprecedented' move, Iran bars 1/3 of UN inspectors from accessing nuclear sites – The Times of Israel
UN nuclear watchdog says 'no progress' has been made in monitoring Iranian nuclear program: report – Yahoo! News
Netanyahu: Iran is violating all of its nuclear commitments – The Jerusalem Post
If Iran is only becoming more stubborn, then why is the US planning to reward their behavior? I personally have no clue. The Biden Administration must see some benefit or know some information that the rest of the world does not, but this is doubtful. In my view, either the US is trying to win Iran over by handing them a fat check or the US prisoners being held in Iran hold some incredibly valuable information. Whatever the reason is, one thing is certain: it continues the sad narrative of a US in decline, both at home and abroad.
But where does this leave Israel – the main target of Iranian aggression? It only leaves them more isolated. The recent deal with Iran is a slap in the face to Israel, and even if the US is willing to make more concessions to Iran, Israel’s stance is clear:
Israel will act against Iranian nuclear pursuit, uranium enrichment – The Jerusalem Post
For Israel, a nuclear Iran is a matter of existing or not, and so they cannot afford to let Iran proceed unhindered. But the US is trying to prevent this as well. Biden is pressuring Netanyahu to refrain from any unilateral action against Iran. America is creating a more dangerous Iran and telling Israel not to worry about it.
In my view, this aligns perfectly with prophecy. At the appearance of Jesus Christ, we are shown an Israel who stands alone against a horde of Arab enemies (Psalm 83, 108:13, Isaiah 17:4-7, 63:3). These prophecies also indicate that Israel is weakened in this conflict and must rely on the Lord himself for salvation. Furthermore, I believe a conflict with Iran might be the spark that ignites this conflict since A) Iran is currently Israel’s number one enemy, B) they support, arm, and often command many of the Psalm 83 nations, and C) it has been frequently reported that if Israel attacks Iran, Iran would call upon their Arab proxies to attack them. In my studied opinion, this lines up perfectly with what we know from the Word. But time will tell.
A Deal with Saudi Arabia?
But there is another factor to all of this. Peace with Saudi Arabia has been a prominent topic for the past few months. In seeing the changing power-balance in the Middle East and the decline of the US, Saudi Arabia is trying to determine which side they will join: Israel and America’s or Iran and Russia’s. Which side they choose is likely to be determined by which offers the greatest security and payout.
So far, the story has been a roller coaster. On one day, news headlines proclaim, “Normalization is only days/weeks away”, and they next day we read headlines like these:
Saudi Arabia condemns Israel after Jews 'storm' Temple Mount – The Jerusalem Post
Israel's peace talks with Saudi Arabia ongoing, US stresses – The Jerusalem Post
Abbas at UN: No peace in Middle East without a Palestinian state' – Israel National News
But in the last day or so, substantial reports have come out signaling that a deal might actually happen:
Netanyahu backs Saudi nuclear program - report – World Israel News
Saudi Leader Admits Peace with Israel is on its Way – United with Israel
Peace with Israel is getting ‘closer every day,’ says Saudi Crown Prince MBS with a smile – All Israel News
Israel Working With U.S. Officials to Develop Saudi Uranium Enrichment Proposal, WSJ Says – Haaretz
It appears that the general terms of the agreement have been roughly settled, and part of that includes helping Saudi Arabia to become a nuclear power. One of the main reasons they seek this is to combat a nuclear Iran, for the Saudi Crown Prince has said, “If they get one, we have to get one” (The Hill).
While things seem rosy now, there are still other issues to be worked out, the most difficult certainly being that of the Palestinians:
Palestinians demand territorial concessions from Israel in exchange for Saudi deal – World Israel News
Message to Israel? Saudi FM: The two-state solution must return to the forefront – Israel National News
Should a Saudi-Israeli deal be made, the “Palestinians” will inevitably be affected. As I see it, they will either be included in the deal and see some benefit from it, or they’ll be left out of it altogether. Knowing the history of those people and their lack of desire for genuine peace, my view is that they’ll be side-lined if any version of “peace” is to be achieved. Their demands are likely to include a nation of Palestine (something that has never existed before), and while Israel desires peace with the Saudis and is apparently willing to make concessions, this is likely a step too far. The issue of a Palestinian nation creates untold problems for Israel which are too numerous to discuss here. But the US may try to use their influence to guide Netanyahu’s decisions. An article from Israel Today noted, “Biden will… pressure Netanyahu to make significant concessions to the Palestinian Authority, which would facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
In any regard, this morning saw some bold headlines on the Israel-Saudi deal. Not only does a deal appear to be close, but Israel’s Foreign Minister has stated that six or seven other Muslim nations are likely follow suit and make peace with Israel after the Saudis (The Jerusalem Post). In a recent speech at the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu showed a map of what he called “the New Middle East”, showing future alliances between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan (Israel National News). Could such an alliance form?
To conclude this section, we must simply say that there are many moving parts and diverse motives involved with this issue, and we can be certain that the public does not know all of those details. Perhaps a deal of some form will be achieved, but the result certainly cannot be known by carnal means. But we, Brethren, have spiritual means of examining the situation.
As I have stated before, my understanding of the Word is that Saudi Arabia comprises the modern-day Ishmaelites who are to be an enemy nation of Israel when Christ returns (Psalm 83:6). Exactly how this end will be achieved cannot be known at present, but as I currently see no other alternative interpretation of the passage, I must conclude that there will either be no deal at all, or if one is made, it will not last. This is particularly true of the other six or seven Muslims nation who are said to follow Saudi Arabia’s example. The Scriptures show those nations are direct enemies of Israel, and so they will be.
Yet the current prospects are cause to wonder: If a deal is made and these other Muslim nations begin to join in, could this be part of what Paul meant when he spoke of the latter days thus: “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)? Could this passage mean that it might look like peace has finally been achieved, but all is to end only in war and destruction? Once again, time will tell, but the Word of Truth is sure, and it is in that which we trust!
Israel Dwelling Safely?
In light of that future Arab-Israeli war, let’s consider another prominent latter-day prophecy in relation to our present day: Ezekiel 38. There are many important descriptors of Israel at the time when Gog comes against her, and perhaps that which is most stressed is that Israel dwells safely (Hebrew betach) at this time. This is mentioned multiple times in the text (vss. 8, 11, 14). They are dwelling so safely, in fact, that Israel is called “the land of unwalled villages… dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.”
This aspect is so unique because it is the precise opposite of Israel’s position since the nation was reborn in 1948. Since the moment of the nation’s rebirth, they have faced the constant threat and danger of annihilation by their Arab neighbors. Today is no different. Consider just a few recent headlines that speak to the lack of safety for Israel:
Israel unveils IDF's new AI-powered 'Barak' super tank – The Jerusalem Post
Israelis should carry guns on Yom Kippur, police say - Defense News – The Jerusalem Post
Hamas Vows New ESCALATION Against Israel as Multi-Front War Looms – Watchman Newscast
How can Israel be called “them that are at rest” when the police encourage all Israelis to carry personal firearms? Why must Israel continue to upgrade their military and defensive capabilities? Why is there the constant threat of war on all of their borders? All of these things tell us that Israel has yet to achieve the safety described as a pre-requisite for Gog’s descent. So if not now, when will Israel dwell safely (betach)? The Scriptures answer thus:
Jeremiah 23:5-6 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. (6) In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Ezekiel 28:25-26 – Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. (26) And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.
There are other passages to this point, but it is significant to note that the only time the Bible shows Israel as dwelling with the “safety” (betach) described in Ezekiel 38 is A) after judgment has been executed on the heathen “round about them”, and B) after Christ has saved Israel from said enemies and reigns amongst them as “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS”.
There are many other facets of this issue to discuss, but five pages is enough for one Prophecy Letter! Let us try to absorb all of the many things going on as best as our feeble flesh will allow us, for the signs truly abound more and more with every passing week! And they are not pointless signs, but communicate a very clear message: that sweet day of consummation races upon us! May we use the remaining time for sober reflecting and heartfelt rejoicing, for “the Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
In the One Hope of Israel,