Gary concludes his response to a recent sermon by Pastor Jack Hibbs tying Matthew 24 and Ezekiel 38-39 together and claiming the events are still to happen.

Ezekiel writes that the forces gathered to fight against Israel are after silver, gold, cattle, and goods (Ezek. 38:12–13). The Jews who had returned to Jerusalem brought silver, gold, goods, and cattle with them (Ezra 1:4–11; 2:69; 5:14; 6:5; 7:15–16, 18, 22; Neh. 7:71–72), the same items mentioned by Ezekiel. Haman promises to “pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business, to put into the king’s treasury” (Esther 3:9; see also 3:11; 4:7; 7:4). Where did Haman plan to get the silver to pay the king? From the Jews who had previously returned to Israel with these valuable commodities. “And the king said to Haman, ‘The silver is yours, and the people also, to do with as you please” (3:11). Haman’s goal was “to seize their possessions as plunder” (Esther 3:13). He believed the Jews would be an easy mark since they had no standing army or defensive wall.

How do futurists interpret the passage that refers to silver, gold, cattle, and goods (Ezek. 38:12–13)? The Israel of today doesn’t have any appreciable gold reserves. It doesn’t even make the top 40 nations holding gold reserves. Russia would do better to invade Germany (no. 2), France (no. 4), and Italy (no. 5) if it’s after gold. Tim LaHaye wrote in 1984 that economic conditions in Russia will deteriorate while Israel’s are “destined to improve.” As of this writing, Russia is flush with cash and oil. There are even quite a few billionaires.

In what modern war can anyone remember armies going after cattle? How much cattle does Israel have? Certainly not enough to feed the Russians! The latest claim is that Israel will discover oil. Maybe so, but Ezekiel doesn’t say anything about oil. Russia has huge oil reserves and is planning to claim oil-rich lands in the Arctic. Why would Russia risk going into Israel when its army couldn’t defeat an ill-equipped Afghan army? In fact, it’s Afghanistan that seems to have all the wealth “with significant deposits of copper, iron, gold, oil and [natural] gas, and coal—as well as precious gems such as emeralds and rubies” that “in 10 years will make the poor nation “the richest country in the region.” How will the Russians drill for oil if, according to Thomas Ice, the state of the world will be so bad that it must revert to a pre-technological era? Why will anyone need oil when horses will be the mode of transportation (Ezek. 39:20)? And yet, end-time speculators make a big deal about oil being one of the reasons for Gog’s invasion of Israel.

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

Jet planes … missiles … and atomic weapons. You will search in vain in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and you will not find them. You will, however, find horses, bows and arrows, shields, clubs, and chariots. If the Gog and Magog prophecy was written for a time more than 2500 years in the future from Ezekiel’s day, why didn’t God describe the battle in terms that we could relate to and understand? Why confuse Ezekiel’s first readers and us?

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Gary concludes his response to a recent sermon by Pastor Jack Hibbs about how close we are to the end. Pastor Hibbs jumps from Matthew 24 to Ezekiel 38-39 claiming it also is yet to happen. Gary makes the biblical and exegetical case that the events described in Ezekiel 38-39 have already taken place.

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Pastor Hibbs’ sermon can be found here