Often times it's not what Holy Writ says so much as how we construe it that counts! Especially is this so when Zionists and Dispensationalists, the Neo-Cons and the Theo-Cons, get together to do the construing. When these two are in agreement, watch out, for their aggressive ideologies depend on an apocalyptic "clash of civilizations" to bring about their shared vision of a "New World Order" ruled from Jerusalem.

Thus saith the Reverend John Hagee:

Just before us is a nuclear countdown with Iran, followed by Ezekiel’s war (as described in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39), and then the final battle — the battle of Armageddon. Following Ezekiel 38, Russia will give military leadership to the radical Islamics who want to destroy the state of Israel and control Jerusalem. That is the battle of Gog and Magog. And God himself will destroy the Russian-Arab coalition. The world will see God defending Israel as it hasn’t seen since Pharaoh.

-- John Hagee, "Jerusalem Countdown" [1]

More recently, in a book titled, Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World, [1] Rev. Hagee wrote:

The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching, ... Just before us is a nuclear countdown with Iran, followed by Ezekiel's war (as described in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39), and then the final battle -- the battle of Armageddon.

I do not take Rev. Hagee, a nationally known minister of the Word, to task for resorting to Holy Writ as his source for prophetic understanding, for it is written:

Surely YHVH will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.

-- Amos 3:7

but I do take Rev. Hagee to task for the way he reads the Bible, perceiving that he grossly perverts its meaning for, rightly is it said that "the Bible has been twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools."

Inasmuch as the names "Gog and Magog" have been invoked, I think it appropriate to repair to the only two books mentioning them both - Ezekiel and Revelation - and this in only three chapters. There is also a single, but significant, mention of Magog in Genesis 10:2-3. In other words, this subject can be investigated without doing a long, involved study. But let us be sure to consider bothEzekiel, chapters 38 and 39 and Revelation, chapter 21 in tandum, side-by-side, (something fundamentalists often fail to do), for then it will become readily apparent that the Scriptural time frame cannot be squared with the Dispensationists' time frame.

Thus reads Revelation:

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan will be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them all.

-- Revelation 21:7-9

Once one recognizes that the events described above only happened toward the close of the millennial reign, then one cannot be buffaloed so easily by Zionists and Dispensationalists (often one-and-the-same) into supporting their nefarious wars. Anyone who says to us, "Gog and Magog is at hand," should be pointed in the direction of Revelation 21:7-9, or better yet, taken by the hand and shown what the Bible has to says, then, gently informed, "Sorry, but it would appear that you're about a 1000 years off in your prediction."

So what is one to do when an apparent discrepancy is identified, in this instance, between Ezekiel's and Revelation's Gog and Magog accounts?

Should we grant Revelation precedence for being the more recently written book or, should we follow the Law of First Mention whereby some thing in Scripture is taken for being that which it was first defined as being, thus granting Ezekiel's ccount precedence? Then again, some have concluded that Scripture is inherently conflicted and give up seeking any rhyme or reason whatever, while others cling to arcane schemes of interpretation to explain away non-conforming texts. In this instance, however, there's reason to look, rather, to the manuscript record as a way of clearing up a glaring discrepancy, for it appears that deliberate tampering has occurred.

These are the facts: in 1871 a 5th Century AD Latin palmpiset codex came to public attention, published in Vienna by Ernst Rasnke, as "Palimpsetorum Wirceburgensis: Antiquuissimae Veretis Testamenti Versionis Latinae Fragmenta." Denominated "Codex Wiceburgensis," it provides the best text of the Vetus Latina, that is, the Old Latin, that we know of. This then is the ordering of its text in Ezekiel:

  • Chapter 36:1-15: regeneration of the Land; 36:16-23b: regeneration of the people (but 36:23c-38, a transitional section found in "canonical" Ezekiel is absent from Wirceburgensis and its allied texts.)
  • Chapter 38: two prophesies against Gog;
  • Chapter 39:1-20; a third prophecy against Gog: 39:21-29: Israel's Return.
  • Chapter 37:1-14; a vision of the Valley of Dry Bones; 37:15-28; the two Sticks.

The existence of this one, seemingly aberrant, text did not register greatly with scholars, at least not initially, but then, in 1931, a Greek 3rd Century papyrus text, denominated "P967," surfaced. It contains the oldest copy of Ezekiel we currently have. Lo and behold, it too has the same ordering of the text as does Codex Wirceburgensis, only the latter's text is less corrupted and more complete, a sure indication that antecedent to both the Latin codex and the Greek papyrus was an older text of the same, general family.

Another salient point - both the Latin and Greek manuscripts lack Ezekiel 36:23c-38. Were this only a matter of text having been transposed, one might suppose that an accident had occurred involving leaves falling from a manuscript which were, then put back together out of order or that a careless scribe went off to lunch and forgot where he left off on returning but something more is going on. Filler has been added to bridge and smooth the gap between Ezekiel 36:23b and Ezekiel 37:1. That cannot be written off to happenstance or inadvertence.

Then, more recently, amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls was found what is called Pseudo-Ezekiel, the oldest copy of which is 4Q391, which is dated paleographically to the late second century BC. Not Ezekiel but modeled on Ezekiel, Pseudo-Ezekiel, according to Dr. Devorah Dimant in the book Qumran Cave 4, XXI: Parabiblical Texts, Psudo-Prophetic Texts, page 312, [2] follows not canonical Ezekiel's order but what I shall now term "archaic" Ezekiel an appropriate name, I think, for a text having a goodly claim to preserving the original order.

Arises then the question, who would tamper with Ezekiel's text and why? Evidently someone wanted the vision of the "Valley of Dry Bones" and the joining of the "Two Sticks," those being Judah and Israel, to happen before the battle with Gog and Magog. We cannot at this distance say with absolute certainty what someone's motivations were who lived that long ago, but it would seem by way of an educated guess, that this involved someone who wanted to foreshorten the Dispersion happening after the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Not only that, it would have to be someone who had the power to control the manuscript tradition. Only one party I know of comes to mind, namely, the late 1st Century, rabbinical academy operating under Rabbi Yohannon ben Zakkai's auspices, which was located in the costal village called Yavnah. This academy is thought to have decided what is or is not "canonical." I would identify their activities as being the first, tentative stirrings of the current Zionist movement.

An entire generations of Biblical exegetes have been breaking their pens in vain attempting to explain away the conflicting accounts. For instance, writing in 1911, T. B. Baines in his 5th edition of The Revelation of Jesus Christ, [3] wrote regarding the John's Apocalypse:

Gog and Magog are here used in a wider sense than in Ezekiel, and their invasions differ in time and details, though agreeing in character and object, with that which he foretells.

So its not the same Gog and Magog. Then, more recently (1966), Dallas Theological Seminary's celebrated, Dispensationalist theologian, John F. Walvoord, in his book, also titled The Revelation of Jesus Christ, [4] could only echo Baines, by admitting to two Gogs and two Magogs:

Ezekiel's battle probably occurs previous to the battle of the great day of God Almighty before the millennium, whereas this [in John's Revelation] occurs after the thousand years have been finished.

That the End Time sequence of events remains an unsolved riddle, is evident for fundamentalist, teacher/evangelist/organizer from Couer d'Alene, Idaho, Chuck Missler, in his book, The Magog Invasion, pages 248-249, [5-a] states:

The sudden appearance of "Gog" in the Ezekiel text, without any apparent background from other passages, has puzzled commentators for centuries.

What makes dating the battle with Gog and Magog so important? Because there are those who are using this prophecy to justify preemptive, nuclear war.

For example, on CNN's Live From... (07/26/06), a nine-minute segment was devoted to anchor Kyra Phillips' quizzing best-selling Christian authors, Jerry Jenkins , co-author of The Left Behind book series, and Joel C. Rosenberg, author of The Ezekiel Option, [6] about the current Middle East situation:

PHILLIPS: So, Joel, are we living in the last days? I mean, let's talk about the specific signs to watch. You've written about them. What does the Bible say, and are we there?

ROSENBERG: Well, people are very interested, I agree. Tim and Jerry's books deal with the Rapture, the disappearance of the church, and the events going forward in Revelation. My theories -- The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll -- are about events that could lead up to the Rapture and the return of Christ. Yeah, people are interested because the rebirth of Israel, the fact that Jews are living in the Holy Land today, that is a Bible prophecy. When Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, they begin to form an alliance against Israel, those are the prophecies from Ezekiel 38 and 39. I've been -- that's what I'm basing my novels on.

I've been invited to the White House, Capitol Hill. Members of Congress, Israelis, Arab leaders all want to understand the Middle East through the lens of biblical prophecies. I'm writing these novels that keep seeming to come true. But we're seeing Bible prophecy, bit by bit, unfold in the Middle East right now.

PHILLIPS: And you talk about epic battles for Jerusalem -- the biblical prophecy. Get specific with us. Tell us what's happening now that totally correlates with what you've written about biblically.

ROSENBERG: Well that's right. Ezekiel 36 and 37, those are chapters in the Bible, the Old Testament, about the rebirth of the state of Israel and Jerusalem coming back under Jewish control. We've seen those prophecies happen. Ezekiel 38 and 39, what my novel "The Ezekiel Option" is about, is an alliance of Islamic countries to destroy Israel and liberate Jerusalem.

Israeli Christians are generally much discriminated against in Israel, yet Rosenberg somehow found employment at the highest levels of the Israeli political system, including with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Member of Parliament Natan Sharansky. This only makes sense if one assumes that he subordinated his religion to the needs of the Zionist State. His recent suggestion hat Russia be added to the Bush administration's "axis of evil" fits with that conclusion. In an article titled: "The End Times Hits Primetime" by Matt Taibbi, [7] posted to RollingStone.com 08/30/06, Taibbi wrote:

There have been indications lately that this whole End Times business is fast becoming more than a crazy hobby among the mutant-evangelist set, and is actually playing an important role in Middle East politics, specifically in guiding America’s Israel policy.

Joel C. Rosenberg, born into an Orthodox Jewish family but a convert to Christ at 17, is a former senior advisor to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Think about it: a former high-ranking Israeli official returns to the United States and starts writing a new genre of End Times bestsellers whose main ideological thrust is that the United States must stand by Israel to guard against a future invasion by a mega-powerful multinational Antichrist, one that includes the forces of the Arab world, Russia, Germany, and those... French — an invasion which, he repeatedly says in numerous television appearances, is about to happen at any moment.

Rosenberg was on Fox numerous times throughout this summer’s Israeli-Lebanon conflict, warning of a cataclysmic attack by Iran. He appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on August 16 and claimed that the Iranian president was saying that “the end of the world is rapidly approaching and that it’s his mission to bring it about by destroying Israel.” At no time did he mention that he himself was the author of apocalyptic novels.

When the end of the world is being soberly predicted on most of our major television networks and the Wall Street Journal, and a group dedicated to End Times fantasies can summon the attention of Senators, a Republican Party chairman, and the heads of two nuclear states, this matter stops being a conspiracy theory. We might have to face the fact that American politics has departed the world of the rational and has entered the realm of a cultist dynamic.

The question arises, are these expounders of prophecy content to predict terrible events or are they willing to go further and become collaborators with those who bring such events to pass? Let us see. On 10/26/01, the highly-connected, multi-millionaire, Chuck Missler posted to the web an article titled: "A legacy of hate: Jihad in America" [5-b] in which he stated:

Even now, none of us have recovered from the shocks of September 11, 2001.... We certainly were shocked, yes; but it should not have come as a surprise.... Avi Lipkin, from our own platform in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, warned specifically about the likelihood of an attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

-- 10/01, Personal Update Newsletter [5-b]

Oh really? And knowing that there was going to be an attack on the World Trade Center, did Lipkin warn authorities so that lives could be saved or did he just sit back and let it happen? And by the way, what was his source of information? In other words, what did he know and when did he know it? Since overwhelming evidence exists that the three Trade Towers were taken down in a controlled demolition using pre-placed explosive charges [8] and further evidence linking the Zionist State's spy agency, Mossad, to the deed, [9] it is important to pursue this line of inquiry on that account alone. But there's more to it than that. Lipkin is now predicting "another 9/11." Given his track record of specfic, insider knowledge on the subject; also, given his background in Israeli government as a high level former advisor to Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir, one would think it only prudent to take his predictions seriously. The only question I have is, why wasn't he taken into custody long go for questioning?

"The Lord didn't say nuclear, but I do believe it'll be something like that — that'll be a mass killing, possibly millions of people, major cities injured."

-- Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club" - 01/03/07

Is this just the Rev. Pat Robertson talking trash or has he been tipped off? Last year (05/06), Robertson in his interview with Joel Rosenberg had this curious exchange of views:

ROBERTSON: "The Ezekiel Option" – we’ve been talking about it – it looks like things are lining up in an incredible way. Who would have that Iran – which is mentioned in Ezekiel – would now be now the vicious enemy of Israel, the Sudan would be an Islamic dictatorship, Russia would be moving in, the Caucasian republics... who would have thought this would happen, say, 50 years ago? It didn’t seem possible.

ROSENBERG: No, that’s right. Ezekiel wrote his prophecy 2,500 years ago and for most of that time people thought this just proves that the Bible can’t possibly know what it’s talking about. But as I wrote in The Ezekiel Option - you and I have talked about this in the past – this war is going to happen, what’s called “The War of Gog and Magog.” Russia, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Sudan, these other countries are going to come to attack Israel and wipe her off the planet. Are we there yet? It’s too early to say, to be honest, but we are certainly moving in the trajectory of something that Ezekiel prophesied. I tried to write out a scenario in my previous novel – The Ezekiel Option: what would it look like if it happened in our lifetime? But people are emailing me from literally all over the world right now to explain, “Doesn’t it seem like we’re getting closer?” And it does seem like we’re getting closer.

ROBERTSON: Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a fascinating and fun book to read. And it’s nice to read one where you say it’s fiction but yes, this might well happen. And I won’t give away the plot, but it’s very interesting, and before it’s finished the treasure is there, by the way. Joel, thank you very much…. God bless you.

God bless us all, indeed and my he protect the world from the crazy doomsday cult that these religous wackos lead and represent.

Now let us move on to consider how secure the sequence of End Time events really are. According to Dr. Thomas Ice, one of the heaviest hitters amongst the Dispensationalists. He has 20 books to his credit, his Th.M was from Dallas Theogical Seminary and whose Ph.D. is from Tyndale Theological Seminary.

And he addresses [10] these questions:

The battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is one of the most debated items in the area of biblical prophecy. Commentator Ralph Alexandr said, "One of the perennial enigmas of Biblical prophecy is has been the Gog and Magog event described in Ezekiel 38 and 39." Almost every aspect of this ancient prophecy has been disputed, including whether it was fulfilled in the past or is still a future prophecy. Who are the peoples involved and do they relate to modern nations? How should we understand the weapons that are described? If a future event, when does it take place on the prophetic timeline?

Prophecy expert, Mark Hitchcock notes: "By far, the most controversial issue in Ezekiel 38-39 is the setting or timing of the invasion. The specific time of the invasion in Ezekiel 38 is difficult to determine." Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins in their best-selling novel Left Behind,invasion of Israel right before the rapture of the church. The strength of this position is that it accounts for the burning of the weapons of war for seven years as mentioned in Ezekiel 39:9. However, Tim LaHaye has told me personally that even though they represented a pre-rapture position on Ezekiel 38 and 39 in their novel, he tends to place it after the rapture but before the tribulation.

Another major argument is based upon the statement that Israel will be "living securely, all of them" (Ezek. 38:8), which is the result of the false peace brought by the anti-Christ in the first half of the tribulation. This view has a lot in its favor. The last major view is that the battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39 will occur at the end of the millennium.

The basis for this view is significant since Revelation 20:7-9 speaks of a conflict at the end of the millennium when Satan is released. Verse 8 says, "(Satan) will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corner of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war . . ." The strength of this view is obvious, Gog and Magog are specifically mentioned in the text.

-- "Ezekiel 38 and 39, Part I" - by Thomas Ice [10]

How plain is the time line? About as plain as mud.

Regarding Gog and Magog's identity, who they are suppose to be and from whence they are suppose to hail from, remains big question marks. Are we sure that we've properly ID'ed "the bad guys"? This much we know from Genesis 10:3, that Magog is one of Japheth's sons. That means he's Caucasian. Beyond that, there are historical clues of varying degrees of reliability.

There is the Hashemite Kingdom Theory, the Caucus Theory, the All Europe theory, the Russian Theory, the Indo-European Theory. etc.

In the Middle Ages, Christians saw the Mongel invaders as Gog and Magog. A 1000 years earlier, Josephus identified the Scythians as being Gog. In this we start to see a pattern, Josephus was a Roman citizen and the Scythians were Rome's enemy. Certain apocalyptic web sites identify Bin Laden as Gog (that despite his excellent credentials for being a Semite!) Some Muslims identify the West as being Gog and so it goes. As it turns out that Gog and Magog are generally nothing more than one's favorite bad guy.

Personally, I prefer the Khazar Theory, the one that says the Ashkenazi Zionists, the current occupiers of the Holy Land, who we know are the Khazar's offspring are Magog. Of the Khazars, Heinrich von Neustadt, around 1300 AD, wrote, that they were as the "terrifying people of Gog and Magog." According to Imam Ibn Kathir, Mohammed's contemporary, Mohammed claimed, "Every day, Gog and Magog are trying to dig a way out through the barrier [the Caucasus mountains]. When they begin to see sunlight through it, the one who is in charge of them says, 'Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow,' and when they come back, the barrier is stronger than it was before. This will continue until their time comes and Allah wishes to send them forth."

Says Arthur Koestler:

The evidence ...adds up to a strong case ... that the bulk of modern Jewry is not of Palestinian, but of Caucasian origin. The mainstream of Jewish migrations did not flow from the Mediterranean across France and Germany to the east and then back again. The stream moved in a consistently westerly direction, from the Caucasus through the Ukraine into Poland and thence into Central Europe. When that unprecedented mass-settlement in Poland came into being, there were simply not enough Jews around in the west to account for it; while in the east a whole nation was on the move to new frontiers.... their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

-- Arthur Koestler, "The Thirteenth Tribe" [11]

That's the irony of it, the fundamentalist are so deceived that of their own volition they are underwriting the very ones who will suddenly turn on them and destroy them without mercy or remorse.

So how does it stand with the Hagees and the Robertsons, the Lipkins and the Rosenbergs, and other such nukee-pukees who but salivate at the prospect of a world war? Do they think to burnish their reputations by the accuracy of their prophetic council? Actually what this is all about is the unreality of their profession of faith and that of their followers, that it should need this kind of reinforcement - war and the rumor of war - to fortify it. These are the ones who in many instances thought that war with Iraq was going to be a "cakewalk."

Now, as if they had learned nothing from that experience, they are all a twitter at the prospect of a new war, this time with Iran. But what's in it for them? One word says it all, "rapture." They believe that the Bible promises that before the great tribulation - when things get really ugly - that they'll be raptured out of the world. By the way, this belief in "pre-tribulation rapture," has not one iota of Biblical support but is made up from whole cloth.

But now I have my own prediction to make:

There's a hard rain gonna fall.

And when these warmongers' nasty little business comes to fruition, if indeed it does (and lets hope it doesn't), they will have earned the enmity of us all. I further predict that so long as men tell tales of days gone by, assuming that anybody survives, these individuals will be remembered for the thoughtless way they went about setting the world afire. Do they think, perhaps, to warm themselves in its after-glow?

Notes:

[1]. "Jerusalem Countdown"
by John Hagee
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591858933/mmn-20/

[2]. "Qumran Cave 4: XXI: Parabiblical Texts, Part 4: Pseudo-Prophetic Texts (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert)"
by Devorah Dimant
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199245428/mmn-20/

[3]. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ (The Serious Christian)"
by T. B Baines
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006X6GBI/mmn-20/

[4]. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ"
by John F. Walvoord
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802473091/mmn-20/

[5]. a). "The Magog Invasion"
by Chuck Missler
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0964105861/mmn-20/

b). "A Legacy of Hate: Jihad in America"
by Chuck Missler
October 2001 - Personal Update NewsJournal
http://www.khouse.org/articles/2001/371/

[6]. "The Ezekiel Option"
by Joel C. Rosenberg
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1414303440/mmn-20/

[7]. "The End Times Hits Primetime"
by Matt Taibbi
August 30, 2006 - RollingStone.com / AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/41075/

[8]. "Loose Change / Loose Change - 2nd Edition / Loose Change Final Cut (Documentaries)"
by Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas
http://www.loosechange911.com/ - Official Website

[9]. "9/11: What did Israel know? -- and when did they tell us?"
by Justin Raimondo
October 4, 2002 - Antiwar.com
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j100402.html

[10]. "Ezekiel 38 and 39, Part I"
by Thomas Ice
Pre-Trib Research Center
http://www.pre-trib.org/article-view.php?id=296

[11]. "The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage"
by Arthur Koestler
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0394402847/mmn-20/