Sunday, June 5, 2011
The Role of Libya In The End Times
Libya. Just the mere word itself conjures up negative images, including its leader and ruthless dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the government's participation in terrorism past and present, and Gadhafi's proclamation that Islam should reign from India to Spain. Even now, we watch the events of war in Libya as it races across our TV screens headlining the nightly news, with the ever-increasing conflicts in the Middle East seemingly fulfilling Jesus' phrase "you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars" (Matthew 24:6) thus pointing to His soon return. It would appear to be important enough that the President gave a speech to the world to explain what is going on in Libya and what his plans are for that country. But even as the President has outlined his plans for Libya, I am going to outline God's plans for Libya in the endtime. God has a clear plan for Libya. He has already decreed its outcome through one of the Biblical prophets of old, and God has revealed His 'purpose' in what will be the eventual devastating defeat of Libya...but it won't be done by NATO airplanes nor will it be accomplished through rebel uprisings, neither will it be at the hands of the United States or Israel...God Himself will powerfully intervene.
The country of Libya is in the Bible. Additionally, and unknown to many, it is an important player in the Bible's prophecies of the end of days. It was 2,600 years ago that the prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the future that most every Biblical scholar agrees is speaking of the time period in which we are currently living.
Specifically, in Ezekiel 38, there is a list of nations that will come together at the end of days for the express purpose of destroying the nation of Israel. Among those nations is Turkey, who is identified by multiple ancient place names/locations that existed within that country's current borders (i.e., Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah). Also, Iran has been singled out by its ancient name Persia, as Iran was called 'Persia' until 1935. Finally, in Ezekiel 38:5, Libya is identified. Some Bible translations use the word Put, which is simply the Hebrew place name for the area currently occupied by present-day Libya. This coalition of nations, and the Bible implies many more nations with them, will make an all-out assault on Israel, intending to destroy her. God told Ezekiel that this event would occur in the "latter years" (Ezekiel 38:8). At the last moment it will look like Israel will be wiped out, but God will intervene and Libya and the other nations, including Iran, will suffer a 7-fold judgement from God - a great earthquake, pestilence, bloodshed, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:19-22). To be sure, God will not need airplanes and troops to get this accomplished.
The most remarkable thing, though, is that when God makes Libya, Iran, and other nations an example of His divine judgement, is that He also reveals His divine purpose. No less and no more than 7 times, God's perfect number, He makes similar statements as the one found in Ezekiel 39:7, "my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel...and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel." There you have the reason for God's intervention. God's coming judgement on Libya and the other nations with them will be to reveal Himself, to magnify Himself, to reveal His holiness, to glorify Himself, and to make Himself known in the eyes of many nations...all these phrases found in the Book of Ezekiel. God intervenes on behalf of Israel in order to reveal to the nations that He is God alone, that the prophecies of old that spoke of Him are true, and that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah who came to bring salvation to all of mankind.
And you say, "Jesus...in Ezekiel???" Yes! At the end of Ezekiel 39 it says that God will pour out His Spirit upon the house of Israel...and according to the Apostle Peter in the New Testament, only Jesus Christ has been given this authority to pour out the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:33, Peter said, in referring to Jesus upon His resurrection, "...being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (i.e., Jesus Christ) poured out this which you now see and hear". On that day very soon, Jesus will gloriously reveal Himself to Israel and an unbelieving world as the one true Savior, Lord, Messiah, and God! Additionally, Revival will come to Israel. In Ezekiel 39:28-29, God states, "then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land (prophecy fulfilled May 1948), and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord God".
Finally, if the nations of the Middle East mentioned in Ezekiel 38 (i.e., Libya, Iran, Turkey, etc.) are right now coming into alignment with each other before our very eyes, and assuming that the incredible event described above occurs sometime during the Great Tribulation period as most Biblical scholars believe, how much closer are we then to the soon return of Jesus Christ when he 'catches away' those who have been 'born again'?