I've often used the Ezekiel 39:9 verse to show that the Gog-Magog battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 must occur at the start of the Tribulation.
"Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up--the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel."
For the Israelites to burn the weapons as fuel for 7 years, there must be 7 years of time on earth left to burn them. But a question on Jack Kelley's site made me think more deeply about the verse besides just timing. Here is the exchange:
Q. "I was reading an article on the Bible Prophecy Today website titled, “Israel Considers Nuclear Power.” And as I’m reading, it pops in my head that during the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 the Lord specifically says the people of Israel will use the weapons of the Horde that will be coming against them and burn them into fuel and for 7 years the energy needs of Israel will be met. Israel has been looking into ways to produce more electricity to meet the country’s growing energy need. Now they use coal, but its not efficient enough. I really think this shows just how in control God is that he not only is going to destroy Israel enemies but at the same time meet this need! What do you think? Am I reaching to much?"
A. "No, I don’t think you’re reaching. And when you stop to think about it, what other source of energy is there that could begin as a weapon and be converted into enough energy to supply the entire nation’s needs for 7 years? I once calculated that in 2002 it would have taken over 120,000 tons of combustible material to meet Israel’s energy needs for one day. It pretty much has to be nuclear."
This interpretation makes sense to me. The precursors to Iran's achieving nuclear weapons are astounding. It would not take much to see that Obama's dragging his feet on sanctions, his hostility toward Israel, and his misplaced friendliness toward the Palestinians would embolden the Iranians enough and give them the window of time to succeed in their nuclear goals. So how close are they?
The Australian reports bluntly:
"US allows Iran its nuclear vision"
"US President Barack Obama has decided to abandon any serious effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He is determined instead to live with a nuclear Iran, by containment and, if possible, negotiation. This is the shifting tectonic plate in the Middle East. This is the giant story of the past few weeks which the world has largely missed, distracted by the theatre of the absurd of Obama's contrived and mock confrontation with Israel over 1600 apartments to be built in three years' time in a Jewish suburb in East Jerusalem."
The lack of concerted effort to halt Iran's nukes in in the face of the facts of the recent advances of "Iran's missile program, which has no conceivable military use except to carry nuclear weapons, and which can now reach Europe and in due course will have a longer range..." That Iran has likely passed the tipping point and in actuality is near to their goal is widely understood by viewing their very public successes in their nuclear programme. NY Times reported a few days ago that: "Six months after the revelation of a secret nuclear enrichment site in Iran, international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands." (image source)
Of course they are. They have repeatedly said they are stopping at nothing and that nothing will deter them. They said it again yesterday.
The American Thinker site gives us some more information on that Iranian nuclear scientist who defected to the US: "The Washington Times is reporting this morning that the CIA believes Iran already has the capability to build a bomb if they chose to do so. This was self evident after the Iranians announced they were going to enrich their uranium hex from 4% to 20%. If you can enrich to 20% you can certainly enrich to the 85-90% level necessary to build a bomb." Of course they can.
What does all this add up to? A few things. First, the nuclear genie, who left the bottle in 1945 but remained tethered to the bottle, has broken loose. The notion of actually using nuclear weapons as a means of fighting nation against nation is now floating about and gaining tenability. The idea no longer engenders the immediate reflex reaction of recoil and repugnance as it has in the past.
Secondly, a close reading of the scriptures shows us that nuclear use will come to pass. Not only do the verses referring to Israel's burning of the (nuclear) fuel for 7 years as stated above, but Zechariah 14:12 paints a picture of what happens to the human body during a nuke strike: "Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth." Isaiah 17:1 pronounces that Damascus will cease from being a city, it will be a heap of ruins, no longer recognizable as even being a city. Only nuclear weapons can do that. Isaiah 34:4 shows us "All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll;" and that image is repeated in Rev 6:14 "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place." This effect actually occurs during a nuclear blast. The continuing force of a nuclear blast wave drives everything away from its super-heated center, with winds up to 400 miles per hour. After a few seconds the winds rush back to fill the partial vacuum left from the blast. And of course, nukes can make the mountains move from their place. (I wrote more about the likely use of nuclear weapons here.)
Third, things are occurring exactly as the Lord intended and told us ahead of time. What a blessing it is to have a Sovereign God who wants a personal relationship with us! What a blessing that He gave us his Word to study, so we can know these things and take comfort in His promises! There is also something else we can know, and that is that any person who has appealed to Jesus for forgiveness of his sins and repented, claiming Him as Lord and Savior, will NOT BE HERE when the nukes fly.
In due time, the world will be dark, literally dark "The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light." (Is 13:10). No light! The world will be spiritually dark too- "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." (Amos 8:11) No Light! You can know that you will be part of the blessed Church safely sequestered in heaven during the Tribulation, if you are sorry for your sins and ask Him to forgive. If you have done so, you will receive the Holy Spirit sealed inside you to educate you and guide you on His paths. For now,
"While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light." (John 12:36)