June 2017 Prophetic Observer
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Final Solution II
by Bob Glaze
God has a solution for every problem, even for those that hate Israel. Satan has hated the people of God regardless of whom they were or who they were associated with because he hates their God. Since he cannot get his hands on God, he tries to take it out on those who represent God. Satan failed in his first attempt to destroy the work of God when his world was inundated at the Flood. However, after the Flood, he once again took up his quest to resume with phase two of his plan to thwart the work of God by eliminating His people. The story of this hatred began as far back as Genesis 10 with the future genealogy of the grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah. We read in Genesis 11:1, “and the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.” When leaving Mt. Ararat and moving west, they were in the area of the present-day Turkey.
The New Testament is a historical log of Anatolian (Turkish) geographical sites that are familiar to the reader but often never associated with Turkey. The names of Assos, Attalia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, Colossae, Derbe, Hierapolis, Iconium, Lystra, Miletus, Pisidia Antioch, Seleucia, Tarsus, Troas, Antioch, Lydia, Pontus, and Galatia are cited in the journeys of the Apostles John and Paul, and other ancient cities as Troy. The cities of the “Seven Churches of Revelation” in chapters two and three—Ephesus, Pergamos, Philadelphia, Sardis, Smyrna, Thyatira, and Laodicea—are located in present-day Turkey.
Most of Anatolia was at one time a Christian and Jewish stronghold. However, Rome’s hatred of these Christians caused a period of terrible persecution that was meant to eradicate Christianity as well as Jews.
“During the first three centuries of the Church history, the Roman Empire led 10 major waves of persecutions against Christians: The one led by Diocletian was the worst and brutal: When Diocletian (284-305) (Major Empire-Wide Persecution begins ca. 303; confiscation of Christian churches and books; arrest, torture, and execution of many Christian leaders) raised a column with the inscription of ‘The name Christian is extinguished,’ 3000-3500 Christians were executed already. That was recorded as the most intense period of violence in the early Christian history” (www.bibliotraveler.com).
This persecution had a reverse effect on the eradication. It caused the Gospel to spread like wildfire, like hot embers from a stomped-out campfire. These embers spread to other parts of the world as these Christians fled from Rome. I once asked Pastor Samuel Lamb, the great Chinese pastor, how he prayed for the church in America. His answer was, “I pray for persecution because it makes the church grow.” Christian persecution in China has drawn millions to faith in Christ.
Christian persecution in England was the leading factor that led to Christians coming to America, but Americans have forgotten why we have the freedom to live, breathe, and worship as we please, or not to worship at all.
However, there is a soon-coming event that will remove the entire Christian element from this earth in preparation for the seven-year Tribulation period. I believe that present-day Turkey will play a key role in the event that removes we Christians, alive and dead.
The land of the “Seven Churches” was proof that “the gates of hell” will not prevail against the church. Turkey is called “the other Holy Land,” not because of its present-day people, but for the Christian and Jewish history it holds. Most of the missionary journeys by the apostles Paul and John took place in what is now Turkey. The Bible calls the land of Anatolia, “Asia”; Rome dubbed it “Asia Minor.” Turkey has the oldest history of any land in the Bible since the Flood. As near as I could calculate, the Flood took place 1,642 years after creation and 2,358 years before Christ. The story of Turkey is a story of its native son, Japheth. However, all three sons of Noah will participate in the invasion of Israel.
Japheth and his sons settled the areas of Eurasia from the Caspian and Black seas to the area of southern Spain. Today, they are considered the progenitors of those referred to as Caucasians, or Europeans, and to those settling in the Caucasian Mountains and plains of mainly the area around Turkey. The modern country is vital to the end-time scenario, especially in its role in the invasion of Israel noted in Ezekiel 38-39. It is important to understand the historical connection of its role from Mt. Ararat to the present. The sons of Japheth listed in Genesis 10:1-5 are as follows: Gomer (Ezek. 38:6), Magog (Ezek. 38:2), Madai, Javan, Tubal (Ezek. 38:2), Meshech (Ezek. 38:2), and Tiras. Those sons that were not listed no doubt will play a role.
In Genesis 9:20-27, Noah blessed Japheth because of his respect for his father by pronouncing a blessing on him: “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” The descendants of Japheth would spread throughout the earth and be prosperous and receive spiritual blessings from the God of Shem. This prophecy has surely come to pass, as the descendants of Japheth have spread around the world. Remember, Turkey is not Arab; they are considered Caucasians.
Ham’s descendants eventually settled in Africa and on the Mediterranean coast. Ham’s son Cush sired Nimrod, the mighty hunter, and established Babel as his kingdom in Shinar in ancient Babylon, the future site of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 10-11). Ham’s son Cush fathered Heth, who was the beginning of the powerful Hittite kingdom that ranged even into Israel and is noted several times in the Scriptures. It was in Shinar that Nimrod established his kingdom and began to build the Tower of Babel. According to Genesis 11:4, Nimrod’s goal was to unite and rule all of the people of the earth lest they were scattered.
There has been much written about the size and configuration of the Tower as being a tall ziggurat or other type of structure that would be the symbol of unification of the masses. Nimrod intended to be their god and wanted to establish a high place where he was to be worshipped. He was a representative of Satan himself rebelling against the Creator and attempting to complete the task he began in the Garden of Eden.
When God confused the masses by confounding their language and scattering them over the earth, they took with them a religion of idolatry which was identified with the Tower. It is ironic that the tallest manmade structure on earth for thousands of years was the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Could it be that the Tower of Babel was a pyramid, and it was the symbol of their religion and was reconstructed wherever they migrated? Egypt was not exceptional to the building of pyramids. Many countries around the world have pyramids, even America.
The descendants of Ham are a natural enemy of Israel because of the curse that Noah placed and Canaan and his descendants. It was not placed upon Ham, but upon his son, Canaan. In Genesis 9:24-27 we read of the cause of the curse, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem: and Canaan shall be his servant.” Canaan is the Hebrew name for the region called by the Romans Palestine. There is no race of people called Palestinians. Palestine is a geographical region, and those that live in that area are called Palestinians.
Those who call themselves “Palestinians” today hate Israel, and that hatred is a product of the curse by Noah upon Canaan. The curse upon Canaan has never been rescinded, and Satan hates the idea that his representatives are to bow to and serve the Jews. There is a way to loose them from their curse, and that is for them to individually accept the God of the Jews and His Son as their Savior and God. In order to do this, they must reject the god of Babel.
Those called Palestinians were given a portion of land in Jordan after WWII by the United Nations. They tried to take over Jordan as much as they are trying to take over Israel today. However, Jordan ran them out of their country and they moved into the area of western Israel. They hate Israel, and will never be at complete peace with them and they will certainly take part in the Muslim coalition that will invade Israel in Ezekiel 38-39.
The sons of Shem settled the area north of the Persian Gulf and eventually engulfed most of the Middle East. Jews are Semitic, and therefore are descendants of Shem. “Noah associated Shem especially with the worship of Jehovah, recognizing the dominantly spiritual motivations of Shem and thus implying that God’s promised Deliverer would ultimately come from Shem. The Semitic nations have included the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, Persians, Syrians, and other strongly religious minded peoples” (The Matthew Henry Study Bible). Jews from all over the world are answering the call from God according to Scripture. The Ashkenazi Jews from northern Europe, the Sephardic Jews from the area of Spain, and even Ethiopians have claimed to be Jews and have been accepted. Jews born in Israel are known as Sabra Jews.
“Turks began migrating into the area now called Turkey (‘land of the Turks’) in the 11th century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the The Battle of Manzikert, or Malazgirt. Several small beyliks and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol Empire’s invasion. Starting from the 13th century, the Ottoman beylik united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. After the Ottoman Empire collapsed following its defeat in World War I, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies. A cadre of young military officers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, organized a successful resistance to the Allies; in 1923, they would establish the modern Republic of Turkey with Atatürk as its first president.
“Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic, with an ancient cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic, and industrial relations with the Middle East, the Turkic states of Central Asia and the African countries through membership in organizations such as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Economic Cooperation Organization. Given its strategic location, large as well as powerful economy and army, Turkey is classified as a major regional power.” (www.historyofturkey.com).
For hundreds of years the Turks had lived under a strict sharia law that strangled any hope of improving their lives and join the rest of the world with any hopes of freedom. However, after the Turks were successful in throwing off the Allied attempt to colonize Turkey, Mustafa Kemel alone took charge as their first president with dreams of becoming part of the Western world. In 1924, he began to write a new constitution that would bring them into the modern world and become a partner with other nations. His dream was to become a secular nation with freedoms that no other Muslim nation could aspire to. He began to make the following reforms to bring them into the twentieth century:
- On November 1, 1922, he abolished the sultanate and banished the sultan for life.
- On July 24, 1923, at the Treaty of Lausanne, he proclaimed Ankara as the capital.
- On March 3, 1924, he abolished the caliphate, officially killing the Ottoman Empire. He closed all traditional schools. Sharia law was abolished.
- On November 25, 1925, he abolished the Dervish brotherhoods and outlawed the wearing of the fez.
- In 1926, he introduced new civil codes based on European models. Veiling of women was discouraged. The Gregorian calendar replaced the Islamic calendar. Polygamy and divorce introduced civil marriage.
- In 1927, the first census was taken.
- In 1928, the new Turkish alphabet, a modified Latin form, was adopted. Laws defining Islam as the official religion were abolished.
- In 1933, the Islamic call to worship and public readings of the Qu’ran was required to be read in Turkish instead of Arabic.
- In 1934, women were given the right to vote and the law of surnames was adopted.
- In 1935, Sunday was adopted as a legal weekly holiday, and then state role of managing the economy was written into the law.
To the women: Win for us the battle of education and you will do yet more for your country than we have been able to do. It is to you that I appeal.To the men: If henceforward the women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development. We shall remain irremediably backward, incapable of treating on equal terms with the civilizations of the West. (www.wikipedia.com)
Any one of the previous changes was an official announcement that Turkey was no longer controlled by sharia law. It separated itself from the rest of the Muslim world by becoming an official secular state, having more in common with the western world than the Near East. When visiting Turkey today, you will find Atatürk’s statue (the father of Turkey) in many places and he is revered by most of its citizens. Turkey became a member of NATO in 1952 along with Greece, but never became a member of the European Union, mainly at the resistance of Greece.
In my many tours of Turkey, I never saw a burka, but with the flooding of immigrants fleeing from the destruction of lives and homes, burkas are becoming a familiar sight in Istanbul and Ankara. The strides the Atatürk made in his lifetime are now in jeopardy. We have a new potential caliph in town, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has been campaigning for the institution of a new constitution to replace the existing constitution that Atatürk inspired. His stated goal is the same as ISIS—reinstitute the Ottoman Empire—only with himself as the new sultan. He is quickly changing the secular state of Turkey to one of sharia law, and the reorganization of all Muslims under his leadership. In a recent referendum, he obtained 51.5 percent of the vote to rewrite the Turkish constitution to give him sweeping new powers. Turkey is fast becoming a monarchy with the future of a caliph.
The possibility of this happening was magnified by the weak leadership of past administrations. In Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, he stated: “I will stand with [Muslims] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” This brings us back to the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 and the involvement of the Islamic coalition, with Turkey as the leader with possible Russian involvement. Erdogan is now coming out against Israel—its former ally—because he believes that Russia has his back and he is using them as a buffer between Turkey and the United States.
“Tensions have resurfaced between Turkey and Israel, with Recip Tayyip Erdogan criticizing the ‘racist and discriminatory’ treatment of Palestinians, and Israel responding by summoning the Turkish ambassador and condemning Ankara’s human rights record. Erdogan, Turkey’s president, denounced Israeli practices during an address in Istanbul on Monday night, describing the blockade of Gaza as having ‘no place in humanity.’
“He urged Muslims to visit the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem as a means of supporting the Palestinian cause and called for the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Erdogan also condemned a Knesset (Israeli parliament) bill to muffle the azan, the Muslim call to prayer, in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem” (www.theguardian.com, May 9, 2017)
During the presidential campaign in November of 2016, Donald Trump said that he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is truly the capital of Israel, and has been for thousands of years. It is the center of three religious groups: Muslims worship on Fridays; Jews on Saturdays; and Christians meet on Sunday, the first day of the week. Moving the Embassy of the United States would signal that Jerusalem is the official capital of Israel, and would leave Muslims out in the cold. Erdogan is making sure that this does not happen on his watch. This would certainly be a black eye to his caliphate. He has already begun to organize the world’s Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, to be ready to move.
For centuries scholars and Bible students have brooded over the catalyst that would cause this coalition to make a move on Jerusalem. Many have suggested oil, agriculture, or just a hatred of the Jew. However, Ezekiel 38 seems to suggest that they have no say in the matter and are forced to advance against Israel: “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I bring thee forth.” The most viable answer to this question is the making Jerusalem the official capital of Israel. Once again, our president (who is visiting Israel at the time of the writing of this article) could possibly make this announcement. If not now, soon. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
The importance of Turkey has seemed to be unimportant and understated by many Bible prophecy teachers. However, with the exception of Israel, Turkey is the most important piece of the end-time puzzle.