A document written to President Bush by three Rabbis in Israel won't get any notice in the world press, and isn't being given much attention by church leaders either, but in my view it's an extraordinary thing, given the status of its authors. Rabbi Steinzaltz is the leader of the Sanhedrin, who Time magazine has called a once in a millennium scholar. Dr. Eshel heads up the New Jewish Congress, and Rabbi Richman represents the Temple Institute and Temple Mount movements. These are not kooks from the lunatic fringe, but respected scholars and leaders among religious Jews.
It's being called The Bush Scroll and was written in the Name of the Lord, Eternal God, as if the authors believe they were His scribes in the effort, and calls to mind the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord.” It was addressed to “esteemed Mr. George W. Bush, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, (Ezekiel 38:1) leader of the west.” By including a reference to Ezekiel in the salutation the authors were identifying Pres. Bush as the one called Gog in that verse. It seems like they intend it to be viewed as a letter from God to His adversary (I am against you O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal).
If so, it offers Mr. Bush a clear choice. Although by addressing him as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, they're saying that Mr. Bush is currently fulfilling this role, he can still decide to either:
- Reject the role of Gog, and be counted among the truly righteous, on a par with Cyrus of Persia, who authorized the first re-gathering of Israel, and Lord Balfour of England, whose Balfour Declaration paved the way for the second, by defending Israel's right to the land God gave them;
- Or continue to accept it and willfully aid in Israel's destruction, under the guise of peace, and be inscribed for eternal disgrace!
Students of prophecy have speculated for generations as to the identity of Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. But I don't believe there's ever been a time when Hebrew scholars of such distinction have so publicly and obviously done so. I don't know if they believe that Mr. Bush is just one of several leaders who will fulfill the prophecy of Gog, or if he's the one and only. If it's the latter then they appear to be saying that unless he rejects the role, his vision of peace will materialize and the stage will be set for the Battle of Ezekiel 38.
I believe many Christians mistakenly deny the possibility that God can speak through anyone outside the Church. They forget that the very existence of the Nation of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy and that absent the clear and direct intervention by God into the affairs of the modern state, it would have ceased to exist long ago.
When I was helping to sponsor visits to the US by Israeli leaders and teachers like Gershon Solomon of the Temple Mount Faithful and Chaim Richman, who signed this document, I was constantly opposed by well meaning but misdirected Christians whose only interest in these men was to confront them with the gospel and show them the error of their ways.
Surely any Bible believing Christian wants to see God and His people reconciled, both on a national and personal level. But the nation of Israel is following a path clearly laid out by the prophets of old, a latter day a re-gathering in unbelief, followed by a return to the Old Covenant, a time of refining in the fire, and finally the recognition of their Messiah and restoration of the Davidic Kingdom.
In all things, there's a time for speaking and a time for listening. (Eccl. 3:7) We in the Church would do well to listen to what these Rabbis are saying about where we are on that path, and if I were President Bush, I'd give very careful consideration to their view of my role, and whose authority they claim in defining it. As Jesus said these things are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. (Luke 17:1) 01-11-08
Comments by Prof. Johan Malan
It remains an enigma why the great majority of Americans are so naïve that they can easily be deceived. Even their evangelical leaders have deviated so far from the truth of Scripture that one can no longer seriously consider their teachings. Most of the false prophets of modern times come from this country. To them, truth can only be established and given its final value after it has been interpreted within the framework of America’s role in global affairs. They evidently subscribe to the view that the direction of world events is determined by the Bible and the US. To many of them, the US has a validating role in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. This may be the reason why Jack Kelley holds the view that the US could be part of the Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39. In the same vein, John Hagee has declared that Operation Desert Storm was God’s final judgment upon Babylon!
On ancient maps, the land Magog is indicated north of the Caucasus Mountains where modern Russia is situated. In any way, the Lord clearly states that Gog will come from “the far north” (not from the west!) to invade Israel. Moscow and Jerusalem are on the same degree of longitude, so there can be no doubt on the identity of Israel’s dangerous enemy from the north. Syria and Lebanon are directly north of Israel but Gog and Togarmah are in the far north (Ezek. 38:6; 39:2).
How can Jack Kelley regard the views of prominent Jewish rabbis as credible, while Jesus described their colleagues of the first century as blind leaders of the blind? (Matt. 15:14). He also blamed them as hypocrites for not being able to discern the prophetic signs of the times (Matt. 16:1-3).
And how can George Bush be presented in an alliance with Iran (Persia), a country which contemplates a war annihilation against Israel? Bush strongly opposes Iran and seeks to guarantee the continued existence of (a smaller) Israel. Jack Kelley should view the TV channel Russia Today in which Putin’s collaboration with Iran and other radical Islamic states is often reviewed, and also how he helps them gain the technology and weapons for a war of annihilation against Israel.
George Bush is on his way out. During the past seven years since 9/11 it was his major objective to attack and destroy the strongholds of radical Islam. He will definitely not turn around on this course by taking sides with radical Islamic states that committed themselves to the destruction of Israel.
The US is in an economic decline and stand to loose their dominance of world affairs. They are right now faced by a major recession. It will be more expedient to Kelley to discuss these realities, rather then depicting George Bush as a modern Gog who will launch an attack on Israel from the far north. To be able to do that, George Bush will first have to conquer Russia and then become their next president!
Kelley makes a big mistake when he states that God addresses the world through the church and Israel. In this way, room is made for self-appointed prophets in Israel and the church, which is a source of major deception. God addresses the world through His Word, and for this purpose He needs true witnesses in the church and in Israel who rightly divide the word of truth. Such people are very scarce, particularly in Israel, where the scribes have not yet made the basic discovery that Jesus is the Messiah. Why would the Lord entrust prophetic information to spiritually blind leaders, which includes His judgments upon those who have rejected the Messiah?
Johan Malan: www.bibleguidance.co.za
The above comments were kindly considered by Jack Kelley. However, he justifies his article by arguing that Gog and Magog only refers to a demonic force, so any world leader can theoretically participate in it.
As far as the orthodox Jewish leaders are concerned, he depicts them as people who were blinded by God in order to save the Gentiles. That means they are not to be blamed for still rejecting Jesus as Messiah. I reacted as follows to his clarification:
Gog, Mesheck and George Bush
Thanks for your reply to my comments on your article.
The context of Ezek. 38–39 does not support the view that Gog in the land Magog is an unidentified demonic force, which opens the way to George Bush or any other world leader to identify with this role. I already indicated to you the etymology of Magog and its relationship to modern Russia. The allies of Magog are also literal nations (Ezek. 38:5-6), of which Persia is a direct reference to modern Iran. You will do well to expose the role of Iran, supported by Russia, in a major end-time, anti-Zionist conspiracy.
It is acceptable to render John’s reference to Gog and Magog at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:8) “a demonic force.” This is a distinctly different war. At the same time, it is quite possible that this rebellion may again be stirred up from “the far north” in the ancient land of Magog.
As far as Israel is concerned, I would like you to further clarify your statement that God has imposed spiritual blindness on Israel in order to save the Gentiles. Do you mean perpetual blindness which still prevails today? That is clearly what you imply by condoning the inability of modern Israeli scribes to recognize Jesus as Messiah. This comes very close to John Hagee’s heretical view that Jesus never offered Himself as Messiah to the Jews and that they, as a covenant people, can be saved without Jesus (see his most recent book, In Defense of Israel).
Profs. John Walvoord & Roy Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 482) say: “Israel’s continuing rebellious and unbelieving disobedience was judged by God’s turning to the Gentiles (Rom. 10:20; cf. Acts 8:1-8,10). At the same time God has not withheld salvation from the Jews. He has held out His hands, imploring them to return to Him.”
Only those Jews who willfully prefer to keep on rejecting Jesus as Messiah are still spiritually blinded. They are not the victims of a blindness imposed upon them by God. Paul says: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
Throughout the centuries since the crucifixion of Christ, multitudes of Jews have turned to God through the atoning sacrifice of His Son. The first 5000 converts of the Christian church were Jews. Paul said that “the gospel of Jesus Christ... is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). He always preached to the Jews first before turning to the Gentiles, and explained, “if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them” (Rom. 11:14).
The argument was never raised that they are blinded by God and should be excused for not believing in Jesus. They were clearly made to understand that they can only be justified by faith in Christ (Gal. 2:15-16). For the testimonies of Messianic Jews, visit the websites www.caspari.com also www.bmja.net and www.messianictimes.com
Any Jew who do not accept Jesus as Messiah, including the orthodox leaders of modern Israel, willfully reject the Messiah against all prophetic evidence that He is indeed the Savior of Israel and the nations. Such people will have to bear the consequences of their own decisions. All their efforts to promote peace in Israel will come to naught, including their letter to George Bush. Paul said to the Ephesians: “the Messiah, Yeshua... Himself is our peace... For through Him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:13,14,18).
As long as the nations of the world, including Israel, keep on rejecting Yeshua, His Word and His gospel of salvation, their quest for peace will remain an elusive dream. The inevitable consequence of turning away from Yeshua, who is the light of the world, is to tread the dark road of the god of this world, even though he may present himself as an angel of light. Israel is responsible for aggravating their own problems by their continued rejection of Yeshua as their Messiah. There is no possibility of lasting peace without Him. As long as Israel and the nations continue to disregard Him in their deliberations, they keep on marching towards the war of Gog (Ezek. 38–39) as well as the great tribulation and the big world war of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19-21; Matt. 24:21-22; Zech. 14:1-15).