Temple of Baal coming to U.S. and Europe

I received a message earlier this week from a friend asking me if I had heard of a temple of Baal being constructed in  New York City and London. I researched several articles, the YouTube link provided by my friend and even came across an article in the New York Times concerning this issue. From what I have read, there will be reproductions of the temple’s archways placed in New York City’s Times Square and London’s Trafalgar Square on April 19, 2016.  This particular temple of Baal was located in Palmyra, Syria and was destroyed by ISIS in August 2015. Though the New York Times article discussed the reproduction of the temple arches is being done to honor the razed temple as a world heritage site. However, could something more sinister be at hand?

Who is Baal?

In order to fully understand the implications of reproducing arches to an ancient temple, we must understand for whom the temple is named. Baal was a Canaanite fertility god worshipped in the land of Canaan before the Israelites came into the Promise Land. Despite God’s many warnings not to worship the gods of the Canaanites, Israel fell into idolatry, for which they were judged and punished multiple times by God. Baal, like the other Canaanite gods and goddesses was worshipped in what the Bible calls “the high places,” which were simply altars built on top of hills and mountains.

Israel’s history of Baal worship

“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.”(Judges 2:11-13, KJV).

“And they [the nation of Israel] left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire [child sacrifice], and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” (2 Kings 7:16-17, KJV, brackets mine).

Kings of Israel and Judah who worshipped Baal

There is an adage that says, “As a nation’s leaders go, so go its people.” In the Old Testament, as kings turned away from God, so did the people turn away from God.

Ahab           

“And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1 Kings 16:31-33, KJV).

Ahaziah

    “Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. For he served Baal, and worshipped him and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.” ( 1Kings 22:51-53, KJV).

Manasseh

“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father destroyed; and he reared up the altars of Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab, king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.” (2 Kings 21:2-3, KJV).

God’s Instruments of Judgment against Baal Worship

*Gideon destroyed his father’s altar to Baal (Judges 6:25-32).

*Elijah confronted and slayed the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19-40).

*Jehu destroyed all Baal worship in Israel, but did not follow God (2 Kings 10:18-31).

*Jehoiada the priest led the people to destroy the house of Baal (2 Kings 11:18).

*Josiah removed the high places, smashed altars and ordered the priest of Baal to be slain (2 Kings 23:4-6).

*722 BC- The Assyrians invaded Samaria and Israel ceased to be a nation (2 Kings 17:18; Jeremiah 23:13).

*586 BC- The Babylonians conquer Jerusalem and begin the process of the seventy year exile (Jeremiah 23:25-27; Jeremiah 32:29-35).

The Bible makes it explicitly clear that we are to worship God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. If we worship any other entity or idol, we are engaging in idolatry. For any nation to erect even a replica of any temple or building where child sacrifice took place is the epitome of apostasy. New York and London, to put it bluntly are building monuments to Satan in the most prominent places in their respective cities. I have placed the links to the original New York Times article and the YouTube video below. Please study the Scriptures for yourselves and pray that God will move upon the hearts of the nation’s leaders and people. Pray that people’s eyes will be opened to the truth. Satan is a deceiver, a liar, and the father of lies who wants to lead astray as many people as he can in these last days.  God bless you all.

YouTube VideoThe New York Times article

 

Is this the start of Gog and Magog?

As of this writing, tensions have been high between Russia, Turkey, and Turkey’s NATO allies after Turkey earlier this week shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian-Turkey border. Turkey’s government claimed that the Russian jet violated their air space and Russia claimed the plane was in Syria. This incident comes on the heels of a Russian commercial airliner being blown up over Egypt, with ISIS being suspected in the attack. Russia has also stepped up its involvement in battling ISIS in Syria. As I have watched various news reports on these incidents, the thought crossed my mind: Is the stage being set for the Battle of Gog and Magog as prophesied in Ezekiel chapters 38-39?

Before we proceed further, let me state that I am neither a biblical scholar nor an expert on Bible prophecy, I am simply trying to study current events and where they may fit into the Biblical narrative.

All of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38-39- Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, Togarmah, Sheba, Dedan. Tarshish, and Israel- are all 21st Century nations, but many go by different names, which will be explained shortly.  To understand the names in the biblical context of Ezekiel 38-39, we must go back to “The Table of Nations” listed in Genesis chapter 10. After the Flood, Noah’s three sons- Shem. Ham, and Japheth and their descendants repopulated the earth. The following is a listing of the descendants, the nations they started and the modern day names of these nations.

“The sons of Japheth: Gomer (modern day Ukraine), and Magog (modern day Russia), and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, (modern day Turkey), and Meshech (modern day Turkey), and Tiras.” (Genesis 10:2, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Gomer: Askenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah (modern day Turkey).” (Genesis 10:3, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish (modern day Tunisia), Kittim, and Dodanim.” (Genesis 10:4, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

“And the sons of Ham: Cush (the biblical name of Ethipoia, which could include an alliance of modern day Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia), and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah: Sheba (modern day Saudi Arabia), and Dedan (modern day Saudi Arabia).” (Genesis 10:6-7, KJV, emphasis and parenthesis mine).

Of course Iran is the modern name for Persia. Lybia and Israel are also involved in this war. Ezekiel’s prophecy is directed against Gog, the leader of Magog:

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say ‘Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.’” (Ezekiel 38:2-6, KJV).

Keep in mind that Ezekiel prophesied during the time of the Babylonian invasion and subsequent exile of Israel in the 6th Century BC and immediate proceeds Ezekiel’s prophecy about the dry bones and the restoration of Israel in chapter 37. Thus, this battle did not take place during the time our Bible was being written, nor is it about the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, but the Bible states specifically that this will be a war in the Last Days, after the restoration of Israel as a nation, which took place in 1948.

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8, KJV).

Ezekiel goes on to describe the vastness of the army as “coming in like a storm” and covering the “land like a cloud” (Ezekiel 38:9). Modern day Russia and an alliance of these Arab nations certainly have the resources to amass such a great army.

The battle of Gog and Magog is also mentioned in Revelation 20:8, after Satan is loosed from his thousand year imprisonment, “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (KJV).

It is clear from the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin that he has ambitions to increase Russia’s influence in the Middle East, having a long standing alliance with Iran and taking on ISIS in Syria. Also, remember Russia annexed Ukraine in 2014. Russia supplies the vast majority of oil to Europe, if it gains influence and military strength in the Middle East, could it also seize Saudi Arabia’s oil supply? Going back to 2011, governments of Tunisia and Libya were overthrown as Islamic extremist seized power. Going back as far as the early to mid-1990s, there have been tremendous atrocities committed against the people of Somalia and Sudan, and humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, which form the biblical land of Cush. Will all of these nations be invaded and defeated by Russia or will these nations willingly fight with Russia as they plan to invade Israel?

Ezekiel 38-39 states that God will defeat Gog and his military alliance as they try to Invade Israel. With the sheer scope of bloodshed and weaponry listed, only our modern devices of war could achieve such a horrendous scene as described in the Bible. I encourage you to read Ezekiel 37-39 for yourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Please search out the Scriptures for yourselves and never rely on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible. Please be aware of the times and seasons and watch for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to all of you.