Nations in Prophecy--Part 3
Feb 16, 2012
Although the remnant of grace are the only ones who truly inherit the promises in this present age, this does not mean that God neglects others. All nations have their part in the divine plan. Gog and Magog, for instance, could be considered vessels of dishonor, and they are used to afflict the vessels of honor whom God is training and disciplining for His purpose.
It is apparent from studying prophecy and its historical fulfillment that the nations founded by the ex-Israelites of the dispersion continue to be of interest to God in the divine plan. Israel is the birthright name given to Jacob when he became an overcomer. He was not born an Israelite, nor were his descendants guaranteed to retain that name/title in spite of their lawless behavior. Hence, God stripped them of the name when the Assyrians took them into captivity from 745-721 B.C.
They would have to start over and walk the same path that Jacob, their forefather, walked in order to regain the name Israel. At the same time, the way was opened for all men to walk that same path, after passing through the Door which is Jesus Christ. Only in this way can Israel be regathered, and many others with them (Isaiah 56:8).
We have already seen how God brought the gospel of Christ to these ex-Israelites as they migrated from Assyria into Europe. They were no longer called Israelites, but were known by the names that the other nations gave them. The Black Obelisk of Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, refers to them as Ghomri, or Khumri, picturing King Jehu (2 Kings 13:1) paying tribute to the Assyrian king.
“The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears."
In the Obelisk, Jehu's name appears as mIa-ú-a mar mHu-um-ri-i, or "Jehu son of Omri (Bit-Khumri").
Merrill Unger's Archeology and the Old Testament, p. 243, says of this:
".... The initial contact between Israel and Assyria evidently occurred during Omri's day, for from that time on Israel appears in cuneiform records as Bit-Humri ('House of Omri')."
This is confirmed by the New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (1970 edition), under "Omri," on page 1471, which says of Omri,
"According to the Moabite Stone, he [Omri] subdued Moab. The Assyrians called the kingdom of Israel by his name for the rest of its existence."
The biblical prophet refers to Israel by the name of Gomer, or GMR in Hebrew, which is actually Gomri. So we find that the territory of Israel's captivity came to be known as Gimirra, "land of the Gomri." This was the origin of the Celtic people who soon spread west into Europe after the demise of Assyria.
The tomb of Darius the Persian lists all of his subjected people in three languages. In the Babylonian language, the Israelite territory is called Matu Gimiri, but in the Persian language it is translated asSaka. The Susian language writes their name as Sakka. About the same time, the Greek historian, Herodotus, the "father of history," writes their name in Greek as Sacae, Scythians, and Skuths(Scots). Later, the Roman historian Pliny latinized the spelling to Saxons.
Hence, those ex-Israelites were not really "lost tribes" at all, but assumed other names.
The Jews, on the other hand, had an entirely separate history. Named for Judah, they never lost their name, and their history can easily be traced to the present time. It is important to understand, however, that the Jews are not the Israelites, nor are the prophecies of Israel's regathering to be fulfilled in the Jewish people. The Jewish state may call itself Israel, but it is not the biblical Israel. Its name was chosen to manipulate Christians into supporting that nation as if it were the fulfillment of the prophecies given to Israel.
Even so, the Jewish state has its role to play in prophecy. Jesus prophesied that the cursed fig tree (the "evil figs" portion of Judah) would again come to life and bear LEAVES (Matt. 24:32). Modern prophecy teachers seem to know this, for I too learned this as a child. The problem is that they do not seem to understand that leaves are not fruit. The tree was not cursed on account of its abundance of leaves, but for its lack of fruit. And so Jesus prophesied that it would indeed come back to life and again bear fig leaves (false covering for sin since the time of Adam). But He also made it clear that it would never again bear fruit (Matt. 21:19).
The Church, then, vainly awaits the day of the mass Jewish conversion to Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom in the old Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the house of Israel came under divine judgment for lawlessness, and the law prescribed a sentence of "seven times" (Lev. 26:24). Daniel 7:25 shows that a "time" has to do with an actual length of time in years. Revelation 13:5 interprets Daniel's prophecy more specifically, for 3-1/2 "times" is equated to "forty-two months," or 3-1/2 years, or 1,260 days.
In long-term prophecy, 1,260 days is 1,260 years. Hence, the full period of "seven times" turns out to be 2,520 days or years.
Daniel makes it clear that the beast nations were given authority for a very long period of time--far longer than a mere 7 years, or even 70 years. So we are compelled to view prophecy in terms of the 2,520 years of divine judgment upon Israel and Judah.
This is one of the great keys of understanding Bible prophecy, for the Assyrian conquest of Israel took place over a period of 24 years from 745-721 B.C. That gives us the starting dates for the seven times of divine judgment upon them. It ends from 1776-1800 A.D.
Students of history know that America's founding occurred in 1776, and that the new government moved to the newly-built city of Washington D.C. in the year 1800. America's capital city was built precisely 2,520 years after Israel's capital city (Samaria) was destroyed.
While there are many nations founded by the ex-Israelites of the dispersion, America is shown to play a unique role as the poster child of Israel. It would be nice, of course, if the story ended here. However, America was still a carnal nation, even though the term America literally means "heavenly kingdom." In the old Saxon tongue, Amer = heavenly, and ric = kingdom.
The problem is that America became as corrupt as the ancient nation of Israel. So God put America back into captivity--this time to "Mystery Babylon." God raised up this neo-Babylonian empire precisely 2,520 years after the original nation of Babylon came to power. Babylon was fully established as an empire in 607 B.C., and Mystery Babylon came fully to power in 1913-1914 A.D. with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. We have again come into a Babylonian captivity for the same reasons as in biblical days. In our arrogance, we again cast aside God's law and, like Gomer/Gomri, played the role of the harlot.
The good news is that this captivity is not permanent. We are now coming to the time of our deliverance and the overthrow of Mystery Babylon at the hands of "the kings of the east" (Rev. 16:12). This will not only set America free, but also the world.
This is the third part of a series titled "Nations in Prophecy." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones