Jan 20, 2009

Turkey Takes Prophetic Turn

By Terry James

Throw another morsel of intrigue onto the end-times stove of what’s cooking in the phenomenal progression of prophetic stage-setting this generation is witnessing. Turkey is this week’s food for thought while we consider where the world presently stands upon God’s prophetic timeline.

Interest in the nation Turkey among students of Bible prophecy emanates from the foretelling about the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. There, the prophet presents a list of the nations who will invade the Middle East region from the north of Jerusalem. This coalition intends to take spoil from that region, and particularly intends to obliterate the nation Israel, according to Ezekiel.

The prophet gave the following account of the nations involved, as God the Holy Spirit gave him the vision of that end-of-days assault.

“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 armour, 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” (Ezek. 38:4-6).

“Rosh” will be the nation of the leader”Gog,” around which these many peoples will coalesce. We believe that chief nation to be Russia, based upon much study that has been done on the ancient names involved in the prophecy. We have become relatively familiar with some of the other nations involved. For example, we know that modern Iran is the country that now occupies most of the geographic area of ancient Persia. The nation God’s prophet calls “Togarmah” is the one in view in today’s news headlines. It is this nation out of this coalition on which we will concentrate for now.

One prophecy writer frames Togarmah as follows:

“The Armenians of today call themselves the House of Togarmah. The Turks (but not the Kurds, who are the ancient Medes of Media-Persia fame) are also included” (Jack Kelly, "The End Times According To Ezekiel, Part 3," raptureready.com).

Modern Turkey is an important part of prophecy yet future, if majority scholarship is accurate. Turkey, as it relates to Israel then, must be considered of tremendous importance, when, as is currently the case, the two nations are in the news. The two nations have had a non-confrontational, even sometimes quite cordial relationship during recent years. The Turkish nation was heavily Muslim, but the regime was one strongly secular, not Islamic. Bible prophecy foretells that the two peoples will be in conflict so intensively that the anger will eventuate in Turkey (Togarmah) joining Russia (Rosh) in attacking Israel and trying to take over the Middle East.

The configuration of relations between Israel and Turkey didn’t fit the prophetic model until in recent months, when regime changes and secular vs. religious make-up of the governing of Turkey began drastically changing.

Israel’s assault on the Hamas terrorists who have for months been firing rockets into Israel--while Israel did nothing to retaliate until December 26, 2008--is eliciting ever-increasing verbal invective from the new Turkish leadership. The news article excerpt that follows somewhat puts the Turkey vs. Israel changes in perspective:

“A decade ago, Western and Israeli leaders could count on Turkey as an ally. A solid NATO member, Ankara took decisions based on pragmatic calculations of interest - and erred on the side of caution if at all. But under the rule of the Islamic conservative AKP, this has changed…The vehemence with which Turkish leaders attacked Israel, and their apparent willingness to convey Hamas' position to the United Nations, came as a surprise to many…[Prime] Minister Tayyip Erdogan's words - that Israel's actions will be punished by God and help lead it to self-destruction - are too significant to be taken lightly. Indeed, they are part of the trend of a Turkish government guided more by Islamic solidarity and anti-Western sentiment than by pragmatic calculations of interest. Indeed, Turkey's international behavior suggests that its attachment to the West is tenuous at best - and eroding” (Svante E. Cornell, "Turkey's drift away from the West," 1/15/09, Rapture Ready News).

There can be little doubt of the shift that is taking place in Turkey’s movement into the Russian geopolitical camp. The article continues to make the point of that shift:

“In August, when most of the West balked at Russia's invasion of Georgia, Erdogan rapidly tried to make himself a go-between. His initiative of a ‘Caucasus stability platform’ was met with disbelief in both Georgia and Azerbaijan, since it effectively promised to freeze all territorial disputes in the region, including legitimizing Russia's recent territorial grab in Georgia. More worrying was the composition of Erdogan's intended platform: the three Caucasian states, Turkey - and Russia” (ibid.).

The willingness of Turkey’s (Togarmah’s) leadership to place that state under Russian influence, while Russian leadership seems to be looking lustfully southward at the oil-rich lands surrounding Israel, must in my view be more than coincidence, in prophetic terms. The movement away from the West seems especially non-coincidental given the abrupt reversal the Turkish government has made in its dealings with Israel.

I believe that almost certainly we are witnessing, in Turkey’s re-positioning, one more of many instances of Bible prophecy stage-setting.

Related Links

Turkey’s Role In Bible Prophecy - BrittGillette.com