Afghanistan (Gog and Magog)
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 2001
Read the accompanying Newsletter for November 2001
Whenever the general of an army in the past looked at the land of Afghanistan and its immediate neighbor countries to the west, north and east with an eye to conquer and to control them politically and militarily, those countries through the ages have met with a great deception that almost always meets with the intruding army. If the army invading the countries is powerful and concentrated and always on the move (and especially if the army is using the territory to traverse to other areas and is not engaging the natives of the region), it can roam at will without unusual fear of being defeated. Armies from the east have traversed the areas in the past. But when those armies began to settle in the region and try to control it from within, the harshness of the region and its many desert-type mountains, valleys and adverse hinterlands give the native populations superior positions to engage in wars of attrition.
Ordinary armies operating in the region of Afghanistan are at a disadvantage in having any long-term success. Alexander the Great was marginally successful in his time because he came and he went (leaving only pockets of Greek influence in the vast region). Genghis Khan was also able to achieve recognition by doing his exploits in a similar fashion. But when the Soviets tried to bring them into a part of the USSR, it was a calamitous operation. In truth, only a form of colonial-type of government exercised by a strong world power such as will exist under the Antichrist in the future will have any success in the effort (even that will be temporary) of keeping these people in a reasonable civilized state. It is hopeless to do so with external military power alone. Of course, when the Kingdom of God arrives with Christ Jesus at it head, the people will be forced to become properly civilized in the manner that we in the west reckon as appropriate.
Why is it that the peoples of Afghanistan do not adhere to democratic institutions? Because throughout their history, the peoples inhabiting those geographical regions have such an unusual desire for sheer independence from other nearby families, other nearby tribes or other nearby groups trying to tell them what to do that the natives are at constant war with their neighbors. Most of people do not live in cities and their loyalties are normally to kinship alliances and ethnic societies (local families and regional ones) and also in religious beliefs that they express in a variety of traditions and customs. In history, their populations have normally been fighting one another in all their local areas. The region has to be acknowledged as one of the most uncontrollable and wild regions of the world (and there is no exception to what is happening there even at the present time when the United States and Britain are bombing the areas).
In a word, if one tribal group gets the temporary superiority over another and defeats it in battle (like when the present Taliban will be defeated in the central area), then another warring group takes its place and it is as cantankerous as the former community. Religious beliefs or versions of such beliefs (notably variations in the teachings of Islam) can be deceptive in this region because Islamís mainline appeal to international co-existence (especially with Christians and Jews) is not paramount among such groups. Islam in these locales is simply a vehicle for promoting their own brand of tribal traditions and political unrest that is endemic in this vast area. The people are too diverse in beliefs to unify as a nation or into a variety of ethnic groups that are capable of having a homogeneous society like we in the United States or in Britain.
With these points in mind, they should serve as an example of what the United States, Britain and its allies must do in this new type of war against terrorism. They can be successful if they do like Alexander and Genghis Khan in their maneuvers. That is, get into the area and perform what the stated purpose of the intrusion into Afghanistan is supposed to do (that is, to bring to justice the present perpetrators of the recent terrorist acts), and then get out as soon as possible. It is not a matter of retreating, because there should be no intention whatever of occupying the area for any considerable period. It is not yet time for the Antichrist to bring the whole of the world under his control (as he will certainly do) before the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth. Indeed, it is during the last year of the Antichristís rule over the earth that we find this area of Afghanistan prominently featured in biblical prophecy. Let us see. Look at Ezekiel 38:1-8.
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 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 armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia [Hebrew: CUSH or the area of the Hindu Kush Mountains, that is: Afghanistan], and Libya [Hebrew: PHUT or the area of India] 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. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years [in the time of the Antichrist] 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 it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them."
The Antichrist will at first take over control of the world in stages. The first stage will be securing the ten nations of Revelation 17 and 18 to unite to form his single government for the Middle East. This will be centered in the Middle East with Jerusalem as its capital. From there the rest of the western world will come under the Antichristís domination (that is, Europe and the remainder of western civilization). Once this is accomplished, the prophet Daniel states that he will hear rumors from the north and the east (Daniel 11:44) ó directly from the region of Persia [Iran] and Afghanistan which will be giving audible and visible signs that the rest of the world community in the Orient (the Land of Magog) will be ready to move toward the west and to conquer Israel and the western regions of the world who will have revolted from the sovereignty of the ten kings of Revelation 17 and 18. At this time, Israel will be an unwalled country and it will be a nation without armaments (all weapons were surrendered to the Antichrist). (Ezekiel 38:8).
And then, from the very region of Iran and Afghanistan (and from the surrounding regions) the armies of Gog [the invigorated Antichrist] will bring under his control the armies of "the Land of Magog." The Book of Revelation informs us that this Gog will lead these armies from the Magog (this land will represent the far-flung regions of the earth [from all four cardinal directions of the inhabitable earth] (see Revelation 20:8-10). These vast armies will assemble in Iran and Afghanistan (and surrounding areas) to come across the Euphrates River to invade the unwalled nation of Israel (as Israel will then exist in the time of the Antichrist) (see Revelation 16:12). These armies of Gog will come from the north and east. The River Euphrates will dry up and allow them to move freely toward Israel. This is when they finally assemble in the Valley of Megiddo (at the biblical site of Armageddon). At this final assemblage to mount a war against Jerusalem, God will destroy the armies of Gog who come from the Land of Magog (Revelation 16:16-21).
For example, in the Book of Revelation, the people of MAGOG are shown as inhabiting regions in the extremities of the earth and away from the area of the Middle East. It mentions the people of MAGOG as being located in the four quarters of the earth (Revelation 20:8). Look at their history. People in the first century knew MAGOG as inhabiting regions at the antipodes of the earth (a term which would embrace both the American continents today). Indeed, in prophecies dealing also with the End-Time, we find the people of JAVAN mentioned in the Table of Nations in Genesis Ten (see Genesis 10:2) who were no longer located in Europe where early biblical geographers put them, but at the End Time they are associated with MAGOG and also TUBAL (another son of JAPHETH) who were a type of eastern Mongolian people. So far from Europe did JAVAN finally migrate that the Isaiah said they came to know nothing about the God of Israel (Isaiah 66:19). If this were a reference to JAVAN in Europe (where they first settled after the Flood), it would make no sense because most southern Europeans since the Exodus of Israel were aware of the practices of Israelís God. These End Time people, however, are to be far away.
The JAVAN whom Isaiah was speaking at the End Timeare aligned with TUBAL (a Mongolian people) who in turn will be associated with Magog. Even in Ezekiel 27:13,19, we also find Ezekiel no longer associating the people of JAVAN with Europeans. The people of JAVAN had long left the area of southern Europe (though the name JAVAN still retained it geographical hold on the southern region of Europe, particularly in Greece). But Ezekiel in his day was now placing JAVAN (along with Isaiah) with the mongoloid peoples of TUBAL who in turn were allied with MAGOG. The people of JAVAN take their name even into the southeastern Asian area of Indonesia where modern people are called JAVANESE.
It is not uncommon for people to give a name to a region and then the original people move on to other areas (or are killed off) and the original geographical name becomes associated with completely different people. An example of this is our state in the United States called Massachusetts. If one would have traveled to the area 500 years ago there would have been numerous native tribes calling themselves the Massachusetts people, but within 300 years (primarily because of disease that Europeans brought among them) every single indigenous tribesman who was of the original Massachusetts race of people died out and has been replaced by people of European and African origin (with a smattering of most races in the world) who now call themselves the people of Massachusetts. This has happened in other areas of America. Thus, Shemitic peoples (and others) took over the areas of JAVAN in Europe (with his four descendants named ELISHAH, RODANIM, KITTIM, and TARSHISH). The same thing has occurred to the people of MAGOG in Asia and the Americas. People from Europe and Africa have come into the original territory colonized at first by MAGOG and now the people in North America have become a minority group.
And what about the KITTIM (another son of JAVAN)? They were the original ones who settled Cyprus and finally Italy, but they were pushed northward and east by Shemites coming from the areas cited above. They finally went into the central areas of Asia-to the area we call China today (an early name of China was CATHAY that comes from the root word Khitai which answers to KITTIM).
All of this may appear complicated (and the study of history from the beginning of creation is not an easy subject to understand because so many people have moved to other areas of the world than where they first settled after the Flood of Noah). However, what I have presented above is a general over-view of where the people of MAGOG, JAVAN, KITTIM finally moved (oriental nations plus the aboriginal populations of both North and South America). These nations from the extremities of the earth will assemble at first in the region of Iran and Afghanistan (PERSIA and the Hindu Cush, or AFGHANISTAN) and then, under the Antichrist they will sweep westward to cross the Euphrates and regroup at Armageddon (Revelation 16).
The AFGHANISTAN that the United States and Britain are attacking is an area in which we should NOT get entangled with troop concentrations and mired in the politics of the area. If people do, our armies are not equipped to sustain guerilla type of warfare in such inhospitable areas. Even now, it will be difficult to weed out all terrorists from the region. Still, the answer to world affairs in the near future is NOT Afghanistan, it is Jerusalem! It is Jerusalem that holds the answer to whether we have a temporary peace for the near future and a stop to this present terrorism. If things get cleared up in Jerusalem, the whole world will be a safer place for our form of democratic western civilization to thrive and to progress.
Ernest L. Martin
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