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April 16, 2009

Comments

Austin

Based upon the excerpts provided in this post, it would seem this prophecy might helps its reader do more than "recognize" the events it describes. While it does not provide an equivalent to the 70 7's in Daniel (predicting to within a generation Messiah's appearance), it does perhaps provide a comparative chronological framework.

My hunch, however, depends on Ezekiel describing the same event that other biblical authors reference.

Your excerpts seem to describe Israel's Great Awakening--to which Paul alludes in Romans, and which John describes in Revelation (i.e. the re-grafting of Israel into the olive branch, or the 144,000 of Israel who realize Christ was Messiah).

If this is the same event which Ezekiel is describing here, then at least comparatively we may have some context to determine if the exploits of Gog are at hand. As I recall, Israel's re-awakening is in between Revelation's seals and trumpets. In that case, I think we might at least be able to say that if Ezekiel describes the same event (Israel's Great Awakening), then, on the assumption that all of the seals, trumpets and bowls are "tribulation events," Gog's exploits do not occur until the tribulation has already begun.

If that is so, then there are at least three easily appreciable events which will precede (or perhaps coincide with) Ezekiel's prediction: dramatically increasing food costs, the eradication of around 3 Billion people (a rough number equal to 1/4 the world's population), and an earthquake that alters the entire world's topography. These are the 3rd, 4th and 6th seals.

The Revelation narrative sometimes confuses me about sequence and chronology, but here, at least, it seems plain that Israel's Great Awakening will not occur until after the 6th seal has been broken.

Therefore, I do not think Gog will happen until the tribulation has begun. Perhaps the earthquake referred to in Ezekiel is the same earthquake referenced in Revelation.

Because the early seals are so vague, it begs an intriguing question: we know we're already in the "end times" (which began with Jesus' death and Resurrection), but have we also already entered the period of time known as the Tribulation?

Jeff

3 billion=1/4 of the population? I thought the world's population was 6 billion at this point.

Austin

World population is closer to 6.8 Billion right now. But annual world population growth is about 1.3%. Based upon that growth rate, the Rule of 70 says that in 50 years the world's population will double.

If that average growth rate increases, the population will double sooner. A mean rate of 2.2% (the U.S. population growth rate in the 1970's), for example, would double world population in 31 years from 7 to 14.

Anyway, I limited my "rough" estimate to an average of the world's population losses between now and the next 50 years based on a 1.3% growth rate.

[(7/4 + 14/4)/2 = 2.62 which I rounded up]

Of course, if the mean rate of growth increases above a paltry 1.3% (something not out of the realm of possibility) or if the events occur after 50 years' time, then the number would be even bigger.

For example, on a 2.2% growth rate, the average world population death toll between now and 60 years (for mathematical simplicity) from now would look like this:

[(7/4 + 28/4)/2 = 4.4 Billion]

That process is how I came up with the number. But, in the end, what difference does it make if the death toll is 1.5 Billion or 4? You think either number is going to escape notice? I don't.

The point of the paragraph was NOT: exactly 3 Billion people will die. The point of that paragraph was: everyone will NOTICE when however-many-people-die actually die because the number will be big.

Can we get off the rabbit trail now?

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