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2009 In Review

The Year In Prophecy- Part 1

By Ron Graff

Printable (PDF) Version of this report

Deut 18:20-22 Bible prophecy is a huge subject. In fact, nearly 1/3 of the entire Bible is devoted to prophecy. The Bible stands alone among sacred texts in this respect. The standard for biblical prophecy is 100% accuracy. In fact, an Old Testament test explained that if a prophet’s word could not be trusted, he should be put to death (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

A large part of these prophecies have already been fulfilled, many of them in regard to the first coming of our Savior. This, of course, gives us great confidence that the rest of the prophecies will also come to pass literally.

Prophecies that are still to be fulfilled can be divided roughly into these categories: The Last Days, the Thousand-year reign of Christ, and A New Heaven and New Earth.

Matt 24:36-37

Olivet Discourse
There is no doubt among Bible scholars who take the Bible literally that we are seeing many fulfillments of The Last Days. Using Jesus’ own teaching about the future, these last days can also be divided into three segments: The Beginning of Birth Pains (Matthew 24:4-8), The Tribulation (Matthew 24:9-14), and the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15-28). In addition, Jesus gave some detail about what would transpire After the Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31).

The events of this past year are truly amazing in the light of these prophecies. Unfortunately, the Church as a whole is not very alert to these developments. This too was foretold by The Lord Jesus

Matt. 16:2-3

He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
- Matthew 16:2-3 (NIV)

Matt 24:12

Matt 16:2-3

1 Tim 4:1

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. - Matthew 24:12

He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. - Matthew 16:2-3

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. – 1 Timothy 4:1

Prophecy Central lists approximately 100 sub-topics of Bible Prophecy. From these we present what we consider to be the top 10 issues of 2009.

Documentation for every aspect of this report may be found on the corresponding topic pages in Prophecy Central. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version

Wars and Rumors of War

Matt 24:6


1-Iran’s Nuclear Developments

The most prominent prophetic issue during the year has been Iran’s continued progress toward the development of nuclear arms and their hatred and opposition to Israel and the United States.

Just as Jesus predicted, there are many “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6) in our generation. Near the end of 2009, GlobalSecurity.org listed 35 armed conflicts in the world, including 11 "major wars" (inflicting 1,000 or more battlefield deaths per year). Ironically, Iran, the greatest threat for war, is not listed because it is not directly involved in warfare at this time.

Gog and Magog

Ezek 36 to 39

Rev 6:3-4

The War of Gog and Magog

Ezekiel the Prophet had a detailed vision of the rebirth of the nation of Israel (Chapters 36 & 37), which, of course, took place in 1948. He then saw aspects of a great war (Chapters 38 & 39) which has not yet been fulfilled. Many prophecy scholars call this “The War of Gog and Magog” and relate it to the Second Seal of Revelation 6:3-4. The Seven Seals are developments during the future seven-year “Tribulation” period. The First Seal is the introduction of a world leader (Antichrist). The second seal is a great war. According to Ezekiel 38:1-2, the leader of this offensive is “Gog,” the head of the land of “Magog.” The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him.” (NIV)

Magog has been identified since before the rise of the Soviet Union as the area of Russia and the countries nearby. Magog and his allies are nations that have developed from some of Noah’s descendants in Genesis 10. They include other lands north of Israel, but also Persia, which is modern Iran; Cush, the ancient name for Ethiopia; and Put, which is Libya.

Gog and Magog

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has been a constant source of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric. He predicts that Israel will cease to exist. He has supported the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. In the meanwhile, Iran is racing toward the development of nuclear power, and presumably nuclear weapons. This has drawn threats from Israel that they would attack Iran’s nuclear sites, and counter-threats from Iran if Israel does attack them.

Syria and Israel have had separate peace talks about the possibility of Israel returning the Golan Heights, which was captured in the 1967 war. However, Syria is also supportive of Hezbollah. In 2007 Israel destroyed a secret site in Syria where work had started on a nuclear facility. Syrians have the capability of deploying the Iranian ZelZal missile with a 250 km range and the sophistication to reach specific targets in Israel, such as airports, ports and factories.

Gog and Magog

Iran’s role in the next great war

Iran has been in the news almost constantly this year because of its radical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wants to eliminate Israel completely. Iran has dominated the Islamic world by military threat in the years since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. That event resulted in the ouster of their pro-Western leader, the Shah, and the establishment of Islamic law (Sharia) in that country. It also marks the beginning of the modern era of terrorism in the world.

Ahmadinejad has stated that he believes it is his role to help usher in the Shiite Messiah, the Mahdi, even though it might mean the destruction of his own country to bring that event to pass. This, of course, means that he, and others who think like he does, will not be restrained by the past safeguard of “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) which kept the U.S. and Russia from using their nuclear weapons against each other. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other experts say that Iran already has enough enriched Uranium to build one or more atomic bombs, and has probably perfected the trigger device for nuclear detonation. Recent successful tests of medium range Inter-continental ballistic missiles prove that they are capable of attacking Israel and even parts of Europe. The IAEA passed a resolution in November condemning Iran for developing a second uranium enrichment site in secret.


Russia will provide leadership

Russia has a special relationship with Iran, an alliance that goes back hundreds of years into the past. It has supplied the materials and know-how for the development of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and provides many of the conventional weapons it has used to dominate the Muslim world.

Russia blocks any severe UN sanctions against Iran by supporting Iran’s claims that their nuclear plants will only provide power, not weapons.

Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, and past president of Russia, has maintained virtual control of the country in his position as Prime Minister. Under his leadership Russia has taken steps back toward the Cold War position they abandoned in the early ‘90’s. This year they announced plans to spend $141 billion on new weapons over the next three years, including the production of 70 strategic nuclear missiles.


Gog and Magog

Israel in the crosshairs

The target of the War of Gog and Magog is little Israel, miraculously re-established as a nation in the last days (Read Ezekiel 36 and 37). Israel is portrayed as a nation at peace when this attack begins.

This Great War could be a nuclear attack, or it could be another supernatural event like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone.

The cause of this war could easily be the fact that Israel is simply not willing to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. They have said so repeatedly. On the other hand, Iran’s leaders have a deep hatred for Israel and the United States.

Both Israel and Iran conducted massive war games during the past two years and have talked openly about the possibility of armed conflict between their countries.

Israel has more than 100 jets and five submarines that could be used to cripple Iran’s nuclear development sites. Israel’s F-16I Sufa (“Storm”) fighter planes are considered the most sophisticated fighter bombers in the world today. They are specially equipped with aerodynamically designed external fuel tanks for added range.

What President Obama is doing about Iran

Iran has ignored a deadline to ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia to ensure that it would not be further enriched to make weapons. Reacting to this news, President Obama warned that the U.S. and its international partners would begin discussions about consequences of their actions. He said that we would soon develop a package of potential steps we could take that will indicate our seriousness to Iran.

Political analysts doubt that President Obama will support an Israeli strike against Iran, thinking that continued sanctions and negotiations will control their ambitions even if they do develop operational nuclear weapons.

Other Islamic countries are concerned

According to a senior Egyptian intelligence official, representatives of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the U.S. held a meeting in December to discuss what Iran might do to retaliate if Israel should strike their nuclear sites. They believe that Iran would use proxies such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip to attack both Egypt and Israel, and Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch missiles at Israeli population centers. In Jordan, Iran could activate the Muslim Brotherhood to attack Jordanian interests. Saudi Arabia was not involved in the talks, but it is known that they also fear Iran’s military growth, and there were unconfirmed reports that the Saudis had given Israel permission to fly over their territory if necessary to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. In December Al Qaeda hideouts in Yemen were targeted by air strikes. It is common knowledge that Iran sponsors Al Qaeda terrorism against Saudi Arabia.

There is religious tension between the Shiite branch of Islamic teaching espoused by Iran and the Sunni branch adopted by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

Dan 9:27

The dramatic end of this great war of the 2nd Seal could produce the treaty predicted in Daniel 9:27, which many prophecy scholars identify as the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period

Mideast War


2 - The Ongoing Quest for Peace between Israel and the Palestinians

Year after year, the whole world hopes that peace will finally be established between Israel and the Palestinian people. Ever since Israel became a nation in 1948, there has been tension because the Palestinian people did not have a state of their own. (Actually, Jordan was meant to be a homeland for Palestinians, but it seems that few people remember this detail.)

The latest high-level progress toward peace was established by a summit meeting at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in November of 2007. It used the “Roadmap” plan proposed by the so-called Quartet – the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia.

This year there has been lots of talk, but little progress in the peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a hard-line conservative who has encouraged additional settlements by Jewish people in areas occupied primarily by Palestinians. The United States government under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has discouraged these settlements, but they have still been developed. President Obama reaffirmed Washington’s “strong commitment to Israel’s security,” but he obviously has a broad agenda aimed at pacifying the Islamic world as well.

Palestinian leaders demand that all the land lost to Israel in the ’67 war be returned in any peace settlement. In November they announced their intention to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state. This year they have also threatened to declare statehood unilaterally.

Earlier in the year, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed that the creation of a limited Palestinian state could be considered, but it would have to be disarmed.

The most controversial aspect of the discussions is the proposal to divide Jerusalem and even the Temple Mount in order to give Palestinians the ability to establish their capital there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu objected to the idea. At a Jerusalem Day ceremony in May he said, "Unified Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem always has been and always will be ours and it will never be divided again."

Saudi Arabia and the European Union have both offered leadership in the hopes of resuming meaningful peace talks, but both tend to favor Palestinian positions, so they have not produced much progress.

1 Thess 5:3 A peace agreement might be just another phase in the age-old struggle between these nations, or it could be the false peace mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

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Last Updated: 1/30/12

Documentation, Scriptural references and illustrations
may be found in the various sections of
Prophecy Central
“A World of Information About Bible Prophecy.”
Copyright © 2009 by Ron Graff.
Permission granted to use in churches or post on other websites as long it is printed or posted in its entirety.