I do nothing quickly, but I am going to try; let’s begin with a short recap.
In Ezekiel 39 what has taken place so far? Though it is not spelled out, as some might wish, Gog and his armies have attacked Israel – from every direction.
A Fire has rained upon Gog and his armies, as well as the coastal lands. One might presume that these coastal lands would be strictly associated with the Mediterranean region, but that can be nothing more than an assumption. Since the word fire is a somewhat generic term meaning heat, then we cannot exclude the idea of nuclear strikes. But this idea creates other problems, for how and why would God have atomic weapons? The problem with our thinking is that we see God as the creator and holder of this fire. While it is true that God generated the sulfur and brimstone hail that rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah, He is also adept at using the armies of enemies, along with their stockpiles of weapons, to bring judgment (and that is what this is,) against Israel and Gog. Nuclear weapons, as you can imagine, kill everyone within range, not just an enemy, and therefore many within Israel will die.
So, in killing off Gog, God has managed to kill off a large quantity of Israel as well.
Ezekiel 39:22 NET. Then the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward.
What is the timing of this war? There are several possibilities.
Some, because of the reference to Gog, believe that this happens at the end of the Millennial reign. Let’s see if that argument holds up.
Revelation 20:7-8 ISV When the thousand years are over, Satan will be freed from his prison. 8) He will go out to deceive Gog and Magog, the nations at the four corners of the earth, and gather them for war. They are as numerous as the sands of the seashore.
Using the ISV, as I have, you can see that Gog is no longer a person, but a people group. That definition alone should dispel the idea that Gog himself must be there in this battle. The verse itself shows that the people groups of Gog and Magog, are spread to the four corners of the earth; and, they are as numerous as the sands of the seashore. In speaking to Abram, God said,
Genesis 13:16 NET. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted.
God wasn’t just talking about the descendants through Issac; he was talking about Ishmael and Esau as well.
Genesis 17:20 DRB And as for Ismael I have also heard thee. Behold, I will bless him, and increase, and multiply him exceedingly: he shall beget twelve chiefs, and I will make him a great nation.
With this information, you should be able to see that many of this line of descendants have been destined for this moment. So what we see in Ezekiel is NOT the final war of Revelation 20.
Because there is a Mosque in Jerusalem, The Dome of the Rock. It is safe to assume that there will be no temple as long as that Mosque stands, and yet, as any student of Eschatology knows, there will be a final temple built by man. How convenient would it be if God blew the Mosque off the map with this firestorm? It seems that this war with Gog could play right into that scenario. So, let’s pursue that timing out for a moment.
This idea of a temple being built falls into place with several other events, such as the Antichrist collecting signatures on his peace treaty (which does not have to include Israel.)
We also know that two witnesses from God, appear and stand in the streets of Jerusalem for 1260 days. The tumult will be incredible, and in a sense, people will be trying to survive. Since no Palestinian will tolerate the temple being built, these two from God may play a role in keeping a relative peace (especially since they can call fire down upon anyone who tries to harm them.)
While I don’t pay much attention to modern day prophetic words, I will give more credence to a word if it is something that God was speaking to my heart about, or, I see the same theme in the scriptures.
When I read my bible I keep seeing a war that breaks out right before the catching away of the Church, or immediately after thereafter. As I said in my previous post, the timing here would put everything after the “rapture” into the category of God’s judgment. And, since it becomes clear that Israel is the object of God’s judgment, then to have this war with Gog immediately after the rapture makes all the sense in the world; (and yes, I am well aware that God does not need my opinion about when He can make his moves in this earth.)
Having been asked numerous times if I thought that we, as a church, would go through the tribulation, the answer is yes; but, I believe that the answer to that question is already skewed. It is skewed, or maybe a better word is biased because the person asking the question has intertwined the last seven-years of judgment into what Jesus said would be an everyday lifestyle, tribulation.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that what we like to call the tribulation is the last seven years, but misnaming this period has done far too much harm. When these arguments and terms come up, I often say, tribulation seems to be a relevant issue, for there are followers of Christ all around the world that are dying daily because of their faith in Jesus, while the person asking the question effectively lives in the protected lap of luxury.
There is, without a doubt in my mind, two more wars, if we consider Jesus, rather violent return, one of them. When the Antichrist breaks the covenant at 1260 days, several events happen.
So let’s consider what will happen when the Antichrist breaks the covenant midway through the seven-year period.
The two witnesses are allowed to die, be resurrected after three days, and return to the Father.
The False prophet will divulge his true identity. This false prophet has full access to the Holy of Holies in the temple and therefore performs his desecration. As I read about his actions in the temple, I could not help but think, this man has to be a high priest (however, until recently I did not know there was one. Islam too believes that a man like this will come. When he makes his move, he will give his allegiance to the Mahdi. That action means that he worships the beast and takes his mark. He will set up the image of the beast and make it talk; this also implies that the false prophet worships the image as well, and, he expects all to follow his lead just as he has done. In addition to what seems like the biggest betrayal in the world, there are the amazing miracles this false prophet, now empowered by the beast, performs. Because of his clout, miracles, and actions: like converting to Islam, many of the elite Jews, and a few others will be deceived and follow him. You can look this up in Matthew 24:24.
Let’s go back to this idea that the false prophet has access to the Holiest place in the temple for a moment. Mere access would mean that he is the high priest unless he comes by force – but scripture does not show us that. Sometime around August of 2016, the Sanhedrin appointed such a person. His name is Rabbi Baruch Kahane. With that piece of information, we may be looking at the man who could potentially become the false prophet. Yes I know, I sound like an angry, slanderous, fool; but what if I am right. You see the problem with having prophetic insight is that no one believes you until it is too late.
Islam, once again, gives us some insight into this false prophet, as he will become the enforcer of Sharia law. This move to enforce Sharia is when the martyrdom of those who follow Jesus will become almost pandemic in proportions. It is of this time that we are told, and it will become so horrific that if God does not stop it, no one will survive.
In trying to find some definition, war-wise, that explains what will happen when the false prophet comes into his own; Daniel is the prime source that comes to mind. I am trying to conserve space, so I want you to look these verses up for yourselves. Daniel 11:38-45. Pay attention to verse 44 because it conveys what seems to be a theme throughout his reign.
Daniel 11:44 KJV But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
Verse 41 tells us that many countries shall be overthrown. If you understand the goals of Islam, then you know that they have come to take over and turn your country into a Muslim nation. The Qu’ran gives the impression that money is evil, in spite of this, the Antichrist person, we are told in Daniel 11:43 “shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver.” So he is an enigma, to say the least.
Daniel 11:45 KJV … yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Does he come to an end because Christ comes back, or, do the purists find him to be out of line with the standards outlined in the Qu’ran? Hard to say, as the truth about most dictators is that they are after money and power.
Thankfully, point three is the perfect transition into Christ’s return as the Conquering Messiah.
Revelation 19:11 KJV And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Revelation 19:19 KJV And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Revelation 19:21 KJV And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Whether this takes minutes, hours, or days is indeed none of our concern, as merely knowing that the Millennial reign will begin rapidly, and peace will rule for a thousand years. My mind has never understood peace, as I have battled with mild depression and anxiety for many years now.
I opened with a brief discussion about the final war. When you read the account in Revelation, you can see that God is talking about people groups, NOT a man called Gog. Regardless, this war ends rather quickly, again with a fire strike, and then the White Throne judgment. The best part is that we all slide off into an undisturbed eternity with the Father. How I long for that day, for in a moment, a twinkling of the eye, we shall be changed, and then, we shall be like Him.