There are those in our world who think that history, as it unfolds, is random. Others believe that history is cyclical and will eventually always come back to its starting point. Then there are others who aren’t convinced it has to be random or cyclical because history’s outcome can be determined by man. The Bible teaches us that mankind, regardless of his hubris, is not in control of history; God is. Ultimately, history will unfold just as God has said it would. Man however has been given the privilege of choosing his eternal destiny through his choice of who he is going to serve. Is it going to be God, his Creator; or a false god—possibly even believing that there is no other god besides himself.
Most of the Jewish people today are predominantly secular in their beliefs. Presently, they are blinded to the special place they really have in God’s overall plan for mankind. But the Bible foretold this. The Bible also predicted that God would open their eyes at the time of the end so that they would not only recognize their God, Jehovah, but also the Messiah they rejected. With these thoughts in mind, we will unpack a bit more about the coming great Gog-Magog war.
One of the things that stands out in the details prophesied about this war is that God uses it to make Himself known to the world. Many of those who have refused to recognize the sovereignty of the Almighty Creator, will be forced to acknowledge Him. God’s supernatural intervention in this war is especially designed to reach the hearts of the Jewish people. Let’s look at what Ezekiel, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said:
“You will come against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:16 (emphasis, mine)
“Thus will I magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:23 (emphasis, mine)
“So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Surely, it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord GOD. “This is the day of which I have spoken. Ezekiel 39:7-8) (emphasis, mine)
The first two passages say that God will see to it that the nations of the world will recognize that He, and He alone intervened in these affairs of man. The Scriptures tell us that God is not willing that any perish, Jew or Gentile alike. In spite of the fact that God chose the Jewish nation as the vehicle to bring the Messiah into the world, God’s love extends to all of creation. When the Jews did not recognize their Messiah when He came 2,000 years ago, the door was opened wide for the world of the Gentiles to find salvation through this same Messiah. This is why we call this last 2,000 years, the “Church Age.” But, God promised that He would remove the blindness from the Jews so that they will finally recognize what they missed 2,000 years earlier. The intervention of God in this war, which without Him would annihilate the Jews, is a big step in that direction as we read in the passage below.
“I will set My glory among the nations, all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.” Ezekiel 39:21-22 (emphasis, mine)
We find in chapter 39 of this prophecy, just as with the passage in chapter 36 which we referred to in the previous article, that God makes it clear to the world why the Jews were dispersed, and why they, through His sovereignty, were brought back to their ancient land again. We find these words prophesied below:
“The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore, I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name—after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 39: 23-29 (emphasis, mine)
God goes to great length in this passage to tell the world why the Jews, His chosen people, were scattered all across the world. He also makes it clear that it was He that brought them back into the land; in fact, He made it possible for them to be living there in safety again. Could this be a subtle hint of the fact that something happens between the writing of this article and the time when this great attack comes upon Israel, that gives them at least a bit of security, albeit short-lived? As I write this article, the Israeli Defense Force has exposed, and are in process of destroying, tunnels that have been dug by the terrorist organization Hezbollah under the border between Lebanon and Israel. These tunnels have been dug to provide the means for large groups of Hezbollah soldiers to attack the Galilee by surprise, killing and kidnapping as many as possible before Israel can react. But God thought differently and allowed the tunnels to be discovered before becoming operational. These tunnels will now not be used for this destructive purpose. What has been uncovered is just an additional proof that Israel is not yet in a place of dwelling safely. They still have a need for protective walls. The hatred of their enemies continues to seethe and will not be abated until something drastic changes the equation.
As we examine more details given to us concerning this great war of Ezekiel 38-39, we find a hint of when this event may unfold. We already know from several references in these two chapters that this is a war that unfolds at the time of the end of the age. What age? This would be at the end of the age of grace, the Church Age. We however find an additional detail that tells us the timing of this war in relationship to the Apocalypse or, as the Bible calls it, The Day of the LORD or The Great Tribulation.
“Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 38:9-10
Bible scholars place the Ezekiel war at different points in the end of days timeline. (1) Some place this war somewhere near to, or right at the end of the Great Tribulation. (2) Others place it at the midpoint or near the midpoint of the Great Tribulation, (3) and then there are those who position its fulfillment at the beginning or just prior the beginning of the Great Tribulation. I am one who sees this war unfolding at the beginning of the Apocalypse, and one of my reasons is found in this passage. God says that Israel will burn the weapons of their attackers for seven years. It’s a very specific time allotment given. There is only one proven fuel source that I am aware of which will burn that long and that fuel source happens to be nuclear fuel rods. Nuclear fuel rods, which are packed with pellets of uranium oxide or other fissionable materials inside of zirconium cladding, have been tested and successfully burned for up to seven years before the fuel runs out. It’s a foregone conclusion that the next major war will likely include the use of weapons of mass destruction. In light of the massive casualty rate that Ezekiel prophesied, it is not hard to image the mountains of Israel strewn with the weapons, ammunition, conventional and nuclear.
Since it’s highly improbable that nuclear fuel rods would be burned for fuel during the coming millennial Kingdom of the Messiah, the Gog-Magog war must happen at the beginning of the Apocalypse, at the latest. There are also many other indicators that show this war does not likely happen any time later than suggested above. There are many events and details found in the Book of Revelation which is the most comprehensive description of what happens during the Day of the LORD, that are not even hinted at in this very detailed description of the Gog-Magog conflict. Neither do they appear in any of the other Scriptural descriptions of this war. Below is a listing compiled by author S. Douglas Woodward of just a few important items or events that should logically appear or at least be mentioned in some form or another if this war were any later than suggested above.
- No mention of Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, powers or principalities, demons, or the “mark of the beast”
- No mention of ten kings empowering the Antichrist or nations outside of the Middle East/North Africa (Gog resides both inside and outside of the Middle East, both within and beyond the Black and Caspian Seas)
- No mention of a seven year covenant between Israel and a guarantor of peace and, or “the many”
- No mention of any army coming to the aid of israel during this war (if Antichrist had covenanted with Israel, he fails to respond to the war)
- No mention of the 144,000 sealed witnesses of Revelation or the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11
- No mention of the Jewish Temple, that Temple worship has been reinstated, or the abomination of desolation of Daniel 9:27 has occurred.
- No mention of the King of the North, King of the South, Babylon, Egypt, the Kings of the East, the drying up of the Euphrates River, or massing armies in the valley of Megiddo.
- No reference to the Valley of Megiddo, Armageddon, or Plain of Jezreel.
- No mention of any miracles performed by forces of good or evil (Antichrist, False Prophet, Two Witnesses, Elijah, or the Messiah)
- No mention to the great judgments of Revelation; the Seals, Trumpets, of Bowls of Wrath prior to, during, or after the war.
- No mention of the Church, the rise and role of a one-world religion, one-world government, or one-world economic system
- No mention of Jesus Christ, Jewish Messiah, destruction of armies by the coming of the Messiah, the brightness of his coming, or His Word.
- No reference to judgment of peoples, nations, and lake of fire
Ezekiel’s total silence on all of these events, main characters, and details, is noteworthy. It is also important to remember that Ezekiel was both a prophet and a priest. He is not one that would have missed or ignored the items in the above list, as well as many more important facts that I won’t take the time to list in this writing.
I would now like to suggest a possible second national entity that Gog may have his eye on. Let’s take another look at what Ezekiel said:
…”you will say, ‘ I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates—to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.’”
I have a question: What if this passage is more about another nation than it is about Israel? As I have stated, there is little reason that the prophecy would not fit Israel, given it is able to take its protective walls down and be reasonably assured in its security. But, what if this is referring to America? If we look back to verse ten, we find the wording of the Old King James’ version of the Scriptures saying this:
Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought, and thou shalt say, “I will go up to a land of unwalled villages…” chapter 38:10 (emphasis, mine)
Question: At the same time as what? That would have to refer back to the previous verse where Gog has the plan of coming down as a storm onto the mountains of Israel. So, this means that at the same time as he is planning this, another thought comes to mind, an evil thought of attacking the nation with unwalled villages. Could it possibly be Israel’s big protective brother? It would be entirely logical for Gog to be concerned about attacking Israel if there were a possibility that “big brother”– who happens to have the most powerful military in the world, comes to little brother’s defense.
It is interesting to note that America fits all of the descriptions of the nation described by the evil thought of Gog. In America’s history, it has had little worry about being attacked from without and has never seen the need for border walls. Today there is a major push for a wall on America’s southern border but it is long from being completed. America’s people, as with Israel, are also immigrants from all over the world. America takes in more immigrants than any other nation on earth, and has the reputation of being the melting pot of the world.
The United States also lives in peace and prosperity—and it has been very prosperous as well as very generous to most every nation on earth. But, the United States wields great economic power, and right or wrong, there are other nations that would be willing to destroy that economic and military control if they could. I suggest that this is exactly what Gog and his allies intend to do. Without something to keep America from stepping to Israel’s defense, Gog’s coalition has little possibility of destroying Israel and taking over control of the Middle East.
What nation on earth would have greater riches and resources to plunder? The U.S. today is 100% oil and natural gas sufficient. It also has more goods to sell to the world than any other nation on earth. The United States has become the greatest and most powerful empire the world has ever seen. But there is much that is not good and God’s view of America may not be what Americans would like to think. Could it be that God steps in, allowing natural disasters to cripple America to the point that enemy powers would be able to attack while the nation is at its weakest and most vulnerable, leaving Israel to fend for itself? Could this be why verse 13 is worded as it is?
Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, “Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?” Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?’” Ezekiel 38:13-14
Sheba is representative of Southern Arabia and Dedan of Northern Arabia. There is a longstanding argument that “the merchants of Tarshish and “the young lions” refer to people who have inhabited Spain, France, Portugal, and especially England, along with their colonies in the New World. The “young lions” could certainly be a reference to America, the young lion coming from the old “lion of England.” Many great theologians of the past have made this connection, and I agree with them.
There also appears to be a connection to Daniel’s first four empires, described in Daniel 7 and the empire of the Beast described by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation, chapter 13. Daniel said:
“The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Daniel 7:4.
Then John talks of the empire of the Beast as a combination of the first three kingdoms described in Daniel:
And the beast which I saw was unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13:2
I believe it is very possible that the “lion with eagle’s wings” is a reference to America, whose symbol is the eagle, and England, America’s mother country whose symbol is the lion. If this description is correct, then an attack on the land of Israel occurs simultaneously with an attack on the Daughter of Babylon, the U.S. It is easy to imagine an attack on Israel and the United States at the same time. The United States is considered as the Great Satan by the Muslim world and Israel, the Little Satan. The attacks on both at the same time make great sense and would be a great chess move if the motive were to keep the United States from being able to come to the aid of Israel, especially with the rabid hatred for the “Zionists.”
There is one very important distinction between what happens to Israel and what happens to the United States, the Daughter of Babylon. God protects Israel, but He does not protect the Daughter of Babylon! We will look into this in greater detail later in this series, although we will now look at one Scripture to show how God will deal with the Daughter of Babylon in the very near future.
Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, take off the skirt, uncover the thigh, pass through the rivers, your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, and I will not arbitrate with a man.” As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel, sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no longer be called “The Lady of Kingdoms…Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, I am, and there is no one else besides me…….No one will save you. Isaiah 47:1-5, 8, 15b
For Americans, this is a depressing passage of Scripture, yet it is true. America served its purpose by being a place where peoples could go for a fresh start in life, the land of the brave and the free. It was the nation that was first to recognize the fledgling nation of Israel in 1948, and it became Israel’s big brother, helping it to get established in a brutal, anti-semitic world.
America was also the womb for millions of Christian missionaries who preached the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah. And, American missionaries have gone all across the globe. But, just as the Light of the Gospel was sent throughout the known world, so also did the seeds of the evil one grow into an iniquitous, diabolical harvest. The two grew together in the same land. The time has now come when the Lord of the harvest of the earth will begin separating the wheat from the tares. The true godly seed, represented at least partially by the original Puritans who came to the New World, settling in Massachusetts Bay in order to enjoy religious freedom to worship God as they were inspired to, will be translated into the presence of the One they have loved and served. But, then there is the other seed, the seed of the tares, those who came to the New World, some of them settling in Jamestown, to practice their evil pagan rituals, worshipping the false god, the fallen Lucifer. God will deal with them as the spawn of the evil one. Today, we still have the choice offered by the prophet Elijah on Carmel, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, God or Ba’al.” The day of freedom of choice is swiftly passing. The door of the ark is beginning to swing closed.
Continued in Part Eleven… as we look deeper into God’s judgment on Gog on the mountains of Israel. We will also discuss a very possible connection to the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17