In Part Twelve, we will look into how the Gog-Magog war prophetically appears to morph into World War 3. We will then, in Part Thirteen, look at how this major world war appears to have a connection with the sixth seal of Revelation Six.
As we follow the developments in the Middle East today, we continue to witness a major build-up and widespread preparations being made by Israel’s enemies for another attempt at destroying the Jewish nation. Right around New Year’s Day 2019, there was a meeting in Tehran in which that terrorist regime once again confirmed its military agenda of complete destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Shiite Islamic government in Tel Aviv. Several Israeli media sources reported on this, including the Jerusalem Post.
Also, although nearly missed by most who stay aware of current events, but noticed by intelligence insider, Sean Osborne of the blog Eschatology Today, was the report of a delegation of Hezbollah officials which left for Tehran from Damascus just minutes before Israeli missiles hit their targets in Damascus, destroying Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian military equipment at about 10 pm on Christmas night. Also reported was the fact that Palestinian Islamic Jihad VIP’s arrived in Tehran from Gaza at the same time. The meeting of these groups of terrorists with the Ayatollah, as reported in Iranian media, was actually a war council to decide what they plan to do next in their war against Israel.
Although not all of the Psalm 83 list of Israel’s enemies were gathered at the same time at this meeting, we are witnessing the noose gradually being drawn tighter around Israel’s borders by its nearest enemies. Among those not present, Jordan for example, there are events happening behind the scenes which go almost totally unreported, exposing a cracking in the mostly covert “cooperation” that was beginning to bud between Israel and some of those who have earlier been open enemies. I believe that the Bible will prove once again to be accurate in its prophecies of the conflicts Israel will be caught up in at the very end of the age.
Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations have been very candid and open about their plan for a cooperative effort, both from within Israel and along all its borders, to engage Israel in an all-out war. We are witnessing most of the entire 49th chapter of Jeremiah come into play before our very eyes! We will continue to watch as the relationships between Israel and its neighbors continue to deteriorate in the immediate days ahead.
While this is happening in real time, Russia is finding itself distracted and pulled back to the east by the Ukrainian problem. Enormous amounts of military hardware, warships, fighter jets, bombers, and tens of thousands–if not hundreds of thousands of troops are being positioned for an all-out war with Ukraine. It appears Russia is not taking any chances and is going in heavy. With this issue on the front page of their war plans, and the fact that the United States president is recalling much of the US military from within Syria, Russia is, at least temporarily, not going to be in position to fully engage itself in the Ezekiel 38-39 war if a conflict in Syria does break out, although things could change as events unfold. It continues to be my belief, as I understand Old Testament prophecy, that Russia will not come down to fulfill its part in the Gog-Magog war until a major regional Mideast war has already happened. When the right time has arrived, God will put hooks into Gog’s jaws, as He promised, and will turn him around, and bring him down to the mountains of Israel.
As has already been suggested, the preliminary regional war, which prophetically we would recognize as the Psalm 83 War–or, Obadiah’s war, will be intensely violent but short. From beginning to end of this conflict, Israel’s enemies, other than those close to Israel’s borders, won’t have a chance to get their own armies mobilized and engaged before it’s all over.
I suggest that this major regional war will result in a high number of casualties for Israel’s enemies and massive destruction to enemy infrastructure, including several metropolitan areas; Damascus and cities to its north; Amman, Jordan; and others including those in the northwestern portion of Iran, particularly in the territory of ancient Elam. This, in turn, will result in wholesale condemnation against Israel from the rest of the world. This will have been a war between a large number of Muslim entities against the Jewish nation and the Arab League will demand immediate revenge. It will be then that the forces of Gog and Magog are fully mobilized for war.
While the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine continues to worsen, America is openly sending advisors and military equipment to aid Ukraine. The US navy is also now sending a strong message to Moscow that it will stand by its ally by sending a warship into the international waters of the Black Sea—the first one since Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels in late November 2018.
There are those who might question if Russia would be able to face off with the United States in an all-out war. The answer is, yes–with help from its allies. Russia in the past few years has heavily invested in its military—much more than the official reports suggest. Vladimir Putin has had an undisclosed amount of black budget money to use and has greatly strengthened the military. Russia’s military has also developed some very effective weaponry, including hypersonic missiles and space weaponry. At this point in time it does not appear that the US has an answer to these missiles. Let’s not forget that the Federation of Russia has a powerful nuclear arsenal. It’s total number of nukes greatly outnumbers that of the US. It is also known that while the US was destroying some of its nuclear weapons as part of disarmament treaties signed between the two nations, Russia found it convenient to destroy weapons that had already passed their shelf life or had been outdated, while building new, much more sophisticated weapons in their place.
Russia also, according to experts, is well capable of shutting down the power grid within the continental United States. The US has not done its due diligence in this area by effectively hardening the power grid which would protect it from an electromagnetic pulse attack. In fact, the problem is greater than most realize. The huge multi-ton, multi-million dollar, large amperage main electrical transformers, whose copper wires and leads would burn through, cannot generally be rebuilt in the field, and need to be completely replaced. Each of these units are custom built and there are only a few spare units available within the United States. The fact that they take about two years to build and are presently manufactured in China, would leave large sections of the nation without power for very long periods of time.
Although it is not my purpose in this article to provide statistics to prove the capabilities of the Russian military, suffice it to say that insiders within the US military’s leadership are well aware that Russia’s military capabilities are formidable—especially in light of the weakened and downsized condition the US military was left in by the previous administration. This will help us to understand some of what the prophet Ezekiel had to say in his fascinating prophecy.
As America’s relationship with Russia becomes more confrontational, China is doing some threatening of its own. The Chinese military has built some rather impressive man-made islands in the South China Sea which have been turned into very well-equipped military fortresses. They are large enough to dock the largest warships or commercial vessels. The runways on these islands are also capable of handling jets of any size. China has built these islands illegally but, since they are now completed, the project cannot be reversed unless the islands were to be totally destroyed. China has become quite confrontational, with a Chinese admiral recently threatening to sink two US Navy aircraft carriers patrolling the South China Sea—which could take the lives of 10,000 sailors aboard. This threat was made while the US carriers were passing through international waters.
The troubled relations between the United States and China are worsened by the US alliance with Taiwan and the provision to Taiwan of billions of dollars worth of US military hardware and weapons systems. The US also regularly passes through the international waters between Taiwan and mainland China with its warships in patrol of international shipping lanes, which it does all over the world. This of course includes patrolling within a short distance of the Spratly Island chain mentioned above. China claims ownership of much of the South China Sea, including the location of China’s newly constructed islands. This claim China is making of course is challenged by several other sovereign nations bordering the South China Sea.
North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, who in past years has made quite a number of bellicose threats against the United States, currently has a meeting planned with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, ahead of a second summit with the US president, Donald Trump. Is this significant? It could be. There are many questions about Kim’s true motives and also whether there is a genuine follow-through in process on his commitments to the American president just months ago dealing with the disarmament of his nuclear test sites. Many see Kim as a puppet of both China and Russia. In light of the fact that the three have grievances against the US on several fronts, and being allies of one another, concerns are raised. The problem is further exacerbated by sanctions which have been placed on Russia as well as North Korea for a number of reasons. At the same time, the American president continues his hard-line negotiating with China on tariffs and other crucial issues.
There appears to be an ever-widening rift in relations between the United States and the nations of Russia, China, and Iran. When all is said and done, this will likely include North Korea as well. There is good reason to consider a very real possibility that there will be a time when these nations, which are allies of one other, will rise up in a massive surprise attack on the US in order to break its vast influence and control over the world’s economy, as well as its military superpower status. I believe we have in Ezekiel 38-39 more than just a subtle hint that America will be attacked and seriously crippled as the first step in the Gog-Magog attack on Israel. This will effectively eliminate America’s ability to come to Israel’s aid when she will be most desperate for it.
Let’s revisit a portion of Ezekiel’s prophecy now so we can take a closer look at a few specifics that are often overlooked. In order to provide some substance to my belief that Gog not only attacks the Jewish nation in the mountains of Israel, but that the United States is also included in Gog’s war plans, we will briefly look at one often used Hebrew word which will help us determine the identification of the nations being attacked. Because of the vast importance of the Battle of Gog and Magog in the last days scenario, it would be expected that some important information would be found encoded biblically in Ezekiel’s prophecy which connect what is being foretold with other prophecies in the Bible dealing with identical, crucial events at the end of the age. Let’s now take another look at Ezekiel 38:8 with special emphasis on the last phrase of the verse:
After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.
The word “safely” is the word translated “betach”. The word signifies a sense of ease, being carefree, having no fear of being harmed. It is used 42 times in the old King James Version of the Old Testament, 26 of them being translated safely or safety.
The prophet Jeremiah describes the regathering of Israel in the latter years also, and uses the same language as Ezekiel.
“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.” Jeremiah 32:37
It is important to note that God only has good in mind for the Jewish people, and Jeremiah confirms this:
“Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” Jeremiah 32:41
In the Jeremiah passage we find God reminding Israel that “they will be His people, and He will be their God.” The normal usage of the word “betach” promises Israel God’s overseeing eye over them, and His deliverance throughout the ages, regardless of what is going on around them. Israel needs not fear any attack, or even, planned attack.
Yet, three verses later, the word “betach” is used again and most respected commentators suggest a different meaning for the word “betach”.
“You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages: I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates…” Ezekiel 38:11
Vines Bible Dictionary confirms that the word “betach” does not always infer “a confidence driven by faith,” but can on occasion convey a sense of over-confidence. We can see an example of this in Isaiah’s rebuke of the Daughter of Babylon. This is what Isaiah had to say:
“Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely (betach), who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me: I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children…’” Isaiah 47:8
This passage makes it quite clear that there is a brash, careless, presumptuous attitude being described. This leaves us with the question: Does our passage in Ezekiel 38:10-13, specifically verse 11 (above), intend the same usage of “betach” as in Isaiah 47:8? Is Ezekiel referring to Israel in this passage, or is this a reference pertaining to some other people or nation as in Isaiah 47?
Some commentators have come to the conclusion that “betach” in this verse does in fact denote an overconfidence because Israel has come to have great confidence in the backing of the US as its big brother nation—and of course also in the abilities of their own Israeli Defense Forces which have proven to be able to handle any challenge faced by the nation. But, because Israel obviously is still a heavily walled nation, the part of the verse that describes this nation being attacked as having no walls, bars or gates, the description of the lack of walls, bars, or gates should not be read in a literal way.
What makes a lot more sense and doesn’t require making all kinds of “adjustments” to the understanding, is to accept the fact that Israel is being attacked by Gog and Magog, but another entity is being attacked as well, one that literally does not have walls, bars, or gates around it. That entity is the United States of America. And…the description of a brash overconfidence is a very accurate description of America today.
I might add; in spite of the fact that there is a partial wall at the southern border and there is an attempt being made to build a complete wall, the US has never been known as a nation of walls. It has had no need to be. Even if there are finally plans to complete a wall between the US and Mexico, due to how quickly Bible prophecy is unfolding in our day, it is not likely to be completed before this war becomes a physical reality.
One principle that needs to be settled in our thinking as we see how Ezekiel has written this prophecy, is that Israel cannot ever be guilty of being overconfident in their God! God has made non-rescindable promises to this nation that no other nation has ever received, including the United States of America. If Israel is identified as the nation without walls, gates, or bars, it insinuates that it is the nation that is overconfident in their safety. This is not in keeping with God’s promises to Israel. If any nation, however, would be accused by the prophet of being the nation without walls, bars, or gates, and arrogantly being presumptuously careless and at ease in its safety, it would be The Daughter of Babylon–which I have strongly stated can only be the United States of America. (In a soon to come article, I will show how I identify the US as part of end of the age prophecies in Scripture).
As we take a last look at Ezekiel 38:8, we remember that God promised Israel His protection and safety. Yet, in the same passage the prophet is equally clear that Israel will not initially be free from threat or turmoil. Is God’s promise then to Israel not sincere? Not at all. The promise remains true even though it will be a process to see it in its completion. In God’s perspective, time constitutes a transitory reality. Israel will be secure. That promise is true. But it is not necessarily at the very same time it is gathered together back to their ancient land.The wars will come, and Israel will continue to be persecuted as Jewish people always have been. But, there is a day coming when the last battle will have been fought and God will once and for all time, eliminate all of the enemies of His chosen people. The defeat by the returning Messiah of the armies gathered for the last conflict of The Great Tribulation, the cataclyptic Battle of Armageddon, which will be the last and most violent of them all, will be the end of the world’s persecution of the Jews for all time and eternity.
We found in verse 11 that the word “betach” is again used, but in the sense of being overconfident, at east, and careless. This nation, not being Israel, but rather America, is how the Gog-Magog war becomes World War 3. Yes, Gog wants to confiscate the riches that have been found in Israel’s ancient lands and are now being harvested. Gog’s goal however is to corner the petroleum market, not just in Israel. It is America that ultimately stands in Gog’s way. One of the things that drives Vladimir Putin is the fact that he sees the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century being the collapse of the Soviet Union. He would like to see it resurrected. It is possible that Putin will play the part of Ezekiel’s Gog, and as such, he will see the need to formulate his attack as a massive, surprise event that catches the United States asleep.
In the process of catching the US asleep, he would rid himself of US control over the world economic market—which is a stick in his eye, and hinders the Russian economy. Economically, Wall Street and the City of London are pretty irrepressible. The International Bank of Settlements, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank dictate almost all terms of debt and trade. The US dominates these with secondary help from the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and last in this list, but certainly not least, Saudi Arabia. And, the great amount of booty—in fact, the greatest plunder of all, would be from the richest nation on earth; a nation that has the greatest oil and gas reserves of any nation. Not only would Gog break America’s stranglehold over the world economic market, but he would also net the greatest haul of plunder in history!
Another factor that needs to be brought into the picture is the demonic entities who work from behind the scenes to influence humans within their spiritual domain. Earthly powers rise and fall, but the paranormal “partners” persist until the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords comes to physically take Planet Earth back from the usurper. The nations who will attack Babylon the Great at the end of the age, are future to Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The same spirits however who were present in nations at the time period of the prophets are present and influencing the affairs of the present day representations of these ancient nations. Gog, Magog, and the other nations that become part of this massive world war are representative of people and places but behind them is a demonic ultra-dimensional element. There are many Scriptures that speak of this; a few examples would be Ephesians 6:2; Colossians 2:14; Colossians 1:6; and 1 Peter 3:22. These demonic powers exert their will by influencing their human agents, be they male or female. These entities also empower their human “partners” to do their bidding.
In summary, Jeremiah, Joel, and Ezekiel predict a future kingdom they identify as “The Daughter of Babylon.” Same as it was with Israel, this great empire will be opposed by a federation of powers from the extreme northern recesses of the earth. Gog, the name biblically given to the leader, will come from a nation that is as far north as one can go, as well as the principalities that may dwell there. The prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39 references the very same set of nations, likely at the same time—despite the fact that Ezekiel doesn’t mention Babylon by name. Gog, a powerful spirit being stirs up the leader who will lead the entire collection of nations, as well as the leaders of the other powers who join the conglomerate. The spirit being, Gog, stirs the leaders in the physical world, and leads these nations from behind the scenes. Gog, like the Antichrist, becomes the instrument of a supernatural being. His mission is to attack and destroy the people of God.
As we did not yet explore the connection between the Gog-Magog war and the Sixth Seal in Revelation 6, that will be the subject matter as we continue in Part Thirteen.