In this part of the series on the chronology of the Seals in Revelation Six, we will begin to examine the relationship between the Sixth Seal, the Ezekiel 38-39 War of Gog and Magog, World War 3, the Rapture of the Bride of Christ, and the End of the Age of Grace. Fitting each into its place is a bit complex, and the reader may or may not agree with my suppositions, but fasten your seatbelt, read carefully, and then decide for yourself whether the conclusions presented have value.
Two important questions to be answered in order to tie the component parts listed above together are: “Is the United States of America mentioned in the Bible, and if it is, “How is it identified? Many Bible prophecy experts have held to the opinion that the United States is nowhere mentioned in Scripture. I, however, contend that not only is the United States mentioned, but it happens to be an important player in the fulfillment of end time events. In addition to these two questions, a third question needs to be answered: “Is there a U.S. — Russia conflict in Scripture? And if there is, could there be a disastrous outcome for the United States? That is not a pleasant thought for anyone who considers themselves a patriotic American!
We have many references to Babylon in Scripture. We have the ancient Babylon whose most famous king was Nebuchadnezzar. We also have Babylon the Great, Mystery Babylon, and The Daughter of Babylon. There are over 220 verses in the Bible referencing the Daughter of Babylon and I would suggest that America could very well be identified as The Daughter of Babylon. Those verses speak of catastrophic destruction of the Daughter of Babylon and its demise is specifically said to be the result from a colossal attack from the “north.” Quite often in Scripture, Babylon and the Daughter of Babylon are considered one and the same. Note the sampling below:
O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed; happy the one who repays you as you have served us! Psalm 137:8
1 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…5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no longer be called the Lady (Queen) of Kingdoms. Isaiah 47:1, 5 (Note: both ancient Babylon and modern day Babylon are being referred to in this passage)
41 Behold a people shall come from the north, and a great nation and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance, they are cruel and shall not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea; they shall ride on horses, set in array, like a man for the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon. Jeremiah 50:41-42
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor when it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.” Jeremiah 51:33
Up Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. Zechariah 2:7
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaiah 13:19
You will notice that the above prophecies came from four separate Old Testament prophets. All considered the Daughter of Babylon to be a wealthy nation that once supported Israel but in the end turned its back on God’s people. Zechariah urges “Zion” to free itself of its alliance (or dwelling) with the Daughter of Babylon.
Below you will find quite a number of attributes that have been pointed out by Bible scholars over the years. These do much to aid in identifying this mystery nation.
- Your mother shall be deeply ashamed; she who bore you shall be ashamed. Behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land and a desert. Jeremiah 50:12 (“least” translates as “hindermost, youngest and last or latest in a series” — the final empire)
- “How the hammer of the whole earth has been cut apart and broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations!” Jeremiah 50:23
- “A sword is against their horses, against their chariots, and against all the mixed peoples who are in her midst; and they will become like women. A sword is against her treasures, and they will be robbed.” Jeremiah 50:37 (“wealthy nation” who dictates economic terms to the entire world; a “mingled people”, a nation known as a “melting pot”)
- “O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come. The measure of your covetousness.” Jeremiah 51:13 (this is a nation that lives on many waters — surrounded by oceans, divided by many rivers, great lakes of fresh water)
- “Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven, and though she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 51:53 (this is a nation that is known for its technology and its ability to “mount” up beyond earth’s atmosphere into space)
- “I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed; and the nations shall not stream to him anymore…”Jeremiah 51:44 (all nations meet in this city / nation)
- “Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged.” Jeremiah 51:7 (this nation is now known for its sin and immorality — a cup of filthiness which it has exported to the entire world)
- “Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans; and be like the rams before the flocks.” Jeremiah 50:8; “The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon declares in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of His temple.” Jeremiah 50:28; “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He shall recompense her. Jeremiah 51:6 (this nation has within it a large percentage of the Jews in the world. It has just been just within the past year that the number of Jews in Israel is greater than in the United States)
- “As Babylon has caused the slain in Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall. Jeremiah 51:49 (Just as many slain in the earth have fallen because of Babylon, so must Babylon experience the same. Also, as Babylon has turned its back on Israel and often stabbed her in the back politically and internationally, so God’s vengeance will bring the same upon Babylon)
These are only a few of an abundance of descriptors of the mystery nation foretold by God’s prophets. It is my contention that now, more than ever in our history, the United States of America meets the descriptions of that nation. No other nation fits so perfectly. Who is the northern nation who brings such a devastating attack on the Daughter of Babylon? It is certainly not Canada. It is Russia along with her allies, China, North Korea, and likely Iran. The prophets of Scripture made it very clear that a great northern power is destined to destroy the Daughter of Babylon.
Below I have listed a few more prophecies about this mystery nation.
- “For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior. None shall return in vain.” Jeremiah 50:9 (could these accurate arrows be precision missiles?)
- “Your mother shall be deeply ashamed…” Jeremiah 50:12 (who would be Babylon’s mother? Could it be England, since it was England who in a sense “birthed” America?)
- “Because of the wrath of the LORD, she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified and hiss at all her plagues. Jeremiah 50:13; As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors,” says the LORD, “So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.” Jeremiah 50:40 (the description of this judgment on Babylon is much worse than what happened to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon when overrun by the Medes and Persians. This speaks to a cataclysmic destruction at the end of the age)
Now, if you will allow that the United States is the most likely candidate, if not the only candidate that fits all of these attributes, another question must be answered: “When will this conflict come about?” The answer is connected to the previous question, “Is there a U.S. — Russia conflict in Scripture?”
Traditionally, it has been taught that there will be a great war before the final 7-year period which is called The Great Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week described in Daniel 9:24-27, or, in modern terminology, The Apocalypse. At the end of the seven years, an even greater cataclysmic war will ensue, called the Battle of Armageddon. There are differences of opinion on when the first great war erupts, but Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Gog–Magog War in which Gog’s weaponry is burned for seven years, providing fuel for Israel, ties the conflict closely to the beginning of the Apocalypse.
Ezekiel’s war is initially between Israel and Gog and the nations allied under his command. The federation of forces allied with Gog include Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Turkey, and other nations. Eventually, God steps in, bringing judgment on Gog’s military, destroying 85% of the massive conglomeration of forces on the mountains of Israel. Who is Gog? He is the head of the land of Russia (Moscow is to the extreme north of Jerusalem). Most of Gog’s allies are Islamic nations.
How does Ezekiel describe the scene?
16 “You will come up 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”…22 ”And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed, I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will 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 38:16, 22-23
What is the outcome of this war?
1 “And you son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You will fall on the open field; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 39:1-5
What did Ezekiel say about the burning of Gog’s weaponry?
9 “Then those that 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. 10 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 39:9-10
Then there is the disposal of the dead:
13 “Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord GOD. 14 They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the “Valley of Hamon Gog.” Ezekiel 39:13-15
How about aftereffects?
21 “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. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.” Ezekiel 39:21-22
In order to determine if the United States and Russia are destined to collide in a major conflict, we need to take a close look at Ezekiel 38:10-13:
10 Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 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’ — 12 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. 13 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?’”
Who or where is “the land of unwalled villages?” It has been the assumption by many that Israel will be living at relative peace without walls when Gog attacks. What if this is not referring to Israel? Is it possible that it is a nation far from the Middle East? I would like to offer another possible explanation to the passage and then after pondering its implications, you decide for yourself if it has any merit.
Several Bible translations of verse 10 are similarily worded: “on that day it shall come to pass that thoughts shall arise in your mind and you will make an evil plan… (NKJV); “on that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme…” (NIV). Most versions have some form of the above. The old KJV translation, however, as well as the Septuagint, Young’s translation, Noah Webster’s translation and some others are a bit more specific and translate the phrase as: “at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought…”
What happens “at the same time”, and what is “the evil thought?” Verse 11 tells us the evil thought is to “attack the land of unwalled villages — those that dwell safely without bars in their windows or gates…” Building walls with gates around cities was an old world phenomenon and is not characteristic of our modern day world. Israel, however, is an obvious exception. The nation of Israel today has more walls to protect its citizens from its surrounding enemies (including some within) than any other nation on earth. How could Israel be “the nation of unwalled villages” described by Ezekiel? If this ‘unwalled’ nation is not Israel as being described by Jeremiah, who is this nation?
Note: It has been proposed by some prophecy experts that Israel will in fact be that nation without walls and gates and be living peacefully due to Israel’s overwhelming victory over its border enemies in a major Middle East regional war prior to Ezekiel’s War of Gog & Magog. Although I am a strong proponent of this regional war (which is known by most as the Psalm 83 war), I don’t see Israel finding immediate peace and safety, even after having soundly defeated its border enemies. There will not be enough time for Israel to take its hundreds of miles of walls down before its enemies from all across the Muslim world, joined with Gog and his Russian army, stream down into the land of Israel to destroy the tiny nation. Israel’s defeat of its border enemies will have to be very harsh and decisive in order for Israel to survive the multiple front war in which the Israeli Defense Forces will be vastly outnumbered. The violence of this war and the colossal death count Israel’s enemies will experience will bring world-wide antisemitism to a fever pitch. Israel will have no allies at that time. The IDF is currently preparing and expecting this multifront war (which will include Iran) to begin at any time. Israel may find it necessary to preempt the attacks of their enemies in order to override their potential first-strike advantage. This colossal defeat of Israel’s border enemies may be one of the “hooks” placed in Gog’s jaws as Ezekiel foretells. These hooks in Gog’s jaws will bring Gog and his massive force down upon the mountains of Israel. Russia has great interest and investment in the Middle East. Israel’s defeat of its regional enemies will not only transform Israel into a regional superpower, but will likely also be seen as a threat to Russia’s military and economic influence in the region.
Now, back to Ezekiel’s mystery nation…
Whomever this nation is, Jeremiah adds some attributes in the above passage concerning the people of the nation in question that must be considered:
- They are at rest
- They dwell safely
- Land of desolate places that are now inhabited
- A people gathered out of the nations
- Very wealthy nation
In consideration of the points above, can one really say that Israel is at rest and dwelling safely? This is only the case as long as Israel’s police and military exercise a very strong hand in dealing with terrorist attacks within the nation and a formidable deterrence against external enemy nations. Israel could partially qualify as a land of desolate places that are now inhabited — at least since the Jews began coming back to their ancient homeland in the last century. This would indicate that Israel could also partially qualify as a people gathered out of the nations, but is there another? Israel is now considered a relatively wealthy nation as well, but so is another, much larger nation.
The attributes mentioned above, as well as a long list of additional attributes mentioned in other chapters of Jeremiah (particularly chapters 50 and 51) are a description of the Daughter of Babylon — and I again suggest and personally believe that is the United States of America. It is America that is living at ease with an ocean on either coast, the Gulf of Mexico on its south and bordered by nations with whom she is at peace. Some may argue the point that America has a partial wall built on its southern border, but as we know, it has not been used effectively to deter illegal immigrants crossing America’s southern border. The current administration refused to allow the wall to be completed as had been initiated by the previous administration. America is not a “walled” nation. As to the desolate places now inhabited, the North American continent had been a wide open frontier land, basically untamed, until settlers immigrated from the Old World, built homesteads, settlements, towns, cities, and eventually a unified nation. Is Israel a nation having people gathered out of the nations? Yes, of course. It is, however, America is known worldwide as the melting pot of peoples from every nation on earth. Scripture speaks of a people group that has accumulated wealth and lives in the midst of the land. To a limited extent, this could be Israel because God has greatly blessed the Jewish nation since its independence in 1948. To an extent, it has become the envy of nations around it. But, never in history has there been a nation with as much accumulated wealth and economic influence and power around the world as the United States in recent years. Additionally, Israel is not a cattle growing nation and there are very, very few cattle to be found America, however, has cattle ranches in most states of the union, and America has accumulated enormous wealth and the capability of self-sufficiency that all nations on the planet envy.
This leads us to verse 13 where the prophet Ezekiel mentions Sheba and Dedan and its alliance with the merchants of Tarshish and all their young lions. There is no argument between scholars that this is referring to Saudi Arabia. It may very well include Yemen as well. Who are the merchants of Tarshish and their young lions? This is referring to a people who have inhabited Spain, France, Portugal, and England. Their young lions are all their colonies in the New World. The most notable of these is without question, America, the young lion who descended from the “lion of England.” Making this connection is not new. It has been proposed by eschatology scholars for many years, even as far back as Frank Logsdan, one- time pastor of Moody Church in Chicago. He addressed this connection in his 1960s study, “The US in Bible Prophecy.” Hal Lindsey also addressed the issue in writings over the years, the most well known of course being his 1970 book “Late Great Planet Earth.”
We also have a thinly veiled link to the first four empires of Daniel 7 and John the Revelator’s kingdom of the Beast in Revelation 13.
2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ 6 After this I looked, and there was another like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. Daniel 7:2-7
1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Revelation 13:1-2
Could it be that the “lion with eagle’s wings” is a reference to the USA whose symbol is the “eagle” and England, America’s mother country, whose symbol is the “lion”?
Another major factor to keep in mind is that a large percentage of Gog’s gathered armies will be Muslim, and we cannot dismiss the impact of Muslim hatred for the Zionists. Islamic traditions foretell an all-out war between the Muslim world and the Jews at the end of the age. When this war erupts, all prior treaties or agreements between Israel and Muslim nations will be discarded.
If this conclusion is correct, and if we were to take the time, there are many arguments that could be made to support an attack on Israel happening nearly in concert with an attack on the Daughter of Babylon. Is this hard to imagine? Consider the fact that Israel is considered the Little Satan and America the Great Satan. This makes sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that America would be eliminated from coming to the aid of Israel.
Of all nations on this earth, Israel and America were set aside by God to bring about His will and eternal agenda. It is important to understand, however, that there is a major difference between what happens to the two nations when this attack happens. Israel will survive because of God’s covenant with Abraham, and subsequently with Abraham’s descendants, the nation of Israel. God does not have such a covenant with America. While God intervenes with His mighty hand to stop Gog’s forces from utterly decimating the nation of Israel, America, who gets attacked “at the same time” will not be spared. America has constantly pushed God and His ways farther and farther away, and so after nearly 250 years of God’s blessing on this great nation, it will be allowed to be defeated — both from within the nation as well as from external forces aligned against it. Tragic…
Could Ezekiel’s Gog – Magog War be connected to World War 3? Could there also be a connection to the opening of the Sixth Seal? How about the Rapture of the Church? We will take a close look at these questions in the next part of this series.
–To Be Continued in Part Twelve–