Jesus warned that the closer we get to His return, wars and the rumors of war would be multiplied. This has happened. The number of conflicts going on all at the same time have greatly multiplied, both in number as well as intensity. Wars and rumors of wars are one of the signs Jesus said would be part of the “birth-pains”, warning us about the nearness of the Apocalypse. Our world has now experienced two world wars within the last century and we have not yet found “the war to end all wars.” The most volatile flashpoint in the world is in the Middle East, and it will continue to be so until the return of the Messiah when He sets up His Millennial Kingdom. Anti-semitism is on the rise and will not let up until the KING of Kings rescues them, showing the world that they have been attacking a nation that has an unrescinded covenant with God.
As I write these words, our world is staring down the barrel of World War 3. While I was doing some research I found a quote that I would like to share:
Duelling was abolished because man’s conscience told him that to be opposed to a man with less knowledge of how to use his weapon, was so certain of killing him, the odds being so unequal, that in reality it was “murder.” What difference is there when a strong nation goes to war with a weak one? And is not this generally the case with wars? The chances are not even; it is only a matter of time; if so, is not war generally wholesale murder? We must in time consider wars as acts of barbarism, the acts of savages. Men will see that war for honour is as foolish between nations as if done between individuals. (James Platt, Platt’s Essays.)
If we were to look at a map of the world and see the armies gathering from all sides to attack Israel, it looks totally insane. The population of Israel today stands at a little over 8 million. Followers of Islam are estimated at somewhere around 1.7 billion today. But, it is not just Muslim nations that will try to obliterate Israel. Although several of the former Soviet states are predominantly Muslim, Russia is not. About 75% of Russia’s population is Russian Orthodox, with only about 5% of the population claiming to be Muslim.
This enormous military machine coming down upon the mountains of Israel will be a conglomeration of armies from all across northern Africa, central Asia, and northern Asia. This military force will be in the multiplied millions. In Part 14 of this series, we read Ezekiel 38:1-17. Chapter 39 doubles up on a few of the details but presents us with new ones as well: The first ten verses of chapter 38 read like this:.
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; 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, then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 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. You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken,” says the Lord GOD. “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands, then they shall know that I am the LORD.
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 of Israel. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord GOD. “This is the day of which I have spoken. 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 not 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 39:1-10, NKJV)
As we noticed in Ezekiel 38:18, God’s fury rises up in His face when this colossal military conglomerate swarms down on the mountains of Israel with the intent of obliterating the “apple of His eye.” He decides this is the time to make Himself known. God then renders Israel’s enemies’ weapons totally useless. From the description, it sounds like God interrupts the normal function of the missile launching systems as well as the aim of the missiles themselves. God then decrees the death of most of this massive army in the mountains of Israel. God judges the attackers using several means:
- An enormous earthquake
- Crumbling of the mountains where the troops are gathered
- Confusing the attackers so that they kill each other
- Flooding rains from the sky
- Great hail stones
- Fire and brimstone (meteor storm)
- Pandemic pestilence
The outcome of this tremendous slaughter is something to take special note of. The King James Bible says that God only leaves one-sixth of the army alive. In the same version of the Scriptures, it also says that the slaughter is so great that it stops up the noses of travelers in the area. One can only imagine what it would be like to come across a location where many hundreds of thousands of bodies are decomposing. In verse 12 we are told that it takes Israel seven months to bury the dead and then verse 14 tells us the land must be cleansed and there will be people employed to do nothing but search out the entire land to make sure that no body part or bone is left unburied. People will put a marker next to any bone found and professionals will dispose of what has been found.
The Scriptures make it clear that the nation of Israel will be burning the weaponry and fuel that are confiscated as spoils of war. This tells us that this war must happen no less than seven years before the Battle of Armageddon, which is in effect the termination of the kingdom of the Antichrist as well as the beginning of Messiah Jesus’ millennial reign. I will go into some depth on the timing of this war and its connection to the events as laid out in the Book of Revelation in Part 16 of this series.
In Ezekiel 38:4, God speaks to Gog saying: “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords…” It sounds like God uses something to draw the attention of this great enemy from the extreme north–something that Gog wants to get his hands on and claim for himself. What could Israel have that such a large and powerful nation like Russia could want?
When this attack gets the attention of other nations, there is an interesting response: “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 are Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish and their young lions? I believe this is a response from the West and some of its Mideast allies. Sheba is Yemen, Dedan is Saudi Arabia, Tarshish was what is now southern Spain and possibly even at least part of the United Kingdom. The young lions of Tarshish would be referring to many of the nations that came out of the old British empire, including America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. As this attack is about to be unleashed, the West will condemn what is about to happen but does nothing at all to stop it. This is either because it is not able to or does not see that it is worth getting involved in. This leaves Israel with her back up against the wall, totally alone—except for the God who has never allowed Satan to totally destroy the nation. God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob was an eternal covenant and God has not forgotten it!
So, what could Gog and his allies be after in the land of Israel? I believe that the greatest nightmare for the Islamic nations in the Middle East would be for Israel to find oil. And, that is exactly what is happening. The search for natural resources first showed Israel having several massive reservoirs of natural gas. Wherever there is natural gas, there will also be oil. In fact, geologists are now beginning to confirm that Israel likely has as much oil is Saudi Arabia has. This is important for several reasons.
- The oil reserves of the Middle East nations has provided a great advantage over Israel.
- The reserves in Israel appear to be deeper underground and Israel’s neighbors have a fear that as Israel taps their new reservoirs, their own reservoirs will drain into Israel’s.
- Even though Russia has considerable oil reserves of its own, it still depends heavily on oil imports from the Middle East
- Russia exports about one third of Europe’s needed natural gas, and has always been able to use it as leverage. Russia does not want Israel supplying gas to Europe.
- By the time of the Gog & Magog war, Israel will most likely already have defeated her border enemies in the Psalm 83 / Obadiah war and will have gained territory and much spoil, including great amounts of oil reserves.
- Ancient Dedan will likely have been devastated by this time, possibly during or before the Psalm 83 war, and Iran will have been crippled militarily and wanting revenge.
- Israel’s border enemies, which are Muslim nations, will also have been defeated in the Psalm 83 war, Allah having gotten a black eye. The whole Muslim world, including the Arab league will be in a fury and want revenge, no matter what the cost.
- Damascus will likely also have been destroyed by this time and Syria will not be a player anymore in world politics. This means that Russia’s naval port in Tartus, Syria, will likely be in jeopardy, if not under direct Israeli control.
These are just a few issues contributing to the drive for war with Israel. As one can see by watching current events, these things are developing right before our very eyes in real time.
Getting back to the cataclysmic destruction of the armies arrayed against Israel; it will not be possible to deny that this is a great supernatural event. Something like this will not have happened before in history! The closest historical events resembling this are some of the battles Israel had to face in the Old Testament. Anyone familiar with the Old Testament will remember the stories of massive armies assembled against the Israelites. What many overlook as they read this account in Ezekiel 38-39 is that the nations that these armies come from are also devastated in the same events happening in the mountains of Israel. This will be a massive, cataclysmic event that will heavily affect the entire planet in one way or another. The earthquake alone that is described here is a world-wide quake; larger than anything ever recorded in history. Ezekiel 38:20 makes quite clear what this quake causes:
…so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
When we look back in history to the times when Israel was serving Jehovah God as He prescribed in Moses’ law, God intervened and wiped their enemies out. At times when Israel was prostituting themselves with the pagan practices of their neighbor nations, Israel was often soundly defeated. Very near in thefuture, God will use the opportunity of Israel’s desperate situation to draw her back to Himself. At the same time, God makes a point of proving to the world Who He really is. Ezekiel 38:23 says it this way:
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.
Then in Ezekiel 39:21-23:
“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. 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.
And then back in chapter 39:7-8:
“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.”
In my understanding of prophecies that we have been provided by the Spirit of God concerning the wars that Israel will have between the date of this writing and the return of Jesus the Messiah to set up His kingdom, there will be several outcomes of Israel’s defeat of her enemies: The Israeli Defence Forces will have been empowered by the Almighty GOD to defeat their border enemies, Damascus, ancient Elam. Then God will supernaturally defeat the forces of Gog and Magog without the the Israeli military being involved. Below is just a short list of what we may expect to see happen:
- Islam and Allah, along with his false prophet Muhammad will have received two black eyes with these catastrophic defeats…Allah having been handcuffed by Israel’s God, Jehovah
- Iran will have been crippled before the Gog & Magog war, and now devastated in the mountains of Israel along with Russia and all their allies
- Israel will not only have been able to let their guard down due to the overwhelming victory over their Psalm 83 enemies and taking great amounts of territory, but now with this victory, they will be seen as the superpower of the Middle East
- Russia will have been put on a leash, as well as the entire Muslim world, whether of Persian or Arab descent
- Israel will see themselves relatively free of any major enemies
- The Antichrist may sign a treaty with them, maybe not so much as a protector of Israel, but as a means of containing them by deceiving them into believing he is the returning messiah
- There will be nothing to stop the building of the third Jewish Temple
- The door will be open for the One World Government to come together at hyper speed
- The One World Religion will easily incorporate what is left of Islam
- The world will be decimated economically, geographically, socially, politically, and to a great extent militarily. This will leave the world wide open for a “saviour”, especially a counterfeit messiah since the real Jesus has been rejected by most of the world
- After the supernatural intervention in the mountains of Israel, those who do not recognize and bow to the God who saved Israel will open themselves to the the worst onslaught of evil this world will ever have seen in its history.
- This war and the cataclysmic judgments brought into play by the Almighty will be a crucial turning point in the history of the world as this will bring about Daniel’s 70th week, “The Great and Terrible Day of the LORD”
As we see the world lining up for these huge events, it is of the greatest importance for God’s people to get closer to the Lord GOD than ever before. The true Church is about to be called HOME!
In Part 16 we will look into detail as to the timing of the War of Gog & Magog and where it fits into the timing of John’s Apocalypse.