Ezekiel 38 & 39
There are four separate future invasions of Israel described in the Bible
1. The Last Jihad - Ezekiel 38 & 39 is an invasion at the beginning of the 7 year tribulation. It is a 3 pronged invasion by the Islamic Gog with their bands from the North, the Islamic Iranians and Iraqis with their bands from the East, and the Islamic North Africans with their bands from the South. God destroys these invaders.
2. The Anti-Christ - Revelation 11ff & Daniel 7ff is the only successful invasion by a Western coalition of ten Kings. It is a ten Western nation coalition led by the Anti-Christ. It occurs at the midpoint of the tribulation when the Anti-Christ breaks his peace treaty with Israel. He pursues the Spiritual Jews who flee Jerusalem into the wilderness, but is unable to destroy them. The Anti-Christ then desecrates Ezekiel's Temple. These Spiritual Jews are able to return after the final 3 1/2 years of the tribulation, and cleanse the Temple for Christ's return in the very last days of "Jacob's trouble" as the Anti-Christ abandons Jerusalem faced with the Russian invasion forces.
3. The Battle of Armageddon - Daniel 11 (Zech 14, Rev 19 etc) is an invasion at the end of the 7 year tribulation. It is a 4 pronged invasion by the gentile nations. Russia, King of the North leads with his bands, China, King of the East with his bands, Africa, King of the South with his bands, and the Anti-Christ, king of the West with his bands. It is only Russia who invades the city of Jerusalem forcing out the Anti-Christ, and allowing the Spiritual Jews to return during the chaos [Dan 11:44 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]. One last offer of salvation is given to the secular Jews who endured the Anti-Christ holocaust. It brings about the Second Coming of Christ! The day of the LORD! The LORD of hosts manifests His power in battle! The goats are separated from the sheep, and expelled from the coming Kingdom!
4. The End of the Millennium - Revelation 20 is an invasion at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. It is another 4 pronged invasion by the nations from the 4 quarters of the earth. It has new generations of Gog and Magog from the North quarter. They gleefully follow Satan who is released from prison after 1000 years in the last invasion of Israel. They are destroyed by God bringing the Great White Throne Judgment on all mankind. Satan is cast into the lake of fire! The books are opened, and all not found in the book of life are judged according to their works, and cast into the eternal lake of fire where the Anti-Christ and false prophet have been living in torment for the last 1000 years.
#1 Invasion Islam
2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
7Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
#2 Invasion Anti-Christ
3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, (3 1/2 years) clothed in sackcloth.
6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
20And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (3 1/2 years)
13:1And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
12And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, (3 1/2 years) from the face of the serpent.
15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
#3 Invasion Armageddon
10And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
14:1Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
44But 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.
45And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
#4 Invasion end of Millennium
7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Bible clearly describes a three pronged invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 & 39 instigated by the Gog from the land of Magog. The liberal commentators try to say the invasion already happened by allegory application. All literal conservative commentators agree this described invasion has not happened - yet! Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, (who have left their fundamental beginnings for the fame and fortune found in Neo-Evangelicalism), and others try to combine the Armageddon invasion of Daniel chapter 11 etc. with this Islamic invasion of Ezekiel 38 & 39. It all gets muddled and intertwined in the events leading to the last battle of Armageddon at the end of the 7 year tribulation. Other fundamental commentators acknowledge these are two separate invasions, but have trouble with the timeline for the Ezekiel invasion? The popular view of the Gog today is Russia, and the invasion is often referred to as the "Coming War with Russia." It would mean Russia invades Israel twice, and is defeated and destroyed twice during the tribulation? I also propose Ezekiel and Daniel are two separate invasions, but I speculate that the Ezekiel invasion takes place at the beginning of the 7 year tribulation. I propose it is regional in nature with an Islamic Gog while the invasion of Daniel chapter 11 is part of the battle of Armageddon at the end of the 7 year tribulation, and is global in nature with the King of the North being Russia (one of the four prongs of the invasion of Israel at Armageddon).
Henry Clarence Thiessen here exemplifies those who combine the Ezekiel invasion of Israel with Armageddon.
The northern nations, represented as Gog and Magog, will gather against Jerusalem (Ezek 38, 39); and when the conflict is at its height Christ will suddenly appear, defeat the beast and the false prophet with their armies, and deliver His people (Zech 14:19; Rev 19:1721). The spirit of grace and supplication will be poured upon Israel, and they will recognize and mourn for their Messiah (Zech 12:814).Bibliotheca Sacra. 1998 (electronic edition.). Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary.
Dwight Pentecost exemplifies those who separate Ezekiel's invasion from the Armageddon invasion of Israel during the tribulation period. Pentecost, in my opinion, has mistakenly combined the Ezekiel invasion with the Anti-Christ's invasion making the two separate invasions one. He has written a paper Where Do the Events of Ezekiel 38-39 Fit into the Prophetic Picture? where he deals with timeline.
It is the purpose of this study to attempt to set forth the time at which the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 will transpire. We shall do this by relating parallel Scriptures to this prophecy to formulate the complete picture of these events as given by revelation. We shall confine our investigation to this one question. We shall not concern ourselves with the identification of the nations described as participants, but assume the identification held by most Bible students and ably presented by Bauman (Louis S. Bauman, Russian Events in the Light of Bible Prophecy, pp. 17-38). In brief, the powers represented in these two chapters are: Magog, which is Russia, also referred to as Rosh; Meshech and Tubal, which are ancient tribal names, as Moscow and Tobolsk; Persia, as Iran; Cush and Put, possibly as Ethiopia and Libya in North Africa, butbetter as portions of Assyria; Gomer, as Germany; Togarmah, as Turkey; Sheba and Dedan, as Arab tribes or states surrounding Palestine; Tarshish, as Spain or possibly Great Britain.Further, we shall not be primarily concerned with the events that are described in this portion, except as they will throw light on the problem of the time of the invasion. There is general agreement among Bible students concerning the outline of events. Russia is seen to make an alliance with Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Germany, and Turkey (vv. 2, 5, 6 ). Because Israel seems like easy prey (v. 11 ), this confederation decides to invade the land for the spoil (v. 12 ). A protest is made at this invasion (v. 13 ), but it is unheeded.The extent of this invasion must be learned from parallel passages, for Ezekiel omits the progress of the invasion, but, rather, describes the destruction of the invader on the mountains of Israel (39:24 ) as the result of divine intervention through a convulsion of nature (38:2022 ). As a result five-sixths of the army is destroyed (39:2 ) and seven months are required in disposing of the dead (39:12 ), and seven years in disposing of the debris (39:910 ). The scene of this destruction is said to be on the mountains of Israel (39:24 ) and the time is in the latter years (38:8 ) and the latter days (38:16 ). This destruction is a sign to the nations (38:23 ) and to Israel (39:2124 ).Bibliotheca Sacra. 1998 (electronic edition.). Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary.
I would only disagree with this excellent overview in regards to Gomer as Germany. It would be the only non-Moslem country participating in a modern invasion. Tarshish (another non-Moslem country) is presented as only looking on, and is not participating.
2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
I propose Gomer to be the Islamic hordes that surround the Black Sea (part of Russia today). I simply base this on the placement of Gomer on the maps you find at the back of your Bible where the First Nations after the flood of Genesis are found (the scholarship behind those maps is exhausting and excellent). Gomer is a specific Islamic part of the Islamic Gog in my opinion. They would be part of the chief prince (or prince of Rosh [chief]) of Russia as designated by it's chief capital cities of Meshech (Moscow of Western Russia) and Tubal (Tubalsk of Eastern Russia).
Pentecost states clearly that he does not hold to the liberal view that by allegory this invasion has already happened.
There have been invasions in the past which wrought hardship on the land and the people, but none that answer to the details presented here. This can refer only to some future event in Israels experience.Bibliotheca Sacra. 1998 (electronic edition.). Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary.
Pentecost quotes Cooper who very astutely points out the problems with setting the timeline for the Ezekiel invasion.
The invasion takes place prior to the rapture of the church. Such is the exposition taken by David L. Cooper, who says: It is utterly impossible for one to locate the fulfillment of this prediction after the Millennial Age. It cannot be placed in the beginning of the Millennium, nor at the end of the tribulation. It must, therefore, be located before the tribulation because there is no other place for it to occur since the three other suggested dates are impossible . There will be a time between now and the beginning of the tribulation when the Jews will be dwelling in the Land in unwalled cities and will be at rest (David L. Cooper, When Gogs Armies Meet the Almighty, pp. 80-81).We feel that this is an impossible thesis from several considerations: First, the New Testament teaching of the imminence of the rapture makes it impossible that an event such as this must first be fulfilled.Second, the context of the prophecy itself states that this will take place in the latter years (v. 8 ) and in the latter days (v. 16 ). Since this prophecy is addressed to Israel, it must be their years and days being referred to in the prophecy. Because Israel and the church are two distinct groups with which God is dealing, it is impossible to make Israels latter years apply to the latter years of the church, as it would do if this is fulfilled prior to the rapture.Third, as far as we can determine, Israel will not gain any title to the land, nor have the right to return to it, until the prince that shall come makes a covenant with her (Dan 9:27). Israel is said to be out of the land and Jerusalem trodden down until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24). It would be necessary, according to this theory, to maintain either that the covenant which gives Israel a false peace was made prior to the rapture or that the times of the Gentiles end at the rapture. Such is not the presentation ofthe Word.Bibliotheca Sacra. 1998 (electronic edition.). Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary.
I agree with everything Cooper says other then his conclusion that the invasion takes place before the rapture. He missed other options - my proposal, and Pentecost's midtrib conclusion? Pentecost's rebuttal rings true as reason enough why this can't be a pre-rapture event. I propose this regional Islamic invasion of Israel takes place right after the rapture (giving them 7 years to clean up the dead), and is in the same time frame as the peace treaty with the Anti-Christ. It may well be why the Anti-Christ signs a peace treaty with Israel? It is fast, and conclusive! What happens to Islam causes the Anti-Christ to hold off in his own intent to destroy Israel, and rather sue for a peace treaty which he breaks in just 3 1/2 years anyway. The same amount of time it takes the Two Witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 to build and establish the kosher worship of Ezekiel's (chapters 40 -48) Temple. [Read Second Woe] The Last Jihad invasion of Ezekiel is the end of Islam's influence over the Middle East. The events of Ezekiel 39 will immediately open the door for the bulldozing of all the Moslem mosques on and under the Temple Mount, and the building of the Third Jewish Temple on the only place, the only authorized place on planet earth designated by God, where it can be built! [Read This Place]
Pentecost himself concludes that the invasion of Israel in
Ezekiel happens during the tribulation, but at the midpoint of the tribulation
period? This makes the victorious destruction of the Gog coincide with the
beginning of the Anti-Christ's victory over Israel and the start of Jacob's
trouble? - Some victory? - Russia (the King of the North) invades Jerusalem in
Zechariah at the end of the tribulation 3 1/2 short years latter) capturing half
the city? - Some destruction? - The Russian invasion of Jerusalem (part of the
battle of Armageddon) is only 3 1/2 years after the destruction of Ezekiel 39 in
this timeline scenario?
ConclusionConsideration of the objections to making the events take place either at the end or beginning of the millennium, or at the end of the tribulation, or prior to the rapture, and our reasons for locating this prophecy in the middle of the week seem sufficient to establish the thesis that Ezekiel 38 and 39 will be fulfilled in the middle of the tribulation period. Such a view would lead us to this chronology of events, briefly stated: (1) Israel makes a false covenant with the Beast and occupies her land in a false security (Dan 9:27; Ezek 38:8, 11). (2) Because of a desire for spoil at the expense oi an easy prey, the king of the north, satanically motivated, invades Palestine (Ezek 38:11; Joel 2:121; Isa 10:12; 30:3133 ; 31:89 ). (3) The Beast breaks his covenant with Israel and moves into the land (Dan 11:4145). (4) The king of the north is destroyed on the mountains of Israel (Ezek 39:14). (5) The land of Palestine is occupied by the armies of the Beast (Dan 11:45). (6) At this time the great coalition of nations takes place that forms one government under the Beast (Ps 2:13; Rev 13:7). (7) The kings of the East are brought in against the armies of the Beast (Rev 16:12), evidently as a result of the dissolution of the government of Gog. (8) When the nations of the earth are gathered together around Jerusalem (Zech 14:13) and the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2), the Lord returns to destroy all Gentile world powers so that He might rule the nations Himself. This is further described in Zechariah 12:19; 14:14 ; Isaiah 33:134:17 ; 63:16 ; 66:1516 ; Jeremiah 25:2733; Revelation 20:710.Bibliotheca Sacra. 1998 (electronic edition.). Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary.
There are three major problems with this conclusion which Pentecost makes no mention. The first is the 7 years Israel spends cleansing the land after the invasion?
9And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
11And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
A midtrib invasion would mean that Israel would be living off the spoil of the Gog which will overlap into the millennial Kingdom? The burial in Hamon-gog and cleansing of the land must also overlap into the millennial Kingdom? It is not a tidy proposal! It seems to me the 7 year block should be associated to an era - not an overlap? I don't think Christ would allow such filth to overlap into His perfect Kingdom? I don't think that once the goats have been separated out of the Kingdom that the saints (the sheep) should then continue the task of tiding up the land, and living off the spoil from the invasion by the Gog which happened 3 1/2 years earlier? The cleansing flow from under Ezekiel's Temple Altar (Ezek 47) would also be negated for 3 1/2 years? It just makes more sense the invasion is after the rapture, but before the peace treaty is signed between a secular Israel and the Anti-Christ! The Two Witnesses and the 144,000 celibate Jewish men set the foundation of a new spiritual Judaism that builds the Temple, and are a testimony to secular Jews first and also gentiles who would come as welcomed strangers. Read: stranger.htm The announcement of intent to build the Temple may well be the herold to the Last Jihad invasion?
The second issue I have with the midtrib invasion proposed by Pentecost is that the Gog is identified as Russia who are - and then are not - and then are again - destroyed? This would mean that Russia is destroyed in Ezekiel 39 at the midpoint of the tribulation, but then is suddenly a great power in just 3 1/2 years as the King of the North at the battle of Armageddon when God again destroys them?
2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
It just makes more sense that the Gog from the land of Magog as described in Ezekiel is the "chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." The "chief prince" is not all of Russia! The "chief prince" or as some would translate "prince of rosh" or the "prince of Russia" is the Islamic part of Russia not the entire nation. The Islamic prince of Russia can be destroyed at the beginning of the tribulation opening the door to the building of the Third Jewish Temple, and the nation of Russia can still remain the power it is at the end of the tribulation. [Read The Last Jihad]
The third is that all reference to the Anti-Christ at the mid-point of the tribulation make no mention of any other then a Western world 10 King coalition that successfully invades Israel. The destruction of the invaders in Ezekiel 39 makes no sense in the scenario of the Anti-Christ's victory over the Two Witnesses of Revelation chapter 11? His victorious desecration of the Temple, and eventual declaration of being god? His victorious power over Israel and the Jews, and then the world at the midpoint of the tribulation? This is just not the time frame for the devastation of the Ezekiel invasion! It would mean "Jacob's Trouble" begins with the victorious destruction of the Gog in Ezekiel 39? The timeline is just not right! The invasion in Ezekiel is a victory for the good guys. The events happening at the midpoint of the tribulation is a victory for the bad guys!
I am using this proposal as the introduction to an exposition of Ezekiel 38 & 39. I am also submitting it as a free standing article due to the exciting things happening today. The War on Terrorism has a dual purpose connected to my proposal.
1. It is establishing an unwalled Israel that will lean on the UN for it's security when the war is over?
2. It is establishing the Islamic Gog coalition that will be founded as a peacekeeping force in Afghanistan?
I propose the invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 & 39 is directly connected to the building of the Third Jewish Temple! The true Church will have been raptured, and only apostate Christianity as it exists today will be left behind. Christianity will turn on Israel out of jealous rage as God clearly designates through this invasion where His focus will be for the next dispensation. Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount will be that focus, and center of everything to come!
This is speculation! The best any of us can do with prophesies of future events is to look at the contemporary world situation, and then speculate on comparability? I believe this is good speculation for today. What happens is that the contemporary situation changes. Those changes often effect the speculations of yesteryear. It has nothing to do with spirituality or Biblical knowledge. An invasion of Israel by the Gog from the land of Magog chief prince of Meshech and Tubal is coming. The when, and the who will always be speculation until it actually takes place. Then, we will all know the truth of what God has revealed in the Bible!
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Edited by DDSrail - November 28, 2001