In an attempt to pinpoint the exact timeframe for the occurrence of Ezekiel’s prophecy, we looked at two arguments that placed the Gog-Magog Battle before the 7-year Tribulation. Next, we’ll look at the possibility of it occurring during the Tribulation.
I’ll glean some ideas from what I believe is the best written book on the subject — Northern Storm Rising by Dr. Ron Rhodes.
In the First Half or Middle of the Tribulation
Supporters of this view are John F. Walvoord, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, Herman Hoyt and Mark Hitchcock.
1) The fifth general timing clue that requires Israel living unsuspecting and in peace before the Gog-Magog Battle (Ezek. 38:11) could easily be attained by the peace covenant the Antichrist makes with Israel that starts the seven year countdown of the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27). Israel would feel at peace backed by the Antichrist. Gog in response would then raise an alliance so massive that they believe even the Antichrist’s might couldn’t stop them from destroying Israel.
2) With the more Christianized nations in tatters due to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the Islamic world in ruins from the Gog-Magog Battle, the remaining European world power could fill the vacuum in the Middle East and fully revive the Roman Empire. The only remaining world powers would be East-Asian, and the Bible records their continued existence (though under the control of the Antichrist) until the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 16:12). Russia and its defeated allies would be ripe pickings for the Antichrist, who would plunge the world into the first four Seal Judgments.
3) The Rapture would remove the strength of Christianity, and the Muslim defeat in the Gog-Magog Battle would destroy the strength of Islam. These occurring at the very beginning of the Tribulation would take the remaining polytheistic and pantheistic religions and integrate them easier into the apostate one-world religion that the False Prophet promotes (Rev. 13:11-15). The only monotheistic religions left to reject the Antichrist would be Judaism and the newly growing Jesus movement, both of which are known to be greatly persecuted by the Antichrist during the second half of the Tribulation (Rev. 6:11).
1) Ezekiel 39:9 describes Israel burning the invading enemies’ weapons for seven years. Placing the Gog-Magog Battle at any time other than the exact beginning of the Tribulation would push the burning timeline right into the Millennial Kingdom. With Jesus then present to provide everyone’s needs and the curse partially lifted (Isa. 11:8) and the Earth reformatted by earthquakes (Rev. 6:12-14; 16:17-21), there would be no need for Israel to have to burn any weapons for fuel. Only an attack simultaneous with the beginning of the Tribulation would allow for the proper amount of time, precluding any other intra-Tribulational date.
2) The tremendous persecution of the Jews during the second half of the Tribulation would not grant them the freedom to bury the invaders dead bodies for seven months unless the Gog-Magog Battle occurred more than seven months earlier than the mid-point (Ezek. 39:12).
3) If the Gog-Magog Battle happened closer to the mid-point, the question is raised as to why God would rescue Israel so dramatically from the Gog-Magog nations only to hand Israel immediately over to the intense persecution by the Antichrist.
At the End of the Tribulation (Armageddon)
Supporters of this view tend to be Post-Tribulation Rapture supporters and believe the Gog-Magog Battle and the final battle of Armageddon are one and the same.
1) Both the Gog-Magog Battle (Ezek. 38-39) and the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:19) are described as taking place during the first general timing clue “latter years” (Ezek. 38:8) and “last days” (Ezek. 38:16) of the Tribulation.
2) Ezekiel 39:4,17-20 and Revelation 19:17-18 both describe dead invaders being eaten by birds and wild animals.
3) Ezekiel 39:22,29 declares at the defeat of the Gog-Magog invasion Israel will again acknowledge God. These references if coupled with Zechariah 12:10 explaining an acknowledgment by Israel of their true Messiah at the end of the Tribulation would make the Gog-Magog Battle and Armageddon one and the same, if the acknowledgment of God the Father and Jesus the Messiah are also one and the same.
1) The peaceful precondition of Ezekiel 38:11 in which Israel has to be living unsuspecting and in peace before the Gog-Magog Battle (Ezek. 38:11) cannot exist under the Great Tribulation by the Antichrist.
2) Ezekiel 39:9 describes Israel burning the invading enemies’ weapons for seven years. Placing the Gog-Magog Battle at the end of the Tribulation would push the burning right into the Millennial Kingdom. With Jesus then present to provide everyone’s needs and the curse partially lifted (Isa. 11:8) and the Earth reformatted by earthquakes (Rev. 6:12-14; 16:17-21), there would be no need for Israel to have to burn any weapons for fuel.
3) The players in the two battles do not match. The Gog-Magog Battle involves the specific nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and possibly Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria and Tunisia against Israel (Ezek. 38:1-6). The references to Armageddon include all the nations from the entire earth against Israel (Joel 3:2; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 12:3; 14:2).
4) The leaders of the invasions are not the same. Gog is the prince and ruler of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:3). The invading leader at Armageddon is the Beast who controls the whole earth. While it is known that Satan the Dragon possesses the Antichrist (Rev. 13:2), it is unknown if Gog is possessed by Satan.
5) The armies find themselves fighting two different opponents. The Gog-Magog invaders look to conquer a peacefully unsuspecting Israel (Ezek. 38:11). The Armageddon invaders gather to make war against the returned King — Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:19).
6) Ezekiel 38:13 describes some nations questioning the Gog-Magog invasion. At Armageddon, all the nations are involved in the invasion so none protest (Joel 3:2; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 12:3; 14:2).
7) The locations described for the two battles do not match. Ezekiel 38:8 describes the Gog-Magog Battle taking place on the mountains — the “mountains of Israel.” Armageddon takes place in a valley — the Valley of Jezreel by the plain of Megiddo (Judges 5:19; 2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chron. 35:22; Zech. 12:11).
8) The account of the defeat of the invaders does not match. The Gog-Magog invaders are defeated by God who uses “torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur” as well as in-fighting (Ezek. 38:22). The invading nations at Armageddon are defeated by Jesus who uses “a sharp sword” from His mouth, meaning mere words (Rev. 19:15).
In the next part of this “Impending Invasion of Israel” series we’ll analyze the possibility that the Gog-Magog Battle could happen during the Millennial Kingdom.
25 CommentsLeave a Comment
You can add Hal Lindsey to the list of mid-trib, as well.
I have to agree with the logic about the placement of the invasion. If it were to happen at the mid-point of the Tribulation period, it's like you said, they wouldn't need to burn fuel for 3 1/2 years inside the Millennial kingdom.
All the men you listed are excellent teachers, and I have learned a lot from them, but we sometimes have to use logic and a little common sense in determining these things.
I had a fellow speaker at a conference during the Q&A time say he thought the Gog-Magog Battle was mid-Trib and that we couldn't really know and that it didn't matter anyway – right after my presentation on the timing of Gog-Magog!!! Out of respect for him I restrained from countering with the obvious point that the Jews could not be burning the fuel 3.5 years into the Millennial Kingdom.
thunder, your on it today. i was gonna mention hal. also jack van impy (a sensationalist who makes prophecy teachers look loony)and john hagee also place it mid trib.
hey nathan, answer me this (i dont believe it but some do) could burning weapons for fuel into the millineum fulfill the prophecy "they`ll beat their weapons into plowshares"? could that be an allusion to burning weapons?
No, that to which you refer was then ending of that Bionic Woman episode where the guy was going to blow up the world.
hart, you know better 🙂
It's hard for us to imagine a world without the need for weapons and soldiers, but what that verse says is pretty obvious: during the Millennial kingdom, there will be absolutely no need for weapons. So they will be reforged into implements of farming. Imagine tanks used as tractors.
Are you sure that was the Bionic Woman, Billy? I thought it was Knight Rider. Not the newer one, but the David Hasselhoff one.
Thunder–the weapons will be made into plow shares at the beginning of the Millennial kingdom, yes, but by the end, mankind will have marshaled their forces to fight another war against God, right? (I'm assuming they'll need weapons for that.)
Laura said… I'm assuming they'll need weapons for that.
That's an interesting thot, Laura. I don't recall anyone ever commenting on that aspect.
If science & technology are being advanced rapidly now, per Daniel's prophecy, where will it be after 1000yrs of peace?
I doubt if anyone could build anything that even remotely looks like what we would call 'conventional weapons' during the Mil, as you'd always be running the risk of having some nosy, reigning saint come by and say:
Q. "What are you building? And why do you need that…?"
A. "Uhhh, we're trying to get ready for the final overthrow attempt…"
Q. "Oh, really… How about if we have a quick little court session right here and now?"
It could be some advanced nano-technology that could quickly reassemble itself into weapons, or since Satan is soooo good[?] at deceiving, maybe some electronically augmented mental powers [like a lot of New-Agers believe they will 'evolve' into].
After all, you have to wonder how the angels battled each other… -certainly not with any 'physical' weapons, so I could envision Satan conning these New-Age clowns with the old Vulcan mind-meld… "We can do this! We can link all of our minds together and Kazaam! We'll blow Him right off His throne!"…
"They will build a board with a nail so big that it will destroy the world!!!" (Identify that quote.)
One end times fictional series I read had the Second Gog-Magog Battle fought by ninjas hand-to-hand. Corny as that sounds, it made the point that the rebellion wouldn't have any weapons and so have to rely on martial arts. Can you imagine going up against Jesus with only your kung-fu grip?
Well, all I can say is if "everybody's kung-fu fighting" (as the song somewhat goes), they won't have learned ANYTHING from past mistakes!
going up against jesus with a kun fu grip? that makes me laugh! however, with the wimpy, sandle-wearing picture people have of jesus today that would fit:)
i give up. whats the quote?
Hartdawg, it's from one of the Simpson's Halloween specials (don't ask me which one, there's been, like, 1,000) when the aliens Kang and Kodos (is that right?) disarm the world and enslave humanity. Suddenly, someone finds a board with a nail in it and they drive off the aliens. And as the aliens are flying away, one of them says that.
Ninjas? Are you serious?
As Deadliest Warrior has proven, a ninja is no match one-on-one against a Spartan.
Just goes to show how rebellious they become if they disregard boxing and the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Tut!
Dear Dave Hunt believes Ezekiel 38is the Battle of Armageddon. He says he sees no problem with them burning fuel within the mill. However as much as I respect Dave, I am bemused that he fails to recognise the differences in the armies involved and the attacks.
I realise there are similarities in the wars but similar does not mean 'same as'.imo.
Boxing? I'd've thought you more of a Cricket kinda gal, EI.
I'm STILL working on the ninjas thing.
Ninjas were primarily spies and assassins, not open warriors. I don't get it. I just don't get it.
Son of T
Cricket stumps me! When they are in, they are out, bowling a maiden over and googlies is worse than the off side rule in football! The only sport I enjoy is Tennis love!
I thought all Brits understood and liked Cricket. One more presupposition I must give up.
Tennis, you say. Hmmm. I don't know if that's even considered a sport where I'm from. I know soccer isn't.
Around we have basketball, basketball, basketball, and basketball (Nathan lived near where I live for a while. He can tell you how much they love basketball around Louisville, KY.), football and (my favorite) NASCAR.
Now my dear old dad was an avid Newcastle supporter, and he told me that soccer is another name for football?
One of my son's was a basketball player. I was Captain and Goal Defense in Netball, similar to BB, less brawn, just as tactical and fewer bounces running with the ball. Got a crooked finger after a ball broke it – girls can be Sooo rough!
AND I was Captain and fast bowler in Rounders. ACTUALLY I was Games Captain for Smythe House 🙂 Still hold the record of 17'1" in the long-jump aged 14yrs and Sprinted for the County. The only trouble was/is, although I was good at sport, I HATED it with a vengeance but didn't have the brains to pretend I couldn't do it. That's stupid pride for ya)
You have some really great tennis players, not like us. Best venue in the world is Wimbledon, but we can't win for toffee. :[
No, American football is what we've got around here (even though there a some soccer teams and Rugby's getting pretty big), which uses neither the foot nor a ball (balls are round). Personally, I don't get it.
A ROUND Rugby ball? Rugby is my Cities main game (and Wales), but the ball is oval, can be kicked but mostly they run with it. The Glos' team have world class players in it. Its the scrum that I think so dangerous, my twins were 'props' at school and I feared for their necks, I was relieved when they gave it up to study Graphic Design.
It began at Rugby boys school when a boy picked up the football and ran with it. The only body armour they wear is a gum shield and some wear a head band to prevent their ears being torn off (it has happened). Blood and body fluids splash about like a firework display! urgh terrifying.
There was guy at my last job who is on a rugby team. He was always coming to work bruised and battered and half broken. Fortunately, he's an engineer, so he didn't have to actually do much in the way of physical labor.
I believe you are taking all the nations to literal. If all the nations are at Armageddon and are destroyed then what about all the nations gathered for the sheep and goat nation judgment after Armageddon. Look at Eze.39:22. How can that make any sense if Israel knows who the Lord their God is from that day forward, and then look to the Antichrist for protection for 7 years. Why would he say what he say's in Eze.39:28-29 and then put them in the Tribulation period killing two thirds of them(them being Israel) and sending the remaining fleeing to Petra Jordan to hide out for three and a half years. I believe this battle and Armageddon are the same. Israel will not know who the Lord their God is until they look upon the one that they pierced when he returns. Verse 28 also sounds like Matthew 24:31. What regulation stops them from burning the weapons the first seven years of the Millenniam? This would give the land time to heal. Barry