The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Wars of the End Times: The First War of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39


We are continuing our series on the nine end times wars prophesied in the Bible. Most people are surprised to find out there are so many, knowing of only the Battle of Armageddon. But, there are nine, and now we’ll discuss the second war.

#2 – The First War of Gog & Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39)

The security provided by Psalm 83 war will not last long though, because what will happen is that the Arab nations will turn to their natural ally Russia and cry out for help. This will result in the second of the nine end time wars — The First War of Gog and Magog. This is the war described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

This war has Russia coming down against Israel with certain specified Muslim allies. The Russians will be delighted to respond to the Arab cry for help, because they have always dreamed of taking over the oil fields of the Middle East. They will therefore launch an invasion for the stated purpose of helping the Muslims destroy Israel. Their specific allies will involve the outer ring of Muslim states that surround Israel, all but Saudi Arabia.

I believe that the unstated agenda of the Russians and their real motivation will be to use the Arab invitation as an excuse to expand their sovereignty over all the Middle East. This alterative motive is described in Ezekiel 38:12 where it says the Russians will come to capture spoil and to seize plunder.

The invading armies will be supernaturally destroyed by God on the mountains of Israel. The Lord will accomplish this destruction through earthquakes, pestilence, hail, fire and brimstone, and battlefield confusion. Even the Jewish people will recognize that the victory belongs to God and it will open many of their hearts to the Lord.

The greatest mystery concerning this war is its timing. Most have placed it at the beginning of the Tribulation. Others have delayed it to the middle of the Tribulation. But, increasingly in recent years, the tendency has been to place it before the beginning of the Tribulation. The reason there is so much question is because the Bible does not say for sure when it will occur, and there is room for honest disagreement on this. Probably every person has a different view as to when this war will occur, so there is room for honest disagreement.

In recent years, as stated, the most common view that is coming out these days is that this war will start before the Tribulation. The best discussion of timing that has yet been written I think can be found in the book Northern Storm Rising by Dr. Ron Rhodes who lives in Frisco, Texas. He’s a great writer. He concludes that this war of Gog and Magog will most likely occur begin 3 1/2 years before the Tribulation starts. Here’s his reasoning. The Tribulation lasts seven years. Ezekiel 39:9 says that the Jews will spend seven years burning the weapons that they capture in that war, likely nuclear fuel. They are going to be burning weapons that they captured in that war for seven years. But, Revelation 12 tells us that 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation the Jews will be evicted from the land by the Antichrist, and most will flee to Jordan. Therefore, the only way the Jews could spend seven years burning the weapons Ron argues is for the war to begin 3 1/2 years before the start of the Tribulation.

This brings up another question. Does this mean that the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and 39 must occur before the Rapture? Not at all. The Rapture can occur any moment — before, during or after these wars. Keep in mind that the Rapture is not what starts the Tribulation. The Tribulation will begin when the Antichrist signs a security treaty with Israel. There could be a period of several years between the time of the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation.

In the third part of this series on the nine wars of the end times, we’ll look at the third in the progression — the Conventional War of the Tribulation from Revelation 6.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

13 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Isaiah 17; is the hook in the jaw for the Russian/Iranian war against Israel i do believe. Notice the allies with Russia are all Islamic and their is NO SYRIA.
    Israel will nuke Damascus, not the USA i do believe and this will usher in Psalm 83 & Ezekiel 38; 39; kind of an all in one thingy.
    Titus 2:13


  • Watchman,

    I agree that is will be Israel that nukes Damascus. The world has no moral authority to act anymore.

    (That being said, I don't agree in attack Syria because 1. It would only be to back up Odumba's off the cuff and stupid red line. 2. I don't trust Odumba to do anything right, much less a military action.)

  • It is getting closer and closer to the end and Jesus returning as King. These wars will force all evil to show itself so it can be once and for all time thrown into the lake of fire…

  • 'Notice the allies with Russia are all Islamic and their is NO SYRIA.'

    In the Ezekiel 38 list of nation's Libya and Ethiopia are mentioned but curiously Egypt is not. Neither are Lebanon or Jordan along with Syria.
    The reason they are not mentioned is that they are wiped out by Israel in this coming war.
    This will lead all the world to blame Israel for the massive death and destruction not just the Muslims.
    Joel 3:2 – All the nations.

  • The so-called "RAPTURE" will only occur once, AFTER the Tribulation at the moment Jesus appears. The problem with the (G-ds going to save us from the Trib. Hell LIE) is that todays False Prophets from Hell are setting up Millions of so-called Christians for FAILURE during the Tribulation when they realize they have been LIED to by the Neo-Pharisaic Empire of Clueless Isaiah Want-To-Be's!!!!

  • Rodney,

    You make a valid point that Psalm 83 is a prayer for victory to be so the enemies of Israel will know God is the reason for victory.

    My rebuttal (I guess you could call it) is why can't the victory, in Psalm 83 as opposed to Gog/Magog, why can't the victory be one by the Israeli army and yet it will be recognized by Israel's enemies as because of God. Can't Israel's forces be used by God as an instrument of His victory?

    So in a way I agree with you that the victory will be one "for God" and "because of God" but I don't think it can't be via the Israeli military. In that sense, I must disagree with Salus' claim that it is Israel's military that will carry the day. It will be GOD that carries the day, but via HIS HELP using the Israeli military as a means of the victory.

  • Anon,

    Your comments are ridiculous. You say "…todays False Prophets from Hell are setting up Millions of so-called Christians for FAILURE during the Tribulation…"

    You have a martrydom (spelling?) complex. You want it to be about YOU in the Tribulation instead of Jesus' triumph over evil.

    You want to say "Look at ME, I'M so great and faithful that I, ME, am able to resist evil and conquer in the Tribulation, aren't I special!"

    NO CHRISTIAN should WANT to go through the Tribulation. That is against what the Bible teaches. It says we should pray to ESCAPE the Tribulation period to come.

  • I believe this battle marks the official start to the tribulation but the author brought up an interesting note that I had never considered before and it's that there will be 3 1/2 years in between this war and the beginning of the tribulation and that could work.I expect everything to change immediately following this, my gut tells me that Russia will launch a retaliatory attack against our nation just out of reflex when they are suddenly being destroyed during this conflict.

  • Hey Guys go read what Putin has said about the U.N. going the way of the League of Nations if they are unable to ( keep nations ie USA ) from military actions. In a nutshell nations that pulled out of League were on other side during WWII; and so a 'confederation' of nations could pull out of U.N. if upset and thus war or gog/Magog war. Just saying… It is eerie and worse than that Putin is being truthful in this incident anyway. Look at history and look now. Déjà vu….

  • Just as a point of reference:

    Psalm 83 (cut and pasted from NIV)

    1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God.

    2 See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads.

    3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.

    4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

    5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—

    6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,

    7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

    8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

    9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,

    10 who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground.

    11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

    12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”

    13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind.

    14 As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,

    15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.

    16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek your name.

    17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.

    18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

  • I want to admit a huge error and mistake on my part. I have posted several comments over the years disagreeing with the Salus book "Israelistine".

    It finally (you dummy…that is – me!) dawned on me that I have never read the book. I have been basing my comments on commentary about the book by people both for and against the book.

    This is unacceptable and irresponsible. I will NOT comment on the book again unless I have read it. Therefore, I apologize for my previous posts and to anyone who read them.

  • One can read the Bible AND other books and resources.

    Those other resources are never used as a replacement for the Word of God. And neither are YOUR words, Rodney.

  • Rodney,

    I don't disagree Russia will attack. But I do think it IS possible, since with God ALL things ARE possible…

    …it IS possible that God will HOLD BACK Russia until some time after a Psalm 83 scenario.

    C'mon…can you deny (since you seem to have the same Cold War experiences I did) that it was surprising that Russia allowed the falling of the Berlin Wall? And allowed the falling of their Eastern Empire?

    Why didn't Russia act back then? And actually, it wasn't even Russia, it was the COLD WAR SOVIET UNION! If the Soviet Union didn't act then, I can see them being held back in a Psalm 83 scenario until God decides to let them act on their desires.

    You can't deny, GOD is in control ultimately. Countries or leaders may want to do whatever they want but God can say no, not yet.


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