WHEN ARMIES MOVE  


 

A Dissertation on Armageddon
from the Pre-wrath Perspective

 

INTRODUCTION
From AD 30 until the inception of the 70th week, there will exist in the world, "wars and rumors of war" as the beginning of birth pains, especially for the people of Israel (Dan. 9:26; Mat. 24:4-8).

The Roman Prince who is to come" will bring a temporary end to that period of warfare by establishing the covenant of peace and religious toleration. For the sake of simplicity, I will designate this as M.E.P.T.A. (the Middle East Peace and Tolerance Accord). The primary focus of this covenant will be on the Middle East but probably extend world wide as this world ruler promises peace and security to the people of the earth. It is within this context that it can be said of Israel, she "has been restored from the sword," (Ezek. 38:8). This time of peace continues for 3 1/2 years until the world ruler receives a fatal head wound, probably at the hand of an assassin. This man will then be brought back to life by the power of Satan in the eyes of all the world. It is this event that brings the people of the world to his feet so that they elevate and honor him as a god. Then through that same Satanic power, he begins to act out the wrath of Satan toward God and God's people (Rev. 12:12-17; 13:3-7).

He begins by taking "his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as God" (2 Thes. 2:4), thus effectively breaking M.E.P.T.A. (The Middle East Peace and Tolerance Accord) as he "puts a stop to the sacrifices and grain offerings" the Jews were performing in the temple (Dan. 9:27). Jesus calls this the "abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Dan. 12:11), standing in the Holy Place" (Mat. 24:15) which begins the great tribulation of oppression and persecution for those who will not worship the beast (Mat. 24:9-29; Rev. 13:15-17).

Once this "beast out of the sea" of Revelation 13:1, begins his reign of world dominion at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, he promises economic security to those who will worship him and take "the mark of the beast." Thus, the world as a whole, will continue to proclaim "peace and security" as they rejoice in the economic programs of the beast and are able to participate in normal life activities without fear or distraction (1 Thes. 5:3; Mat. 24:38).

Jesus said that it will be for them "as in the days of Noah . . . eating and drinking," etc. (Mat. 24:38), lulled to sleep by the economic security provided through beast worship (Rev. 13:17).

The people and nations of the world continue to follow the beast as long as he can fulfill his promise of "peace and security." But when least expected, during this time of security (1 Thes. 5:2-3), and while the beast worshipers are afflicting the believers (2 Thes. 1:6-7; Rev. 13:7a; Dan. 7:21), the Day of the Lord will occur. (Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 6:12-17)

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

2 Thessalonians 1:6-8

"For after all it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and {to give} relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."

 

This "destruction" and repayment "with affliction" and "dealing out retribution" takes place in 5 stages.

1. The trumpets stage: Divine judgment (fire) poured out on the earth from the Day of the Lord arrival of Jesus until the end of the week (a period that covers anywhere from 8 to 36 months (Rev. 8-9).

2. The bowls stage: The final wrath of God poured out on the kingdom of the beast during the 30-day period which immediately follows the end of the 70th week. (Rev. 11:14-19; 15:1-16:21; Dan. 12:11)

3. The Armageddon stage: When Jesus comes physically down to the earth and destroys the invading nations in Palestine, which takes place in connection with the 6th and 7th bowl judgments. (Rev. 14:14-20; 16:12-21; 19:11-21)

4. The Separation stage: When the living unbelievers are removed from the earth after Armageddon so that the kingdom of Christ will begin with believers only.

A. The separation of sheep and goats from among the Gentiles (Mat. 25:31-46; 13:36-43, 47-50).

B. The separation of the fat and lean sheep of Israel (Ezek. 34:17-24).

 

5. The eternal stage: Lake of fire (2 Thes. 1:9; Rev. 14:9-11; Rev. 20:11-15).

 

Once the Day of the Lord judgments begin to come upon the earth, the beast's ability to provide peace and security will be greatly impeded.

Through trumpets 1-4, food supplies will be diminished, energy resources will be diminished and many plagues and disasters will affect the nations with the result that "many men died," (Rev. 8:11).

Through trumpet #5, the people of the world will be severely terrorized for five months by the demon horde from the abyss and the beast will have no control over the attack.

The 6th trumpet judgment is when the permissive will of God allows a kingdom power to move in opposition to the beast and seek world domination. I believe this to be the world-wide invasion of the king of the North which will culminate in the final battle of Armageddon in Palestine (Rev. 9:13-19).

 

THE SIXTH TRUMPET

Rev. 9:13-15,

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.'

And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind."

 

These four angels have been functioning in a restraint operation from before the time of John's writing until the present time. Whether they are elect or fallen is not mentioned, nor does it matter. The main point is to recognize that the general flow of history is controlled by God and nothing happens except what he sovereignly permits (Daniel 4:17, 34-35). These angels have been specially prepared for this specific time in human history to allow the unrestricted advance of a military machine of the like the world had never seen before (Joel 2:2).

Rev. 9:16

"And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them."

The number designation of this army as it appears in the Greek (dismuriadoes muriadon) literally means twice (or several) ten thousand times ten thousand. It is suggested on the one hand to be a specific number of 200 million, and on the other hand to simply indicate an innumerable host. Many commentators of the past have discounted the idea of "200 million," as being quite impossible for any "then" known geographical area. However, in this century, the clear reality of such numbers is no longer in question, whether it be from the area of China or from a large alliance of nations which can be associated with Russia.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE ARMY
Rev. 9:17-19

"And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: {the riders} had breastplates {the color} of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads; and with them they do harm."

 

This is viewed by most scholars as describing a military machine from the perspective of modern mechanized weaponry.

Notice the similarity found at Joel 2:3-4,

"A fire consumes before them, And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run."

 

It is the view of this writer, that the army of the 6th trumpet is the Northern army which is described at Ezekiel 38-39 and Joel 2:1-20.

 

ORIENTATION
First point of orientation is to recognize that the understanding of this invasion has nothing to do with the timing of the rapture. Therefore, the pretrib, midtrib, pre-wrath and posttrib positions are not pertinent to this study. However, this discussion will be flavored by definitions in terminology characteristic of the pre-wrath view of the rapture.

The second point of orientation is to recognize that in the book of The Revelation, the seven seals, trumpets and bowls follow one upon the other in chronological order. Specifically, that the seven trumpets come out from the 7th seal and that the seven bowls come out from the 7th trumpet which sounds immediately after the ascension of the two witnesses, 1263 1/2 days after the midpoint of the week (Rev. 11:7-15). And that there is a 30 day period which follows the end of the 70th week, as indicated at Daniel 12:11, during which the seven bowls will be poured out upon the earth.

The third point of orientation is to recognize that the 6th trumpet takes place toward the end of the 70th week, as is also acknowledged by John F. Walvoord:

"Chronologically the trumpets involved closely succeed one another and their judgments seem to fall like trip-hammer blows as the great tribulation comes to its close."
(The Revelation of Jesus Christ, page 166).

 

THE KING OF THE NORTH
The basic outline for the movement of these troops in this end-times context is found at Daniel 11:40-45. Here we find troop movement from the North, South, East and West, all leading up to the final confrontation between them and the Lord Jesus Christ at Armageddon.

There are two stages to the invasion of the king of the North. First, he pushes against the kingdom of the beast by attacking him on a worldwide scale (Jer. 25:15-38; Dan. 11:40; Rev. 9:13-19) and then when the king of the West is adequately distracted, he invades Palestine (Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 2:2-11, 18-20, 25). The details are filled in from the prophets of the Old Testament and the Book of the Revelation.

Daniel 11:36-39 identifies the main actor in this military scenario. It describes the dramatic change in personality of the king of the West, the world ruler who established the "covenant" of Daniel 9:27 at the beginning of the 70th week. This happens at the midpoint of the week shortly after the ruler is assassinated and brought back to life by the power of Satan (Rev. 13:3-7).

There is much debate as to the identification of the person in view at this passage, but to spare the reader all my research into this, I will simply agree with the conclusion of Walvoord,

"A better identification of the king,. . . however, is to relate him to the Roman world ruler, the same individual as the little horn of Daniel 7 and the beast out of the sea of Revelation 13:1-10." (Daniel, page 272).

I will therefore operate on the premise that this "king" is indeed the world ruler who controls the 10-nation political body with roots in ancient Rome, who is known as the king of the West and who is often represented in the Old Testament as the king of Babylon. The 3rd person pronouns that follow the phrase, "the king of the North will storm against him," in verse 40, ALL refer to the king of the West.

For more information on this world ruler see THE POLITICAL POWER BASE OF THE BEAST in the book The Day of the Lord.

Daniel 11:40-45

Verse 40

1. At the end-times: This identifies our time frame as relating to the last 7 years (Daniel's 70th week) prior to the establishment of Messiah's kingdom on the earth. And since we are clearly in a context where the world ruler has been revealed as "the man of lawlessness," it refers specifically to sometime during the last half of that seven years.

2. The king of the South will collide with him: The K/S is usually associated with Egypt and we here see him attacking the beast (K/W) either alone or with some Southern allies and perhaps even in alliance with the king of the North.

3. And the king of the North will storm against him: This introduces us to the revolt of the Northern nations allied with Gog and Magog which is detailed in other passages. This summarizes an attack against the kingdom of the beast either in a localized arena or perhaps worldwide. Other passages will establish the fact that the king of the North targets the nations under the beast's jurisdiction on a worldwide basis in preparation for his advance into Palestine.

 

JEREMIAH

The world-wide attack of the king of the North is summarized at Jeremiah 25:15-38.

At verses 11-12, the Babylonian captivity is referenced indicating that its duration will be 70 years and when its over, Chaldea will be conquered and destroyed by Persia.

Verses 13-14, speaks of Persia's conquest of the world and becomes the pattern for the end-times invasion of the king of the North.

Verses 15-38, Gives us the basis for viewing this as the Northern invasion.

The section goes beyond Persia and views that end-times invasion by the Northern alliance.

Verses 15-29, are written in prose and give geographic specifics about this world wide invasion. Verse 15, establishes this as God's wrath upon all the nations.

As the king of the North advances, no area is left untouched, North, South, East and West, all experience the devastation of this mighty military machine storming against the beast's kingdom.

Verses 27-28, establish the fact that it is unavoidable.

This worldwide reach of the Northern army is suggested at Rev. 9:14-16, where we see that restraint on this activity is removed by the releasing of the 4 "directional" angels so that the impact of this invasion is felt to the four corners of the earth (East, West, North and South).

Rev. 9:14-16,

"one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.'

And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind.

And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them."

 

The result is that 1/3 of the earth's population will be killed as indicated at Revelation 9:18,

"A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths."

 

Jeremiah 25:29a, indicates that this worldwide invasion has as its ultimate goal, a judgment on the land of Palestine.

"For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in {this} city which is called by My name."

 

Verse 29b, however, indicates that all the world will be touched by this judgment from God.

"and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the LORD of hosts."

Verses 30-38 are written in poetry and identify this worldwide invasion by a kingdom power as taking place DURING the Day of the Lord.

Now even though the term, "Day of the Lord," does not occur in this context, the language clearly describes the arrival of Yahweh to pour out judgment on the world.

Jer. 25:30,

"Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them, The LORD will roar from on high, And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will shout like those who tread {the grapes,} Against all the inhabitants of the earth."

 

This is the arrival of the Messiah in the "clouds of the sky" at the Day of the Lord. This arrival BEGINS the Day of the Lord judgments which are not only against His pasture, but also against all nations. This is exactly why, when Jesus returns, "there will be dismay among nations . . . men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things coming upon the world," (Luke 21:25-26). And why "all the tribes of the earth will mourn," (Mat. 24:30) and why "the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" (Rev. 6:15-17)

His pasture refers to Israel, but before God's judgment through this invading army reaches into Palestine, and before the ultimate judgment is administered at the battle of Armageddon, this Northern Alliance will have a worldwide impact.

Jer. 25:31a, "A clamor has come to the end of the earth, Because the LORD has a controversy with the nations."

The "controversy with the nations" makes reference to the universal rebellion that mankind expresses toward God and God's Anointed.

Psalm 2:1-5

WHY are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising emptiness?
The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers have established themselves together
Against Yahweh and against His Anointed:
"Let us tear apart Their fetters,
And cast from us Their cords!
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His burning fury:

 

Jeremiah 25:31b,

"He is entering into judgment with all flesh; As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword, declares the LORD."

The phrase, "entering into judgment with all flesh," refers specifically to the judgment that comes through the invasion of the Northern alliance, but certainly extends beyond that to all the expressions of divine wrath poured out during the Day of the LORD.

Jer. 25:32,

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil is going forth From nation to nation, And a great storm is being stirred up from the remotest parts of the earth."

 

"From nation to nation" indicates clearly the advance of this military invasion as being throughout the world and corresponds with the worldwide focus of the 6th trumpet (Rev. 9:13-19) rather than the isolated focus of the battle of Armageddon.

 

V. 33-37a, describes the worldwide destruction

V. 33,

"And those slain by the LORD on that day shall be from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, gathered, or buried; they shall be like dung on the face of the ground."

The phrase, "on that day," refers to what happens DURING the time period rather than what happens on a SINGLE day.

Some may want to make this apply to the final battle at Armageddon, but the language in the following verses makes it apply to the "home land" of the nations involved. For this reason, it lines up better as referring to the world-wide invasion of the king of the North.

Another alternative is that this is talking about the Day-of-the-LORD judgments in general that reach to every nation on the earth. I accept this as a viable possibility, but the language seems more like the progress of a military invasion to me. Technically, there are ample passages that discuss the movements of the king of the North and this one is not absolutely necessary for support of those movements. This is simply an attempt to place this passage into the whole end times scenario and it seems to fit the advance of the king of the North better than anything else.

 

V. 34,

"Wail, you shepherds, and cry; And wallow {in ashes,} you masters of the flock; For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions have come, And you shall fall like a choice vessel."

 

This is describing the effect of the Northern invasion. Just as is indicated at Rev. 9:18, "A third of mankind was killed."

 

Jer. 25:35-36,

"Flight shall perish from the shepherds, And escape from the masters of the flock. {Hear} the sound of the cry of the shepherds, And the wailing of the masters of the flock! For the LORD is destroying their pasture,"

 

This indicates that the leaders of these nations will be defeated by the invading army and their peoples will be killed. Again, Rev. 9:18, "A third of mankind."

 

Jer. 25:37a,

"And the peaceful pasture lands are made silent. . ."

Massive slaughter of people will leave the national life of these countries, neutralized and silent.

V. 37b-38, again emphasizes that this is from the wrath of God.

Jer. 25:37b-38, Because of the burning of the anger of the LORD.

"He has left His hiding place like the lion; For their land has become a horror Because of the burning of the oppressing one (king of the North) and because of the burning of His (Yahweh's) anger."

Continuing our discussion of the worldwide invasion of the king of the North, I direct your attention to Isaiah 13:1-16.

This passage also describes the world-wide invasion of the king of the North.

Verse 1,

"The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw."

The oracle is about judgment on Babylon, but verse 1-16 jumps beyond the historical fulfillment which will take place at the hand of Persia after the 70 year Babylonian captivity of Judah and looks to the future judgment in an end-times context after the arrival of the Day of the Lord (vs .6, 9).

And since the historical judgment takes place at the hands of Persia, the "end-times" judgment should be viewed as taking place at the hands of the king of the North.

Verses 2-3,

"Lift up a standard on the bare hill, Raise your voice to them, Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles.

I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To {execute} My anger."

 

This is the call to the king of the North to begin his worldwide advance against the king of the West, the beast, represented by Babylon in the historical setting. The worldwide focus is found at verse 11, "thus I will punish the world for its evil."

It is the same "call to action" found at Ezek. 38:4 and permitted at Rev. 9:13-15.

Verse 4,

"A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle."

This clearly speaks of an alliance of nations gathered together against "Babylon."

Verse 5,

They are coming from a far country From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land.

This speaks of the distance from Palestine of this army and its allies.

It corresponds with Ezekiel 38:6, "the remote parts of the North."

At Joel 2:20, it is identified as the Northern army. The reason the two armies can be equated is because of the time frame for their activity.

At Isaiah 13, the army advances worldwide AFTER the arrival of the Day of the Lord.

Isaiah 13:6,

"Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty."

This indicates that WHEN the army invades that it will be a fulfillment of the coming of the day of the LORD and not that the day of the LORD follows the invasion.

 

The army at Joel 2 has advanced into Palestine, and is also viewed as taking place AFTER the ARRIVAL of the Day of the Lord. That is, when the army invades, it is DURING the day of the Lord that the invasion takes place.

Joel 2:2,

"for the Day of the Lord is coming, surely it is near."

However, it is also viewed as such an army that will NEVER again come into Palestine UNTIL many generations.

Joel 2:2,

"there is a great and mighty people; there has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations."

Many generations AFTER the Day of the Lord would refer to the end of Messiah's 1000 year reign when another large Northern army will invade Palestine (Rev. 20:7-9).

 

THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE
There is only ONE Northern army that will have a role during the Day of the Lord. And it is that Northern army and alliance which is described at Ezekiel 38:2-6.

"Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

"And I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company {with} buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them {with} shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah {from} the remote parts of the north with all its troops - many peoples with you."

Gog is either a personality or a dynasty that dominates the land of Magog and rules over three chief cities or peoples.

These descendants of Japheth are clearly mentioned at Gen. 10:2,

"The sons of Jepheth were, Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Mesheck and Tiras."

The identification of Magog and Rosh is summarized by Pentecost, after quoting several sources:

"Thus the identification of Rosh as modern Russia would seem to be well authenticated and generally accepted." (Things to Come, page 328).

"Meshek and Tubal have been identified as Phrygia and Cappadocia. They appear to be the Moschi and Tibareni of the classical writers. They lived in the neighborhood of Magog." (Charles Feinberg, Ezekiel, page 220)

This places them in the land area we know as Turkey.

Associated with Gog, we have five other nations which need to be identified.

At Ezekiel 38:5, we have three mentioned, Persia (paras), Ethiopia (kush) and Libya (phut).

Persia is unanimously identified as Iran.

Ethiopia and Libya, however, do not fair as well. There are some who would limit both of these groups to those Arabic nations North and East of Israel. Others, associate Kush with modern day Ethiopia, and associate Libya with the nations of North Africa; Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

At Daniel 11:43, there is mention of the Libyans, but the Hebrew is different than what we find at Ezekiel. At Daniel, the word, lubhiym, clearly refers to the Libyans in North Africa. Accordingly, phut might refer to a different people and perhaps a different geographical area.

However, Phut is consistently mentioned with other names identified with North Africa (Jer. 46:9 and Nahum 3:9, in Pharaoh's army), especially at Ezekiel 30:5, where we see a group of nations that the context suggests would all be within the same "southern" area around Egypt.

Furthermore, at Daniel 11:43, after the king of the West counterattacks against Egypt, he continues into both Ethiopia (Kush) AND Libya. It seems most probable that the Kush mentioned here is the same as mentioned at Ezekiel 38:5. And since it is also quite probable that the Ethiopia in Daniel is South of Palestine, it is best to take the Ethiopia of Ezekiel as also being South of Palestine. This should prove that there are Southern nations in Gog's Northern alliance, and it might even include Egypt since it appears that the king of the South and the King of the North at Daniel 11:40, push against the king of the West at the same time.

This makes it much easier to associate Phut (Libya) with North Africa instead of limiting the Northern alliance to those areas North and East of Palestine.

At Ezekiel 38:6, the final two members of this alliance are mentioned.

Gomer is universally identified as the Germanic land area.
Beth-togarmah is equally identified as the area of upper Turkey and Armenia.

Let's keep in mind that these general geographical distributions overlap with several different nations or cultures in existence today, similar to how the former Soviet Union embraced so many smaller nations. The best that we can do is to recognize the general geographical areas involved and not be too rigid in assigning nations their allegiance until the actual alliance is established. However, that reality may not be ours to discern since the rapture will occur BEFORE the Northern alliance actually moves in resistance to the king of the West (the beast). The prewrath view teaches that the rapture occurs at the 6th seal, before the 6th trumpet which refers to this great worldwide invasion by a large military body.

There is also a Gog/Magog revolt at the end of the Millennium, which involves the same geographical location, but is not the same as this invasion that is described here. See: Gog Magog revolt: Millennium

A MATTER OF TIMING
The big question still unresolved in many minds, concerns the exact time placement for the Gog invasion which is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

There are those who view this invasion as taking place prior to the beginning of Daniel's 70th week, which is seven years in length. The main proof for such a theory is found at Ezekiel 39:9, where after the invading Northern army is defeated, the "booty" left behind will be burned for a period of seven years. Others believe that the invasion takes place immediately at the beginning of the seven-year period, viewing it as the reason the "world ruler" is able to come on the scene and establish a 7-year covenant in the Middle East. Once again, they use the seven years of burning the "booty" as proof for this. Others still, place this invasion at the midpoint of the 70th week and view it as the reason for the rise to power of the man of lawlessness (the antichrist) who breaks the 7-year covenant and will then seek to dominate the politics and economy of the world and reign for 42 months (3 1/2 years). Then there are those who view this invasion as taking place just before the final battle of Armageddon and has the alliance's defeat take place at that battle.

Although the term, "Day of the Lord," does not occur in Ezekiel 38-39, the language indicates that this invasion can refer to none other than the king of the North as described in the other passages. Some have suggested that Ezekiel 38-39 refers to an invasion that precedes the Day of the Lord, however that cannot be in light of verse 39:7, "And I shall not let My Holy Name be profaned anymore." If this invasion refers to an army other than the one which invades DURING the Day of the Lord, then this verse would be violated, for during the Day of the Lord, through the advance of armies in connection with the Armageddon campaign, the land of Israel and God's Name will be trodden down by the invaders. Furthermore, the defeat of this Northern army is followed immediately by Israel's promotion and blessing in Messiah's kingdom.

Ezek. 38:7-8,

"Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

"After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, {whose inhabitants} have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.

This is another reason some think that the Gog invasion occurs "before" the 70th week and/or after the 70th week has started.

It is suggested that if Israel has been restored from the sword and the people are living "securely," then it cannot refer to the time of Great tribulation when the beast will be attempting to force the world into beast worship. It is suggested that this refers to the nation of Israel, having been restored in 1948 and today existing on her own land.

It is true, that at the present time, it can be said of Israel, that she has been restored from the sword of her captivity. However, even though Israel resides in the land, the nation as a whole is still in unbelief, and there is certainly no peace and security for her. Probably the best time for fulfillment of the language at verse 8, "and they are living securely, all of them," is when the covenant of peace is established at the beginning of the 70th week. Thus, it would seem appropriate to look for this invasion sometime during the first half of the week. However, this seems unlikely to me because of the language of "closure" at Ezek. 39:7, "And I shall not let My Holy Name be profaned any longer." If the defeat of this "Gog" army takes place during the first half of the week (or before) and is defeated as described in Ezekiel 38-39, then this "language of closure" forbids the oppression of the beast during the last half of the week, during which time, God's name most certainly will be profaned (Rev. 13:6; Dan. 7:25).

It is for this reason that we must find a time slot for this invasion that is associated with the final movement of nations into the land of Palestine and the final confrontation with God at the battle of Armageddon.

I suggest that at the midpoint of the week, after the beast gains ascendancy over Jerusalem (Rev. 11:2) and begins his oppressive reign (Rev. 13:5-6), that the majority of people in Jerusalem will be in alliance with the beast and therefore be "living securely, all of them."

The "faithful" ones of Israel will have fled into the wilderness (Rev. 12:6, 13-14), and most of the others will have adopted beast worship and be reaping the economic benefits of allegiance to him.

 

THE DAY OF THE LORD
Returning to Isaiah 13, at verses 7-8, we see the reaction of people to the ARRIVAL of the Day of the LORD. According to verse 6, the Day will come as destruction from the Almighty.

Paul tells us at 1 Thes. 5:3,

"The Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

When the Day of the Lord SIGNS occur and people SEE the sign of the Son of Man, they will then know that the wrath of the Lamb has arrived. Thus, the reaction recorded at verses 7-8 as well as at Mat. 24:30; Luke 21:25-26 and Rev. 6:15-16.

Isa. 13:7,

"Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man's heart will melt."

Isa. 13:8,

"And they will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of {them} ; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame."

Luke 21:25,

"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,

Luke 21:26,

men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Matt. 24:30,

and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

Rev. 6:15,

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;

Rev. 6:16,

and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

Isa. 13:9,

Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

The Day of the Lord has a beginning point and from that point, judgment (fury and burning anger) will be expressed with the intent "to make the land a desolation," and judge the sinners.

Isaiah 13:10
Here Isaiah backs up again to the time just before the day of the Lord arrives, when there will be the triple signs to announce its coming.
For: The conjunction, kiy, simply explains something that has just been mentioned in the context. In this case, it goes back to the beginning of verse 9, and the phrase, “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming.” The explanation in verse 10 is given then, not to explain the nature of the judgments, but the fact of its arrival, and the signs that will announce it.
The signs that precede the arrival of the day of the Lord, and announce not only its arrival, but the second coming of the Messiah at its inception, are described in three other passages (Joel 2:31, quoted at Acts 2:20; The Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-26, Luke 21:25-27; and Revelation 6:12-13).

For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when in its going;
And the moon will not shed its light.

As mentioned above, there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars which will announce the arrival of the Messiah and the start of the Day of the LORD.

For Details on this passage: See Commentary - Isaiah 13

DURING THE DAY

Isa. 13:11,

"Thus I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless."

This is a summary statement concerning God's intent in destroying the sinners of the world.
The THREE woes of Revelation.

Rev. 8:13,

"And I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe, to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'"

The first woe will be torment on the sinners of the world via the demon horde from the abyss (Rev. 9:1-11).

The second woe will be the killing of 1/3 of the earth's population via the invasion of the Northern army (Rev. 9:12-19).

And the third woe will be the seven bowls of the "final" wrath of God (Rev. 15:1; 16:1).

Isa. 2:12,

"For the LORD of hosts will have a day {of reckoning} Against everyone who is proud and lofty, And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased."

2Ths. 1:6-8,

"For after all it is {only} just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and {to give} relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."

Isa. 13:12,

"I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir."

This refers to the extreme "thinning" of the human population that results from the Day-of-the-LORD judgments.

Death from the third trumpet judgment:

Rev. 8:11,

"and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and MANY MEN DIED from the waters, because they were made bitter."

Death from the 6th trumpet judgment:

Rev. 9:18,

"A THIRD OF MANKIND WAS KILLED by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths."

Isa. 13:13,

"Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger."

Here, the THEREFORE (al ken), changes our focus and takes us back to the inception of this Day of the LORD period. It is the initial SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars (heavens tremble, Luke 21:26; Rev. 6:13-14); and the earth shaking (Rev. 6:12; Luke 21:25) that officially ANNOUNCE that these judgments are at hand or as the panicking world proclaims, "has come," and "who is able to stand," (Rev. 6:17).

Isa. 13:14-16, describes the effects on the "homelands" of the nations involved in this SPECIFIC worldwide attack of the king of the North, permitted by the wrathful vengeance of God.

"And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather {them,} They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land.
Anyone who is found will be thrust through, And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces Before their eyes; Their houses will be plundered And their wives ravished."

It should be clear that this activity occurs in the homelands of the nations through the onslaught of an invading army, just as we saw earlier at Jeremiah 25:32-37. It does not describe what occurs AT Armageddon. The military maneuvers that take place DURING the worldwide attack of the king of the North, occur over a period of time and not in one day.

The final section of Isaiah 13 (verses 17-22), mentions the historical invasion of the Media-Persian empire, but then makes application BEYOND that historical time period and once again, to an end-times judgment and the resultant status of the Babylonian area during the Messiah's earthly kingdom.

The degree of judgment described in these verses have not, to date, been totally fulfilled. In the same way, the language at Jeremiah 51:62, seems to look beyond the history of the city and land area, and looks to an "end-times" disposition where during the Messiah's kingdom, and as a result of judgment described in Revelation 18:21, Babylon will not exist.

COUNTERATTACK
Returning to Daniel 11:40-45 we see the counterattack from the king of the West.

1. And he will enter countries: The K/W must respond to the invasions from the North and the South.

At this point, I mention again the difficult problem of identifying the "king" referred to by the 3rd person pronouns in this sentence and through the remainder of the chapter. The immediate "flow" of the narrative "suggests" that the "he will enter" phrase refers to the king of the North. However, whoever the "he" is, it seems best to make that identification uniform through the remainder of the chapter. Accordingly, based on the activities ascribed to the "he" in question, which take place in this context, it is still best to identify him as the king of the West, the world ruler who is the beast out of the sea of Revelation 13:1.

2. Overflow and pass through: This indicates an intensive campaign to counter the attack from the North that touched every corner of the beast's kingdom.

Daniel 11:41,

Because the attack of the king of the South centers in Palestine (the beautiful land) the K/W deploys troops into that area and "many will fall."

However, Edom, Moab and Ammon are not affected either by the South's invasion or the beast's defense. God provides extra protection for this general land area because it is where the remnant from Judah has fled for refuge from the oppression of the beast.

Daniel 11:42-43

"Then he will stretch out his hand against {other} countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians {will follow} at his heels."

The beast drives the K/S out of Palestine back into his own land and continues against the other countries involved. He defeats Egypt in her own land and then proceeds to enter into Libya and Ethiopia. These two countries are identified at Ezekiel 38:5, as being in alliance with the king of the North. This specific maneuver is described at Ezekiel 30:1-9.

Libya and Ethiopia are identified at Ezekiel 38:5, as being in alliance with the king of the North. The movement of the king of the West into these areas as per Daniel 11:43, is described at Ezekiel 30:1-9.

EZEKIEL
Ezek. 30:1-3

The word of the LORD came again to me saying, "Son of man, prophesy and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, Wail, 'Alas for the day!'
"For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, A time {of doom} for the nations."

This clearly identifies the military maneuvers in view to take place DURING the Day of the LORD. It is "a time for the nations," but the specific focus is on the Southern alliance associated with Gog.

Ezek. 30:4,

"And a sword will come upon Egypt, And anguish will be in Ethiopia, When the slain fall in Egypt, They take away her wealth, And her foundations are torn down.

This is exactly what we saw at Daniel 11:42-43

Ezek. 30:5,

"Ethiopia, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Libya, and the people of the land that is in league will fall with them by the sword."

These are in league one with another, as members of the Southern alliance but are also allied with the king of the North. The king of the West is allowed to use its superior weaponry and military might to achieve the victory over this Southern alliance.

Ezek. 30:6,

"Thus says the LORD, 'Indeed, those who support Egypt will fall, And the pride of her power will come down; From Migdol {to} Syene They will fall within her by the sword,' Declares the Lord GOD."

Migdol is in Northern Egypt and Syene is in the South.
Ezek. 30:7-8

"And they will be desolate In the midst of the desolated lands; And her cities will be In the midst of the devastated cities.
"And they will know that I am the LORD, When I set a fire in Egypt And all her helpers are broken.

Ezek. 30:9,

"On that day messengers will go forth from Me in ships to frighten secure Ethiopia; and anguish will be on them as on the day of Egypt; for, behold, it comes!"

This indicates the divine permission for the king of the West to defend itself and push beyond Egypt to the other nations involved. Usually, any mention of ships in these military scenarios, has reference to the Western nations.

Daniel 11:43,

"and Libyans and Ethiopians {will follow} at his heels."

 

After neutralizing Egypt, the king of the West continues into the other North African nations that have pushed against him.

 

RUMORS FROM THE EAST
But while the beast's troops are occupied in the South, the king of the East begins to mobilize his troops toward Palestine. This is designated as "rumors from the East" at Daniel 11:44. It happens in connection with the 6th bowl and brings our time line beyond the end of the 70th week of Daniel into the 30 day period of "cleansing" which follows.

The 70th week ends in association with the sounding of the 7th trumpet (Rev. 11:2-15) and the 7 bowls of judgment "which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished" (Rev. 15:1), are poured out on the kingdom of the beast.

Daniel 12:11, indicates that there is an additional 30 day period after the designated 1260 days for the last half of the "week." During this time, the temple is still desolated and the beast is still active. But the remaining blows of God's wrath through the bowl judgments will bring it all to an end.

Rev. 16:12-15,

"And the sixth {angel} poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.
And I saw {coming} out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty."

Notice also, that in connection with the advance of the kings of the East, we see the gathering of other nations as well. This includes both the king of the North entering Palestine and the king of the West returning.

 

RUMORS FROM THE NORTH
Daniel 11:44 also indicates that rumors from the North disturb the king of the West. This is when the king of the North actually invades Palestine as is described in Ezekiel 38 and Joel 2.

Ezekiel 38:15-16

"And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog."

Joel 2:1-2

"Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is a great and mighty people; There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations."

 

We therefore find the connection between all the Old Testament passages concerning the king of the North. His worldwide aggressions are focused into his ultimate goal of possessing Palestine and thus, joins with the other nations to fulfill the prophecies of Joel and Zechariah.

Joel 3:1

"For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem"

This gives us the time frame for this final invasion of Palestine. It occurs at the time that God intends to "restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem." In other words, at the time that God intends to fulfill all of Israel's national promises as initially given to Abraham.

Daniel tells us that the goal of the "70 weeks" is to ultimately "bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy {place}." These three phrases refer to bringing in Israel's kingdom blessings. It will be fulfilled AFTER the 70 weeks are completed.

The 70 weeks bring us to the time of fulfillment, but it will be another 75 days AFTER the final 1260 days of the last half of the 70th week, until the Messiah will "officially" begin the kingdom (Dan. 12:11-12; Mat. 25:31-32).

Joel 3:2

"I will gather all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land (v. 1-2).

The valley of Jehoshaphat refers to the valley of "judgment from Yahweh" and is not an actual valley, but embraces the whole land area of Palestine with a special focus on the actual valley of megiddo (or the plain of Esdraelon) which lies between the Sea of Galilee and the natural seaport of Haifa. The valley is 20 miles long and about 16 miles wide. The "valley" of judgment, or as at Joel 3:14, "the valley of the decision."

The word "decision" is charuts and means a "cutting" or "dividing." Thus the idea of divine judgment, since all will be "cut off" from the land of the living through the sword of divine justice (Rev. 19:21). Many battles have been fought here throughout history, as control of the valley basically controls land travel between North and South, and determines the usefulness of the seaport.

Joel 3:9-11

Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!
Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, "I am a mighty man."
Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves there. Bring down, O LORD, Thy mighty ones.

Notice the need for armament. Through the peace covenant of the first half of the 70th week, there was a massive worldwide disarmament. This continued when the beast began his oppressive reign, but as his ability to meet the needs of the nations diminished through the Day of the Lord judgments (trumpets), the nations began to "chomp at the bit" and began to rearm themselves in preparation for resistance to the beast.

At this "gathering" of the nations into Palestine, the activities of the king of the East are not detailed for us. It is probable that he simply deploys his troops into the area of Megiddo and awaits the outcome of the conflict between the king of the West and the North. However, before there can be any "human" victory, the Lord Jesus descends from His "control center" in the clouds and begins the reaping process of judgment (Rev. 14:14-20).

The king of the North on the other hand, is given a lot of coverage in Scripture. The advance of its army through Palestine is described at Joel 2:3-9.

"A fire consumes before them, And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run.
With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle.
Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale.
They run like mighty men; They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths.
They do not crowd each other; They march everyone in his path. When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks.
They rush on the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief."

Its activity in Jerusalem is summarized at Zech. 14:2.

"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city."

 

A DIVIDED ARMY
Daniel 11:45a

"And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain."

The king of the West sets up his camp between the Mediterranean Sea (the seas) and the city of Jerusalem (the beautiful holy mountain). This effectively splits the Northern army into 2 sections according to Joel 2:20 and in this condition the K/N will perish as Israel fights against them with the Messiah's help.

"But I will remove the northern {army} far from you, And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land, And its vanguard into the eastern sea, And its rear guard into the western sea. And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up, For it has done great things."

Later when Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives, causing it to split down the middle and form an East/West valley extending for 6 miles West of Jerusalem to Azel, the Northern army will be greatly restricted and be unable to escape. The "rear guard" will be pushed into the Mediterranean Sea and the "vanguard" will be defeated at the hands of the men of the city as they fight with the prowess of thousands of "David's." (Zech. 12:5-9)

Through this victory, all the resources possessed by these invading armies will become plunder for Israel. Zech. 14:1

Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you.

But before Israel is victorious, the invaders wreak havoc within the city. Zech. 14:2,

 

"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city."

Furthermore, the king of the west who has camped "in the valley," will come to his end there in the valley as this is part of the final battle.

Daniel 11:45b

"Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him."

The king of the West will find his "Waterloo" when the Lord Jesus descends into Palestine all the armies that are converged there.

 

CONVERGENCE ON PALESTINE
Ezek. 38:9,

"And you will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you."

 

Joel 2:2,

"A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is a great and mighty people; There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations."

Ezek. 38:10,

'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan,

Ezek. 38:11,

and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of un-walled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls, and having no bars or gates,

Ezek. 38:12, "

to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are {now} inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.'

They require the material resources centered in Israel. The kingdom of the beast is centered in Jerusalem and has apparently hoarded an abundance of the resources needed by the nations. In view of the great destruction of resources that happen through the first 4 trumpet judgments, the Northern alliance designs a plan to conquer Israel.

Ezek. 38:13,

"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all its villages, will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'"'

The king of the West will rebuke this advance and take counter measures to protect his interests in Palestine.

Dan. 11:44,

"But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him,

Ezek. 38:14-17 provides a summary of what we have already seen.

"Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know {it} ?

"And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;

and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog."

'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for {many} years that I would bring you against them?

As the king of the North advances into Palestine, so also does the Eastern alliance and the Western alliance. Most of these troops are in the Valley of Megiddo, including portions of the Gog alliance, assembled to resolve once and for all the question of who is the "boss."

Rev. 16:12-14,16

"And the sixth {angel} poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw {coming} out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.

 

Joel 3:2a, 9-12

"I will gather all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat."

Joel 3:9-12

Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!
Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, "I am a mighty man."
Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves there. Bring down, O LORD, Thy mighty ones.
Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations.

Rev. 19:19,

"And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army."

At this point the prophecies concerning the king of the North blend together with the final assembly of all nations and the destruction of these nations at the hand of Jesus the Messiah. Accordingly, both Ezekiel 39 and Joel 3 are to be viewed within the context of the final battle at Armageddon.

At this time Jesus will descend physically to the earth, arriving first in Edom (Is. 63:1), then to Jerusalem (Zech. 14:4) and finally to the actual Valley of Megiddo (Plain of Esdraelon) at Mount Megiddo (Armageddon) to defeat and destroy all these armies (Joel 3:16).

 

THE PHYSICAL DESCENT OF MESSIAH
When these nations are sufficiently gathered into Palestine, Jesus will leave His "seat" in the clouds and physically descend to the earth.

When He first "arrived" at the Day of the Lord, He raptured the church from the earth and then began to pour out God's wrath upon the kingdom of the beast, using angels for various administrations of judgment. He did this from His "seat" in the clouds without "touching down" to the earth.

 

Rev. 14:14-16

And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud {was} one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.

And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe."

And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.

This reaping refers to the general outpouring of divine wrath on the unbelievers which takes place through the 7 trumpets and the first 5 bowls. Some interpret this to refer to the rapture itself. However, if Revelation chapter 14 is viewed as chronological, beginning with the conversion of the 144,000 at verses 1-5, and ending with the battle of Armageddon at verses 17-20, then the rapture cannot be in view. The rapture takes place BEFORE the conversion of the 144,000.

The final act of "reaping" occurs at the battle of Armageddon, which is in view at Rev. 14:17-20.

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.

And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe."

And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered {the clusters from} the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

 

The descent of Jesus from "heaven" (his seat in the clouds) has three phases to it. He first descends to Edom, then dramatically to Jerusalem, and finally, to the Valley of Megiddo. The "descent" that is described at Rev. 19:11ff, probably refers to His descent to Megiddo. Since there are very clearly, three separate "confrontations," we should be careful to place this one in the proper order. We are given an order at Zechariah 14 which seems to indicate placing Rev. 19:11 AFTER He lands on the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:4-5

 

FIRST TO EDOM
It is proper that we first see what the bible teaches about this "descent" to Edom. He goes there to destroy the unbelievers of that area and rescue the Israelites who are hiding in the mountainous wilderness, having fled the oppression of the beast at the midpoint of the 70th week.

Isaiah 34 discusses this judgment on Edom.

Verses 1-4 give a general overview of the Day of the Lord judgments.

Verses 1-2,

"Draw near, O nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples! Let the earth and all it contains hear, and the world and all that springs from it. For the LORD'S indignation is against all the nations, And {His} wrath against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to slaughter."

This is the general attitude of God toward the rebellious nations as we have previously seen. It is the assembly of the nations in Palestine that triggers Christ's physical descent to the earth.

Isaiah 34:3

So their slain will be thrown out, And their corpses will give off their stench, And the mountains will be drenched with their blood.

This describes the ultimate defeat of all these nations at Armageddon.

Isaiah 34:4

This refers to the many cosmic disturbances that not only initiate the Day-of-the-Lord judgments, but continue throughout the period of time that God's wrath is poured out on the world.

1. And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll:

As tempting as it may be to apply this to the cosmic signs that precede the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the Lord, prior to the movement of any of these troops, it is better to recognize that similar cosmic disturbances and geographical disturbances will persist throughout the Day-of-the-Lord judgments.

These images refer to the massive darkness.

A. Initially, AT the arrival of the Day:
Rev. 6:12; Mat. 24:29; Joel 2:31; Luke 21:25

B. Throughout the time period: Rev. 8:12; 16:10

2. All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as {one} withers from the fig tree.

This refers to the judgments that come FROM the sky.

A. Initially: Rev. 6:13; Mat. 24:29b; Luke 21:26

Rev. 6:13,

"and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind."

Mat. 24:29b,

"and the stars will fall from the sky."

 

B. Throughout: Rev. 9:7-11; 16:8, 21

This is further amplified at Isaiah 51:6.

1. "Lift up your eyes to the sky, Then look to the earth beneath; For the sky will vanish like smoke:

The sky vanishing does not refer to a "destruction" but rather to the massive darkness that will attend the Day-of-the-Lord judgments through the 4th trumpet judgment (Rev. 8:12) and the 5th bowl judgment (Rev. 16:10) and ultimately just before Jesus arrives at Megiddo (Zech. 14:6-7).

2. And the earth will wear out like a garment:

Like a garment that no longer provides adequate covering and protection, so the earth will no longer provide what man needs to sustain physical life. This describes the first 3 trumpet judgments (Rev. 8:7-11) and the second and third bowl judgments (Rev. 16:3-4).

3. And its inhabitants will die in like manner:

Death through the judgments that come from God's wrath. Rev. 8:11; 9:18; 14:19-20; 19:21.

4. But My salvation shall be forever, And My righteousness shall not wane:

This refers to the millennial kingdom of the Messiah which extends on into eternity.

These passages are NOT referring to the renovation of the physical universe which takes place at the end of the 1000 year kingdom. (Revelation 20:11 with 21:1).

Although the language at 2 Peter 3:10 is similar, it is likewise, quite different, for Peter describes a complete "chemical" renovation, through intense heat.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, IN WHICH (or THROUGH WHICH) the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up."

This "total" renovation is referenced at Psalm 102:25-26 (Heb. 1:12).

"Of old Thou didst found the earth; And the heavens are the work of Thy hands. Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed."

 

THE BATTLE OF EDOM
Isa. 34:5

For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom, And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.

Here, we find a specific focus on Edom. Edom comes under a special judgment from God because of its historical oppression of Israel and its allegiance to the beast in the end-times (Ezek. 35:1-15; Obadiah 10-14).

Isa. 34:6-8

"The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

Wild oxen shall also fall with them, And young bulls with strong ones; Thus their land shall be soaked with blood, And their dust become greasy with fat. For the LORD has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion."

Edom will be destroyed just before Jesus descends to Jerusalem. Notice, this is "for the cause of Zion." Edom will be in the process of oppressing the refugees of Judah who have fled the reign of the beast and taken shelter in the mountainous wilderness of Edom (Mat. 24:15-21; Rev. 12:6, 13-16).

Isa. 34:9-10

"And its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into brimstone, And its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall go up forever; From generation to generation it shall be desolate; None shall pass through it forever and ever."

The judgment on the land area of Edom will be total. During Messiahs's kingdom, it will be a desolation with no population.

Hab. 3:3-4

God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise.

{His} radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays {flashing} from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

At first glance it appears that this may simply be saying that the Messiah comes from the EAST. However, in view of Isaiah 34, it is clear that He comes from this area AFTER judging it.

Hab. 3:5

Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him.

This may very well be a direct statement to the effect that He has first judged Edom and now AFTER Him, comes the judgments on the rest of the nations.

Hab. 3:6-7

"He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling."

He thus prepares to engage the nations of the world as they are assembled at Armageddon and they are startled by His arrival and join forces to defeat Him (Rev. 19:19).

ISAIAH 63
Isa. 63:1

Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."

The Messiah comes FROM Edom with His garments already stained with the blood of battle. He has already engaged the enemy in Edom and is now ready for Jerusalem and then Armageddon.

Isa. 63:2-6

Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? "I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. "For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. "And I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me; And My wrath upheld Me. "And I trod down the peoples in My anger, And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."

The question from Isaiah brings the Messiah's response, that He has expressed His righteous wrath upon those who were deserving of judgment.

After this defeat of Edom and as Jesus proceeds to Jerusalem, the remnant of Israel which has been hiding in the wilderness will probably begin making their way back to Jerusalem to greet their king when the victory is won.

 

MOUNT OF OLIVES
Zechariah 14:4-5

"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, {and} all the holy ones with Him!"

Notice, He FIRST comes to the Mount of Olives which causes a very great earthquake. This is described at Revelation 16:17-20.

"And the seventh {angel} poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."

And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake {was it, and} so mighty.

And the great city was split into three parts. . ."

 

There is still difference of opinion as to the identification of "the great city." It seems that since Babylon is mentioned in the next sentence as coming under a separate judgment, the mention here of "the great city," might very well refer to Jerusalem which is identified as "the great city . . . where also their Lord was crucified," at Rev. 11:8.

Jerusalem being split into three parts is not at all inconsistent with what would result when the Mount of Olives is split in two.

 

". . .and the cities of the nations fell."

We have dramatic affects worldwide, from this earthquake.

"And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath."

This is judgment on Babylon (Babylonian evil), the ideology that empowers and controls the king of the west (beast) through the influence of Satan himself. The history of that ideology and its final demise is later summarized in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.

 

"And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."

This is hyperbole. The significance is that every island and every mountain are AFFECTED so that they are NOT as they were before. It does not mean that the land is now "flat as a pancake." Even Olives is not "flattened." It simply says that the mountain is split in half.

After the earthquake, Zechariah writes, "And the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him." This refers to His movement to confront the armies assembled at Armageddon and is where Revelation 19:11 properly belongs. The same order can be found by advancing from Rev. 16:21 to Rev. 19:11. (Chapters 17 and 18 are parenthetical to summarize the rise and fall of the "Babylonian" kingdom).

Joel speaks of Him coming FROM ZION at Joel 3:16, "The LORD roars from Zion."

Revelation 19:11-16

"And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself.

And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses.

And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

 

When Jesus comes from Edom to conclude His victory over the nations, He arrives at Jerusalem, stands on the Mount of Olives and then begins to fight for the inhabitants of the city and the people of Judah (Zech. 14:1-4).

 

THE BATTLE OF JERUSALEM
From Edom, Jesus goes to Jerusalem to fight with the armies gathered there. Zech. 14:3,

"Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle."

He stands on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and causes a great earthquake. Zech. 14:4

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

The great earthquake and the splitting of the mountain, the "total" darkness that will soon envelop the land, as well as an unusual plague, will cause great panic for the armies in the region.

"Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth."

This is NOT use of a nuclear weapon because the casualties are selective rather than total. We know this because there will still be some "hand-to-hand" conflict going on between the invaders and the Israelites at this time. It might be some kind of "selective" or "individual" biological weapon, but whatever it is, it will cause a great panic among them so that they are even confused about who they should be fighting. Zech. 14:13

"And it will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another."

Zech. 12:5-8

"Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, 'A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.'

"In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem.

“The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first in order that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified above Judah.
“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David {will be} like God, like the angel of the LORD before them.

Zech. 14:14
And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance.

While the Israelites are defeating the troops in the immediate vicinity of the city, Jesus goes forth and destroys the armies that have gathered in the valley of Megiddo.

ON TO MEGIDDO

Zech. 14:5
1. Then the LORD, my God, will come:
It is important to note that this is NOT His arrival at the Day of the LORD, but his movement from Jerusalem to the Valley of Megiddo. As was already noted, this is probably what John is shown at Revelation 19:11.

2. {and} all the holy ones with Him!”

The “holy ones” that come with Him are angels who participate in a “gathering” of souls after the great slaughter is accomplished (Mat. 13:40-43).
At Revelation 19:14, they are called “the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
Some think that these armies are the believers of the church who come back with Jesus to reign with Him. They suppose that the white garments require that this army be believers because white represents righteousness. They make the association back to Rev. 19:7-8, where through the preparation of the church as the “bride of Christ,” she is given white garments. However, angels also where white garments as is indicated at Rev. 15:6.

“and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean {and} bright, and girded around their breasts with golden girdles.”

The argument rages, but it seems very unlikely to me that Jesus would bring His bride into battle with Him. It is much more likely that she waits in heaven for His victory and the preparation of the earth as their “home.” In fact, the narrative makes it perfectly clear that AFTER Christ’s victory at Armageddon and the establishment of His earthly reign, then the bride comes down out of heaven as is described at Rev. 21:2.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”

This is further confirmed at Rev. 21:9-14, where the wife of the Lamb is clearly identified as the New Jerusalem. Thus, it is clear that the wife of the Lamb is NOT an “army” that follows Him into battle, but a “bride in waiting” in her heavenly city until the Groom secures a safe place for them to live.

As Jesus leaves Jerusalem, a “total” darkness envelops the land.
Zech. 14:6,
“And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle.”

This does not refer to the “initial” day of the Lord signs, but to a specific and unique time of darkness that immediately precedes Messiah’s descent to Armageddon.

Zech. 14:7,
“For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.”

The “initial” darkness that occurs at the arrival of the Day of the LORD, is not “total.” The very idea that the moon turns into (the color of) blood indicates a quality of darkness different than what is in view here.

As Joel develops the Armageddon confrontation, he writes,

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”
“The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness,” (Joel 3:14-15).

This is not talking about the “initial” arrival of the Day of the LORD, but the effect of That Day in reference to Armageddon. It is already here, but it is NEAR in the Valley of decision.

Joel 3:16
“And the LORD roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.”

Here we see the order of movement. FROM Jerusalem He goes somewhere else.
We know that location to be the valley of Megiddo and in the next and final part to this study, we will discuss the actual battle of Armageddon.

THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

It is possible to let the very Scriptures themselves describe what happens, with very little commentary.

Rev. 19:19
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.

Here the armies of the East, West and North have regrouped to join forces against the Son of God. Once gathered here, God will judge the assembled nations and destroy them.

Joel 3:12-14
Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.


That which causes the various nations involved to move into Palestine, is the political, military, religious and economic influences placed upon them by the demonic powers that control the beast and the false prophet.

Rev. 16:13-14, 16
And I saw {coming} out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.

DINNER TIME!
The peoples who are assembled in the valley are to be physically killed through the military prowess of the Lord Jesus as He wields the sword of His mouth and scatters the enemy on the face of the battlefield. Since the bodies of the dead will be left lying on the ground for later burial by the Jews at the beginning of the Kingdom, it provides an abundant food source for the scavengers of the animal kingdom. Thus, they are called to gather in anticipation of the divine meal that will be provided to them.

Rev. 19:17-18
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God; in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

Ezek. 39:17-21
“And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, “Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
“You shall eat the flesh of mighty men, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as {though they were} rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
“So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
“And you will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,” declares the Lord GOD.

The total darkness envelops the whole land of Palestine. At “evening time,” Jesus breaks through the heavens with His own glory piercing the darkness, and all the nations see Him coming upon them.

MESSIAH’S PERSONAL VINTAGE

Rev. 14:19-20
And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered {the clusters from} the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

This distance of 200 miles includes the entire area affected by the influx of nations into Palestine. The land of Israel itself is only 160 miles from North to South, but this number should probably be taken as “square mileage” covering all directions from Jerusalem.

Rev. 19:21
And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

The summary of this final battle finds ALL the people who have gathered, killed and placed on the “table” of the battlefield as a divine meal for all the predatory animals that have been invited.


THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NORTHERN ARMY
Ezekiel 38:18-23; Joel 2:18-20; Zech. 12:2-9; 14:12-15;

Through both the battle of Jerusalem and the battle of Armageddon, the Northern army will be totally destroyed. This army receives special attention in the Scriptures since it will have accomplished such a devastating ruin in Israel.
Although viewed separately, by comparing Sciripture with Scripture, it can be determined that the destruction of the Northern army takes place at the final battle described above.

Ezek. 38:18-20
“And it will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger.
“And in My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare {that} on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

This is the earthquake that occurs when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives.

“And the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence;”

The extent of this earthquake will be such that there will be massive destruction both of natural and manmade structures.

“the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground.”


As already noted, one result from this earthquake will be the panic among the invading soldiers.

Ezek. 38:21, “And I shall call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother.

Zech. 14:13, And it will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another.

Ezek. 38:22
“And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

This language describes the “physical” mechanics of destruction.
Revelation 19:21 says that they were killed by the “sword which came from the mouth” of Jesus. The word, “sword” is symbolic speaking of the actual physical destruction that will be accomplished by the “torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

This torrential rain will also fall throughout the world as “the cities of the nations” are judged.
Rev. 16:17-21
And the seventh {angel} poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.”
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake {was it, and} so mighty.
And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.”

EZEKIEL 39 repeats and amplifies relating it to the gathering at Armageddon.

Ezek. 39:1-5
“And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;
and I shall turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
“And I shall strike your bow from your left hand, and dash down your arrows from your right hand.
“You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops, and the peoples who are with you; I shall give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.
“You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD.

In addition, the homelands of the Gog alliance will come under judgment from God.

Ezek. 39:6
“And I shall send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

An important factor concerning the Gog invasion is the time that it occurs. There is much debate as to whether it occurs prior to the 70th week of Daniel, during the first half of the week, last half, or at the end in association with the battle of Armageddon. Ezekiel 39:7-8 is valuable in placing the timing for this invasion.

“And My holy name I shall make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I shall not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
“Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord GOD. “That is the day of which I have spoken.

It appears that after the defeat of Gog in Israel, that God will not let His holy name ever be profaned again. Were this invasion and defeat to occur prior to the 70th week, then after the beast begins to reign and throughout the Armageddon campaign, God’s name will continually be profaned and violate this promise. It is therefore not likely that this invasion should be placed prior to the 70th week. Furthermore, the burial of bones that takes place for 7 years requires a peaceful environment which will not exist until after Armageddon (Ezek. 39:12-16).

Ezek. 39:9-10
“Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out, and make fires with the weapons and burn {them,} both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears and for seven years they will make fires of them.
“And they will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them, and seize the plunder of those who plundered them,” declares the Lord GOD.

All the plunder of the invading armies will belong to Israel.
Furthermore, there will be an abundance of flammable items which the people of Israel will use in place of firewood - perhaps for cooking purposes or heating. Whether this will be “needed” during the first 7 months of the kingdom age or not, is a side issue. The language otherwise communicates a “closure” that can only come at the completion of Armageddon.

CLOSURE AND GLORIFICATION

Ezek. 38:23
“And I shall magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.”’

Ezek. 39:21-24
“And I shall set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
“And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.
“And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword.
“According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.”’”

The nations will see and understand. That is, those survivors of the nations who have trusted in Christ as the Savior.
Zech. 14:16
“Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”

Ezek. 39:25-29
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name.
“And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their {own} land with no one to make them afraid.
“When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.
“Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them {again} to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.
“And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD.

PREPARATION FOR THE KINGDOM

Daniel 12:11
“And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, {there will be} 1,290 days.

This extra 30 days beyond the 1260 days of the last half of the 70th week is for the outpouring of God’s “final” wrath, which culminates in Armageddon.

Dan. 12:12
“How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!”

The additional 45 days beyond Armageddon is for the cleansing of the land and the separation of believers from unbelievers.
The Gentiles will be divided, believer from unbeliever (Mat. 25:31-46).
And the Jews will be divided, believer from unbeliever (Ezek. 34:17-24).
All believers will go alive into Messiah’s kingdom to populate the world and begin the new civilization, over which righteousness and justice rules in the person of Jesus the King.

 
     

 

 

©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.

 

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