Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Timing Gog-Magog: Final Analysis

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

In this series of articles called Timing Gog-Magog, we are looking to the Bible to discover when the great battle the prophet Ezekiel described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is going to take place.

The Gog-Magog Battle involves a coalition of nations led by a ruler from the ancient lands once covered by the former Soviet Union and modern-day Turkey which consist of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and possibly Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria and Tunisia. They are united in their fervor to loot and destroy Israel. The invading coalition comes to the mountains of Israel to discover not an easy victory, but a setup by God who utterly destroys them with unearthly weather. The supernatural defeat of the invading hordes reveals to the world that God is real and indeed protects the nation of Israel. Israel spends the next seven months burying the dead invaders and seven years expending the leftover fuel and weapons.

In review, we analyzed the Battle and looked into the history books and determined that Ezekiel's reference to Rosh is modern-day Russia. Ezekiel's General Timing Clues were listed to demonstrate that the Gog-Magog Battle is yet future. We also looked at the two views that place the battle before the Tribulation, the two views that place the battle during the Tribulation, and the three views that place the battle in relation to the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. In our study we utilized what I believe is the best written book on the subject — Northern Storm Rising by Dr. Ron Rhodes.

I'll conclude this series by analyzing the views and stating when I believe the Gog-Magog Battle will take place.

Let me go on the record, though, by stating that I am not dogmatic about this end time topic, nor should anyone be. The study of the end times (eschatology) is non-primary. Since God has given mankind merely an overview of His future plans, He has left us with nothing concrete enough to pinpoint the exact timing, probably so that we Christians will not just sit quietly by, but get out there and witness with all our energy until the Lord's return. The study and debate over when the Gog-Magog Battle will take place should never divide the brethren.

Analyzing the Views

Each of the Gog-Magog Battle timing views appear to revolve around dealing with two yet-to-be fulfilled key prerequisites:

  1. Israel is in a state of unsuspecting peace before the invasion (Ezek. 38:11).

  2. Israel has the seven months to bury the dead invaders bodies (Ezek. 39:12-16) and the whole seven years to expend the leftover fuel and weapons (Ezek. 39:9).

The three views that time the Gog-Magog Battle in relation to the Millennium do great justice to the first prerequisite in putting Israel at a time of peace due to Jesus' victory and reign, but cannot overcome the obstacles of the second prerequisite. With Jesus having subjected all His enemies before the start of the Millennium, there would be no invaders to invade. With no invaders, there are no bodies to bury nor weapons to burn.

The best of the three Millennial views is the one placing the timing at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, which Revelation 20:7-8 describes as an uprising of unbelievers born during the Millennium that are led be Satan to his final defeat. While there are some similarities to Ezekiel's account of the Gog-Magog Battle, the dissimilarities prove Ezekiel is talking about a different Gog-Magog Battle than the battle the Apostle John is describing. I agree that John's use of "Gog" and "Magog" in Revelation 20 is more likely to draw a comparison between Ezekiel's Gog-Magog Battle as a type of what the battle will be like at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.

For the two views that place the timing during the Tribulation, they both wrestle with the same prerequisites.

Like the view that proposes Ezekiel's Gog-Magog Battle is the uprising of Satan at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, the view that places the timing at the end of the Tribulation proposes that Ezekiel's Gog-Magog Battle is Armageddon. While similarities exist between Gog-Magog and Armageddon, their differences far outweigh their similarities. Also, placing the battle at the end of the Tribulation violates the first prerequisite that Israel is living in peace, a condition which would be impossible under the intense persecution by the Antichrist and Israel's subsequent flight into the desert.

Placing the timing at the beginning, but not by the middle, of the Tribulation gives Israel the seven months to bury the dead invaders and the full seven years to burn the fuel if they have a reserve of it where they flee to. This view would need then to settle the peaceful condition of Israel by resting it on either the peace covenant with the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27) or a Psalm 83 subjugation of Israel's surrounding hostile neighbors.

The two views that place the timing of the Gog-Magog Battle before the Tribulation can perfectly grant the time needed to burn the weapons — the full seven years if the Jews have a reserve of it where they flee to, or at least 3 1/2 years before the Tribulation to the middle of the Tribulation before the Jews flee. But, since the Tribulation begins with the peace covenant between the Antichrist and Israel, the only viable scenario for a peaceful prerequisite would be a Psalm 83 fulfillment or to take Ezekiel's description of Israel being at peace to mean they're militarily secure, which with the world's fourth largest military they are today.

As we can see, all the views struggle over some issue.

My View

Which view one holds probably rests more on what one sees is the view that provides the most logical answers to the prerequisites. To me, timing the Gog-Magog Battle just before or at the very beginning of the Tribulation can best fulfill these prerequisites and makes the most logical sense in my mind.

This is how I see the timeline most likely playing out:

  1. The Rapture of the Church removes the Restrainer.

  2. Israel subjugates their surrounding neighbors in fulfillment of Psalm 83.

  3. The Gog-Magog Battle destroys the Russian and Muslim influence in the Middle East, makes the world aware of God's presence, and restores Israel's belief in the God of the Torah.

  4. The Antichrist conquers what's left of the Middle East and makes a peace covenant with Israel to complete the Revived Roman Empire.

  5. Israel spends the seven years of the Tribulation burning the weapons.

  6. Jesus returns at the end of the seven years to defeat His enemies at Armageddon resulting in Israel acknowledging that Jesus is God's Son.

  7. Jesus gathers the people from all over the world for the Sheep/Goat Judgment, which results in only believers entering the Millennial Kingdom.

Time will tell when the Gog-Magog Battle will truly take place. But, the players are already in place and the scene is just about all set for this epic battle to be waged in the not-too-distant future.


hartdawg said...

hi nate, for the most part i agree with you with only one very slight variation. i think MAYBE psalm 83 happens 1st, america stands by in betraying silence to isreal as isreal initially pleads for help, isreal goes it alone and with all americas, sins failing to help isreal is the final straw. at this point god is ticked at america, calls his church home then judges america first and severely perhaps thru Gog/magog or sooner then the rest of the nations during the tribulation. just a thought ludicrous as it may be.

hartdawg said...

one more thought if i may, (yes, i am opinionated and talk alot) if nates' senerio is correct, and for the most part i think it is, then i think there may be a 3.5-4yr gap between the rapture and the tribulation. since the "fig tree" generation began in 1948 and there is possibly a 4yr gap then if the rapture came today the "fig tree" generation would be 73yrs old at the time of the 2nd advent. WE ARE ON BORROWED TIME!!!

son of thunder said...

Hartdawg, I agree with your assessment that the "baby boomer" generation is the generation Jesus was talking about. That generation saw the Rebirth of Israel in 1948, the taking of Jerusalem in 1967, etc. They are the only generation that could say that.

I think that the Isaiah 17 and/or Psalm 83 battle(s) will take place before the Rapture, as there is nothing overtly supernatural about these battles (that we know of).

Then after the Rapture (yes, I've changed my mind after further study) the Russian/Iranian coalition attacks Israel at some 3.5 years before the Tribulation, giving Israel up to the mid-point to burn all that fuel. I still don't think they'll need it at that point.

son of thunder said...

As a sort of side-note: today some co-workers and myself were discussing the inevitable destruction of Israel. They think without a doubt that Israel won't be around too much longer. Ha ha. I flat out guaranteed them that they could put the survival of God's chosen people in the bank. They looked at me like I had foot growing out of my forehead. Ha ha.

Also, I could use some prayer, guys: I got laid off today, as did my pastor (we work at the same factory) and he doesn't qualify for unemployment. So we could use some prayer. Halleluia!!

jschulmansr said...


I just wanted to say Great Job! I tried posting this comment earlier but don't know if it went thru. I really enjoyed the whole series and you treated all three views both equally and fairly. Myself I would call a pre-trib, but I enjoyed seeing the other views. I am a born again messianic jew who loves the Lord! You also obviously do too! May God's Abundant Blessings Reign Supreme In Your Life Always and In All Ways! - Jeff aka jschulmansr

son of thunder said...

Let Adonai bless Isra'el.

Halleluia, amen.

Gideon said...

Son of thunder,

I'm sorry to hear that you and your pastor are casualties of this economy. I have prayed for both of you.

Nathan Jones said...

So sorry to hear about the job loss, Son of Thunder. We prayed for the Lord's provision for you and your pastor during our ministry prayer time this morning.

Nathan Jones said...

Glad the series has been a blessing to you, Jeff!

Thank you all for walking and thinking through God's Word in Ezekiel 38-39 with me and posting all your well-thought-out comments.

hartdawg said...

son of thunder
that flat out sucks! "i have never seen the rightous forsaken, nor their children begging for bread" my God shall supply all my needs phil 4:19

hartdawg said...

nathan, does your ministry have a prayer line or a special email address for prayer needs? has that ever come up? just a thought.

Nathan Jones said...

Through the Contact page on our main Lamb & Lion Ministries website. As a staff we pray every day over prayer request.

hartdawg said...

son of thunder, whats up? i hope you dont feel i put those verses up there glibly. when someone goes thru a tuff time the last thing they need are cheerleaders who take some verses "you're more than a conquerer" out of context. the simple fact is sometimes life sucks. trust me i know. what is needed is sympathy, community and prayers. it is with that spirit that i put those verses up there. if you have those than you are ahead of the game.

son of thunder said...

Thanks for all the prayers, guys. I am absolutely moved.

To tell the truth, I'm not worried. My pastor has been giving messages of faith for several weeks, and he believes it's time to put up or shut up (so I blame him, Haha).

And it really has nothing to do with the economy, although that plays a part. The people who run the facility where I work ticked off a MAJOR customer with some terrible managerial decisions (so maybe we should all pray for them, too).

And there's no worries, hartdawg, I appreciate it. I've been preparing (we could all see it coming) by reading Hal Lindsey's "Faith for Earth's Final Hour" (a great book, by the way) and David Jeremiah's book "Slaying the Giant's in Your Life" along-side the Book.

If God can take care of 3 million Hebrews and all their animals in the desert for 40 years, I think He can handle this.

son of thunder said...

Also, today is the Jewish New Year!

Leshanah tovah! (To a good year!).

hartdawg said...

i never really liked hal lindseys books, they seem too dated. he really needs to revise them again. he is a great commentater however. from what little i read from david jeremiah he is tops.

son of thunder said...

"Faith for Earth's Final Hour" isn't a prophecy book, believe it or not. It's actually a revised version of "Combat Faith," which shows how God protects and provides for His people.

It explains why God allows trials as faith-building exercises. Much of the book deals with Moses, Moses' mom and dad, David, and the wilderness wanderings.

hartdawg said...

hmm i'll have to check that book out.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with this timetable. It is definitely the most plausible and true to Scripture and the conclusion I have come to over the years as well. We do know that the Church will not suffer the "trial that will come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth." Rev. 3:10 - although we may go through some rough times.


Ann said...

The thing I don't understand about this timeline is if Isreal believes that they were miraculously saved by God why would they feel the need to sighn a peace treaty with the anti-christ/

Nathan Jones said...

Excellent and insightful observation, Ann! In the past I thought Israel needed the peace treaty, but after reading Bill Salus' book Isralesting, I came to agree with Bill that it was the Antichrist needing the peace treaty to last the 7 years against Israel and God.

Nathan Jones said...

Sorry, Bill, I should have typed Isralestine. Isralesting would be a good title for the sequel. ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe Isaiah 57 is a pre trib rapture CHAPTER and is supported by the surrounding chapters as well. To keep it brief, it seems ch. 54 points to Jesus, ch. 55 to seek God while he may be found, ch. 56 - watchmen are all blind and salvation is coming soon, ch. 57 - devout are taken away from calamity AND NO ONE UNDERSTANDS, 12 -13) ends the rebuking with an exclamation point (in my transalation) then as if returning back to the righteous says a breath will take them away, then continues with more curses for the wicked, Ch. 58 & 59 continue pleading with the people to return to God (as in tribulation) because Jesus will return in vengeance. Bible commentaries say I am wrong and that it is only referring to the DEAD, but I cannot agree. PLease help me with your thoughts, Thank you

Anonymous said...

To my insight the GM Battle will take place about 3 1/2 years PRIOR
to the Trib so that Isreal has until the Mid-Trib to burn their enemies' weapons.

Because Isreal will not worship AC, they will have to flee and see God's provision (Rev.12,6).

Before Ez.38 can be fulfilled,
the REGATHERING FROM THE WEST will have to take place as prophesied in Hosea 11,10f.

The US might be referred to in Ez.38 as the indifferent "lion cubs" and "the merchants of Tarshish".

Anonymous said...

The ONLY place on the whole planet that has Statues, Plaques, Geographical locations and a annual parade with floats honoring Gog and Magog is London England. They have a plaque right in the middle of the financial district honoring them