The Bible describes nine separate end time wars. We have looked at the first two of these conflicts — the War of Extermination based on Psalm 83 and the First War of Gog-Magog based on Ezekiel 38-39. The next two end time wars we addressed in the sequence definitely take place in the Tribulation — the Conventional and the Nuclear Wars of the Tribulation.
The fifth end time war takes place in the heavens, while the sixth is waged on Earth by the Antichrist against the Jews and the Tribulation believers in Jesus Christ.
5) The War in the Heavens — Revelation 12
The next end time war is totally different in nature from all the rest. It is a supernatural one that will occur in the heavens in the middle of the Tribulation. It is most likely prompted by an attempt of Satan to once again take the throne of God.
Satan and his angels are opposed in this war by Michael and his angels. Michael is an archangel who is pictured in the Hebrew Scriptures as the commander-in-chief of the armies of God (Daniel 10:13, 21 and 12:1). Michael and his angels prevail in this war, and Satan is cast down to earth. His access to God's throne is cut off (Revelation 12:9-10).
When this happens, Satan realizes that his time is short because he knows Bible prophecy (Revelation 12:12). In his rage, Satan decides to destroy the Jewish people, and this decision leads to the next war.
6) The War Against the Jews and the Saints — Revelation 12
Satan hates the Jews with a passion for several reasons:
- They are the Chosen People of God.
- God used them to provide the Scriptures to the world.
- It was through them that the Messiah came.
- God has promised that He will bring a great remnant of them to faith in His Son at the end of the Tribulation.
There is going to be another holocaust during the latter half of the Tribulation. When Satan is cast down to earth, he will possess the Antichrist (Revelation 13:2) and inspire him to annihilate all the Jews. This is the reason that Jesus referred to the last half of the Tribulation as "the great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) — not because this half will be worse than the first half, but because the wrath of Satan will be focused on the Jews.
Some of the Jews of Israel will flee to a place in the "wilderness" where they will be supernaturally protected by God (Revelation 12:13-14). Many believe this hiding place will be the ancient city of Petra, located inside a box canyon in modern Jordan. There is good reason for this assumption because Daniel 11:41 says the Antichrist will be prevented from conquering Jordan when it is part of an end time rebellion.
But Zechariah 13:8 indicates that two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed by the Antichrist during this time, and Revelation 12:17 says the Antichrist will also war against the "offspring" of Israel — namely, those "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." I believe this is a reference to all those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the Tribulation, both Jews and Gentiles.
It is no wonder that Revelation 7:9-14 pictures a great multitude of martyrs in Heaven, so great that it cannot be counted. They are identified as "the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).
So the Antichrist will be very successful in his war against the Jews and the Saints, but he will fail in his ultimate goal of annihilating all the Jews. For we are told repeatedly throughout the Scriptures that a great remnant of the Jews will live to the end of the Tribulation at which time they will receive Yeshua as their Messiah. (See: Isaiah 10:20-23; Zechariah 12:10; Romans 9:27-28; and Romans 11:25-26.)
In the fifth installment of this "End Time Wars" series, we will look at the seventh and eighth wars in the end times sequence — both the Middle East Campaign of the Antichrist and we'll finally address the Battle of Armageddon.