By Nathan Jones
The million dollar question for you and me is, "Are we going to live through the events of Ezekiel 38-39?" Will we suffer from the fallout of a world turned upside down, or is this event not meant for the Church?
Let us go to the Bible in search for the answers. Five general timing clues the Bible gives us when taken together will reveal a clearer picture of when this world-altering battle will occur.
Clue 1) "Latter Years" and "Last Days"
The first general timing clue is Ezekiel's use of the terms "latter years" (Ezek 38:8) and "last days" (Ezek. 38:16). The key verse to understanding what these terms mean is Deuteronomy 4:30 which reads, "When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him." "Distress" is also translated as "Tribulation." It is the Tribulation of Daniel's 70th week that brings the Jewish people as a nation back into the belief in God, and later to accept Yeshua as their Messiah. The Tribulation leading up to the Millennial reign of Christ is what the Old Testament prophets consistently and repeatedly taught about.
Conclusion: We now know based on these key phrases that the Gog-Magog Battle has to happen somewhere around or in the Tribulation and in relation to the Millennial Kingdom — the 1,000 year reign of Christ. Neither of these have occurred, so we know that Ezekiel 38-39 is future.
Clue 2) Historical Absence
The second general timing clue is that history has never recorded the Gog-Magog Battle as ever having happened. Never in the history of the Middle East have the nations described in the Gog-Magog coalition been united in an attack against Israel. In no time has such a specific group of nations been destroyed by inclement weather. And, in no time in history has Israel named a valley Hamon Gog (Ezek. 39:11). No adjoining town called Hamonah has existed where the Jews buried invaders.
Conclusion: History just does not show that the Gog-Magog Battle has ever happened, which only leaves a future timing for it to occur.
Clue 3) Israel a Nation Once More
The third general timing clue is given in Ezekiel 36 and 37 — the regathering of the Jewish people back into their homeland "from all the countries" of the world (Ezek. 36:24). Like the vision of dry bones reanimated into a living person that Ezekiel witnessed, Israel did indeed become a nation once again on May 14, 1948, after nearly 1900 years since the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D and scattered the Jewish people across the globe. After all these centuries, this prophecy has been fulfilled in our modern generation.
Conclusion: Because this prophecy has been fulfilled and Israel is a nation once more, that vital piece is in place allowing for the prophecy concerning the Gog-Magog Battle to commence.
Clue 4) — Uniting the Nations
The fourth general timing clue involves the developments nationally that have to occur to make the nations of the coalition unite in an effort to invade Israel. Two factors have made this coalition possible today. The first is the religion of Islam uniting these nations in satanic hatred of the Jewish people. The second is the economic bounty that Israel now has with its revitalized land and newly discovered gas and oil deposits. Today, the nations of the coalition are united in the single purpose of destroying Israel and plundering its wealth.
Conclusion: The daily news is resplendent with stories in support that this general timing clue has been fulfilled in just the last few years, allowing for the prophecy concerning the Gog-Magog Battle to commence.
Clue 5) Israel Peaceful and Unsuspecting
The fifth general timing clue is given in Ezekiel 38:11 which reads, "You will say, 'I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people — all of them living without walls and without gates and bars.'"
This verse requires that Israel must be living without walls, peacefully and unsuspecting of an attack. Israel today lives in constant fear of attack and is always prepared for an invasion by the 60-plus million hostile Muslims surrounding their borders.
Conclusion: Because of this most unfriendly climate and the constant tension on the borders, this part of the prophecy cannot have yet been fulfilled and so is future.
Final Analysis: The Gog-Magog Battle is certainly future, but not the next invasion of Israel. Something has to cause the violent bordering nations of Egypt, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon to not become members of the Gog-Magog coalition. For them to sit out acting on their hatred of Israel and to pass up on seizing such an opportunity as Gog presents is an utter improbability.
Another prophecy has to happen first for Israel to become a "peaceful and unsuspecting people." The most likely prophecy that would lie before the Gog-Magog invasion is a Psalm 83 scenario where Israel has subjugated their bordering neighbors, or a nuclear deterrent like Isaiah 17 describes with the one-day destruction of Damascus, or a combination of the two.
Can we clear up the picture even more and know just when during the "latter years" Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38 and 39 will occur? In the next part of this "Impending Invasion of Israel" series we'll analyze the possibility that the Gog-Magog Battle could happen before the 7-year Tribulation.