By Nathan Jones
In an attempt to pinpoint the exact timeframe for the occurrence of Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38 and 39 concerning the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel, we looked at the pros and cons of arguments made in relation to before the 7-year Tribulation, during the Tribulation, and during the Millennium. Each argument has its valid points and certain weaknesses, though some have more weaknesses than others.
After studying the prophetic texts, the various timing arguments, and looking at the overall big picture of Bible prophecy, I'll lay out when I think the Gog-Magog Battle will occur in relation to the order of upcoming prophetic events.
- Rapture of the Church (Jn. 14:1-14; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18)
- Israel subjugates their surrounding neighbors (Ps. 83/Isa. 17)
- The Gog-Magog Battle (Ezek. 38-39)
- Tribulation, ending with Armageddon (Rev. 6-19)
- Sheep/Goat Judgment (Matt. 25:31-46)
- Millennial Kingdom, ending with the 2nd Gog-Magog Battle (Rev. 20:1-10)
- Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15)
- Eternity (Rev. 21-22)
I believe that the first thing we will witness (and participate in) is the Rapture of the Church. The signs of the time point to the fact that Jesus is returning very, very soon. In the above timing list, this could be number two or three (and some would argue four), but due to the direct supernatural and wrathful nature of the Gog-Magog Battle and Tribulation, they do not fit within the behavior of the Church Age.
The second event would be Israel subjugating their surrounding hostile neighbors in a Psalm 83/Isaiah 17 scenario. The surrounding nations — Egypt, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria — are not players in attacking Israel during the Gog-Magog invasion, and so must be dealt with beforehand. Israel this very day must do something about all those missiles pointing at them from Lebanon and Syria, and so the prophetic fulfillment of this scenario could very well be fulfilled even by the next war that Israel wages.
Next, when Israel is feeling secure over their hostile neighbors and holds the world at bay with their wealth and trade, the Gog-Magog Battle will happen. Russia, Iran, Turkey and its allies will attack Israel in great hordes to plunder Israel, but will be supernaturally defeated by God Himself. In reacting personally like this, God shows the world in no uncertain terms that He is intimately involved in human affairs and is defending Israel.
The Antichrist will make a peace covenant as Daniel 9:27 foretells, and the horrific Tribulation will begin, ending with the battle to end all battles — Armageddon.
Jesus will then use 75 days after His Second Coming and victory at Armageddon to judge those that survived the Tribulation, called the Sheep-Goat Judgment. Satan will be cast into a pit, the Antichrist and False Prophet and most likely the demons will be sent to Hell, and the unbelievers to Torments in Hades. Surviving believers will be the sheep, living on in their earthly bodies.
Next, saved humanity will enter into a thousand years of Jesus ruling and reigning in peace and righteousness right here on Earth. The Millennial Kingdom will end with Satan being released and leading those born who never accepted Jesus against Him. Jesus easily wipes the Second Gog-Magog Battle invaders out.
After the Millennial Kingdom, God orders the final Great White Throne Judgment. The unbelieving dead are resurrected, and finding their works are not good enough to get them into Heaven, they will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire.
Believers move on into the eternal state and a rejuvenated Earth with its capital city — the New Jerusalem. What life is like during the eternal state and if there are any new ages, God has yet to reveal. An eternity is a long time, and God loves to create, so it won't be a life of dull and never-ending repetition.
And, that is the order in which it will all come down, as I see it.
We can learn a lot about God through the Gog-Magog story. In the last part of this "Impending Invasion of Israel" series I'll list twelve attributes of God that my study of Ezekiel 38-39 has yielded.