By Nathan Jones
How does the Gog and Magog War set the stage for the Tribulation?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our ongoing study of the Gog-Magog War found in Ezekiel 38-39.
That the World May Know
Vic Batista: Ezekiel 39:6 reads, "And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. And they shall know that I am the Lord." I love that verse! This is how the Lord responds to the invasion?
Nathan Jones: As Russia takes this incredibly large army, a coalition of many nations who are all bent on plundering and destroying Israel, they finally make it to Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces are one of the best armies in the world, but even it cannot stand up against the sheer numbers and power of this huge section of the world coming against them. And so, Israel is facing pretty much its demise.
Then God steps into the scene, not physically mind you, but His power can be felt. God personally destroys the armies with the typical Old Testament hailstone and fire and brimstone. The earth opens up from earthquakes and devours the invaders. Their armies panic and turn on each other, and they actually start killing one another. All this happens on the mountains of Israel.
Not only does God destroy those armies, but He then sends fire to rain down back on those nations that have attacked. Whatever that fire is, I don't know. If it's God's fire, or a reversal of missiles, or some kind of weapon or whatnot, we're not told. What we do know is that God obliterates most of Russia, Iran, Turkey and those other nations. He almost completely destroys them.
The result of this supernatural victory, and the purpose for why God is doing all this personally, is that the whole world shall know that, "I am the Lord."
A Change in Focus
Vic Batista: That is really the whole idea behind the Bible. Sometimes people don't understand why certain events happen, but God is trying to get people's attention. It seems today that everyone is so consumed with themselves and the minor events going on around them that they are not paying much mind to God, including the Jewish people, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, it's a sad state that we spend so much time focused on ourselves. There's really a satanic purpose in this, to get us sidetracked from what is really important in life. There are certainly things to worry about, of course. We have to pay bills, we eat, we live, our kids go to school, and we worry about our local politics. These are just some of the many different things that we have to deal with.
But, we need to understand that we are all part of a bigger picture. It's a picture where we are components of God's bigger plan. As we see these alliances of nations come together already in this day and age, we can know that the Lord has something really big coming up, and we need to be prepared for that.
Setting the Stage
Vic Batista: Absolutely! Ezekiel 39:7 really sums up what you just said. Verse 7 reads, "So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel." Any more thoughts on that?
Nathan Jones: That's the purpose for why God is instigating all of this. Basically God is marching out and declaring, "World, I exist! I'm in charge. Don't mess with my people Israel."
Because of God's refocus back on Israel, I believe that the Gog and Magog War is a post-Rapture event. In other words, God's focus is now off of the Church. It's been on the Church for the last 2,000 years, but now God's refocusing on Israel. That God comes back in such a dramatic fashion, the whole world will know God is real.
The Jewish people in Israel today are supposedly 85% Secular Humanists. They don't give a thought about God. But, they will, for the whole nation Ezekiel says will give their hearts and minds over to God, though not necessarily to His Son, Jesus Christ, yet. That will happen at the end of the Tribulation. So, that's the purpose, that the world will know there is a God.
The Gog and Magog Wars perfectly sets up the Tribulation scenario, because we know that the Antichrist comes on the scene and makes a peace treaty with Israel. People historically have thought that treaty was to provide Israel peace, but I think it's made to protect the world from God. The Antichrist will be asking for a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, now that Israel will have become a super-state nation. The world will know that God is protecting Israel and will be afraid to touch her.
Another result of this war is that Islam will finally have been taken out of the picture. Russia has taken out of the picture. As a result, the whole geo-political schema of the world will be changed. It also grants the European Union the opportunity to rise to power, like Daniel 9 said would happen, for the Antichrist will rise out of Europe.
We wonder why the West is quiet during this war. It could be the Rapture of the Church will have caused a lot of problems for the West and they can't get involved, and maybe too Asia by this point.
The world will change dramatically because of this war. The purpose of the war will be known to the world — that the nations may know that God is in charge.
In the sixteenth segment of our study of the Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39, Vic and I will look at how this war helps indicate the potential timing of the Rapture.