In this series we’ve watched God’s hand at work as He determined and guided history toward the end of His choosing – all the while allowing mankind its’ free will. Individuals and nations have conspired and plotted and operated to thwart the will of God – but always without success. The Gog / Magog invasion of Israel will be a major rebellion against the proclamations and purposes of the God of the Universe. It will fail. What follows that hubristic and ill-fated rebellion is a time of revelation to the nations, as they see God’s Will come to pass, despite the plans of man.
THE FURY OF THE LORD
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes….And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”’ (Ezekiel 38:14-16, 18-23)
God is a God of history! He harnesses the purposes of men, the nations and historical forces to achieve His purposes. That confederation of Muslim nations, led by Russia or Turkey and allied with Iran, will come against God’s people. Israel will be living in peace, confident of their security, having just defeated another coalition that includes the Palestinians, Syria, Jordan, and likely Egypt. These second invaders swarm into Israel from the north, – so numerous that they are “like a cloud to cover the land”. They come confident of victory. The other world powers react with lame protest, – mere words. The invaders are acting in defiance of God. But in fact they are accomplishing God’s purposes. In Ezekiel 38:16 God reveals that “I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know me”. Two verses later God promises that this invasion will only cause His “hot anger [to] be aroused”. God is bringing His promises to fulfillment for one reason alone: “For My holy name’s sake”. (Ezek.36:22) In Ezek. 36:23, He states His purpose clearly. “I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord.”
In Ezekiel 38, quoted above we see the outlines of God’s righteous judgment. Verse 19 tells of a great earthquake in Israel, whose aftershocks may be felt around the globe. Whatever the form, God’s judgment will cause the invading armies to fight among themselves. Next, Ezekiel describes a scene of pestilence, bloodshed, flood hailstones, fire and brimstone. Some see this as referring to the affects of a nuclear attack.[i] Ezekiel 39:3 goes on. “Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrow to fall out of your right hand.” Missler and Lindsey believe this passage could just be Ezekiel’s attempt to describe missiles and launchers in ancient terms. In any case the invading forces are disarmed. The affect of God’s fury on the invaders is complete destruction. Ezekiel 39:4-5 gives the scene. “You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. You shall fall on the open field: for I have spoken,” says the Lord God.”
So the armies of Magog, (Russia or Turkey) and her allies are destroyed in the invasion. And then there is this: “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord”. (Ezekiel 39:6) The passage seems to be saying that Magog (Russia / Turkey) itself will be the subject of catastrophic attack. But to what does “the coastlands” refer? The King James translation perhaps sheds some light on the matter. “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles”. Commentators believe that the terms “isles” should be seen as continents. “Dwell carelessly”, is an interesting phrase, in that it suggests perhaps a neutral people, – unconcerned with the invasion of Israel. Remember “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions” (Ezek. 38:13)! We saw how that passage spoke of Saudi Arabia and perhaps the English speaking nations of the US, Canada and Australia, or possibly Western Europe. When the invasion comes, these may be the countries that merely protest, – anxious to maintain the false peace and their ‘careless’ lifestyle. Lindsay and Missler think that that Ezekiel may be describing an “intercontinental nuclear exchange.”[ii] Yet through this time of horrible war, God’s purposes are fulfilled. “So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel…Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord”. (Ezekiel 39:7)
The verses following in Ezekiel 39 describe an amazing scene. The language of this ancient prophecy is very technologically precise in describing what follows. In verses 9-11, Ezekiel tells how the victorious Israelis will use the now captured equipment of the invaders, as fuel for seven years. Lindsey and Missler rely on official US Government documents to point out that 7-years is the very shelf life of current soviet nuclear technology.[iii] Verse 11, goes on to tell us that the burial ground will be off-limits to travelers. Nuclear contamination, perhaps? The chapter continues, describing a seven-month long time of burial, followed by the use of what can only be seen as a professional force to deal with the radioactive material. “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it….and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, until buriers have buried it”. (Ezekiel 39: 14-15) Again, Lindsey and Missler point out that this is “remarkably consistent” with current Department of Defense procedures for dealing with nuclear contamination. [iv] Now how did God know that?
When will these things come to pass? As with all prophecy yet to be fulfilled, there is some controversy with the timing. Some scholars are of the school that holds that the Gog-Magog War will precede and set up the rule of Antichrist. Jennifer Rast of Contender Ministries, states categorically that the invasion “…will pave the way for the Antichrist’s military rule….With Islam defeated,” [in the first war against Syria], “and the church raptured”, a power vacuum would exist that would pave the way for the ascendance of the “man of sin”.[v] While Missler, Grant Jeffries and Chuck Smith, consider this theory a possibility, the common view, supported by Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth,[vi] is that these events are part of the “sequence of events which climax in” Armageddon. Though Man cannot be certain of the timing, God has declared the event. “Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. This is the day of which I have spoken”. (Ezekiel 39:8)
[i] Hal Lindsey & Chuck Missler, The Magog Factor Special Report, pg 32
[ii] Hal Lindsey & Chuck Missler, The Magog Factor Special Report, pg 33
[iii] Taken from Norman Friedman, The Russian Meltdown Continues, US Naval Institute Proceedings, April 1992, pg 124, – as quoted in Hal Lindsey & Chuck Missler, The Magog Factor Special Report, pg 34
[iv] Taken from Norman Friedman, The Russian Meltdown Continues, US Naval Institute Proceedings, April 1992, pg 124, – as quoted in Hal Lindsey & Chuck Missler, The Magog Factor Special Report, pg 35
[v] Jennifer Rast, The Coming War of Gog and Magog, an Islamic Invasion?, Contender Ministries
[vi] Notes #175 & #174, Hal Lindsey & Chuck Missler, The Magog Factor Special Report, pg 62