Eschatology Studies (27)

It is written:

“And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: “Assemble yourselves and come; Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you, A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, That you may eat flesh and drink blood. 18  You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, Drink the blood of the princes of the earth, Of rams and lambs, Of goats and bulls, All of them fatlings of Bashan. 19  You shall eat fat till you are full, And drink blood till you are drunk, At My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you. 20  You shall be filled at My table With horses and riders, With mighty men And with all the men of war,” says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 39:17-20)

In our last study, we learned that there are several “clues” in Ezekiel 38-39 which demonstrate that the Magog War will occur during the Christian Age. Those who claim that it happened prior to the birth of Christ are mistaken.

In this study, we will notice evidence which demonstrates that the Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39 will not occur till near the end of the Christian Age, around the time of the Second Coming of Christ.

The first evidence of this is from the aforementioned text in Ezekiel 39:17-20. This passage is directly quoted by the Apostle John and applied to the time of the Second Coming of Christ.

Revelation 19:17-18-Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18  that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

Speaking of the similarities between these passages, Gilbert has noted:

“While it’s my belief that the similarities between the gruesome ritual feasts prophesied by Ezekiel and John are evidence enough to show that the Gog-Magog war is the same conflict as Armageddon, and thus Gog is the Antichrist, it’s not the only clue. Since we’re already in this far, let’s put all of our cards on the table. First, both battles end with a massive earthquake:[ 319] But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. (Ezekiel 38: 18–20, ESV; emphasis added) The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. (Revelation 16: 17–19, ESV; emphasis added) Our friend Joel Richardson points out in his book Mideast Beast that Ezekiel was telling us God Himself will be present at the Gog-Magog conflict.[ 320] In Ezekiel 38: 19 above, the Hebrew word translated “presence” is panim. Elsewhere in the Bible, notably in the priestly blessing recorded in Numbers 6: 23–27, panim literally means “face.” Trust me—the one time you do not want the Lord to lift up His panim upon you is when He’s leading the army you’re about to attack. This is what the enemy soldiers at Armageddon will see: Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19: 11–16, ESV) It’s safe to say that Yahweh, in the form of His Messiah, will be present at Armageddon, just as Ezekiel prophesied about the war against Gog. In the wake of the battle, Ezekiel writes that the world will recognize the greatness and holiness of Yahweh.[ 321] It’s hard to see that happening if the Gog-Magog war is just a warm-up for all the kings of the earth assembling for the battle of Armageddon. The only way Ezekiel’s prophecy makes sense is if that’s the last battle, after which Gog, the Antichrist, is defeated and dumped into the pit for a thousand years (Revelation 20: 2).” (Derek P. Gilbert, Last Clash of the Titans: The Second Coming Of Hercules, Leviathan, and the Prophesied War Between Jesus Christ And The Gods Of Antiquity, 3548-3587 (Kindle Edition); Crane, MO; Defender Publishing)

The Apostle John thus shows us that the Magog War occurs at the end of time. This is especially interesting when we remember that the Book of Revelation is a series of seven visions which John has, each beginning with the First Coming of Jesus and ending with the Second Coming (after which the next vision resets, telling the same basic Message from a different vantage point).

With that in mind, John describes for us a battle which takes place before the Second Coming, involving Magog:

Revelation 20:7-8-Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison. 8  and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

The “thousand years”is a symbolic reference to the Christian Age (as the same pattern throughout Revelation makes clear). Near the end of the Christian Age, this Magog War will commence.

Second, another powerful indicator that the Magog War occurs near the end of the Christian Age deals with the prophecies made in this text of Scripture regarding the return of the Jewish people to their land.

While it is certainly the case that the Jews began returning to the land of Canaan in 606, 597, and 586 B.C. (Under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah), it is also true that the Prophets looked further ahead and saw the return of the Jewish people to the land of Canaan in 1948 A.D.

For example, Ezekiel wrote:

Ezekiel 4:4-6-“Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5  For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6  And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

Here, God prophesies that the people of Israel would be in captivity for 430 years. Since the seventy years captivity in Babylon ended in 536 B.Cs (as Jeremiah the Prophet also prophesied-Jeremiah 29:10), that leaves an additional 360 years of captivity (430-70=360).

The question arises, what happened to those 360 years of captivity?

The answer lies in the Writings of Moses:

Leviticus 26:18, 21, 23-24-And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins…. ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins…. ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

God declared that if the people of Israel ever went into capacity and there refused to repent, He would multiply their captivity by a factor of seven. When the Jewish people were told to return to their land in 536 B.C., the large majority of them refused to return. In other words, they refused to repent!

So, when we take this remaining 360 yers and multiply it by a factor of seven, we learn the following:

“The prophet Ezekiel (590 B.C.) was aware of Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Jews would be able to return to their land from Babylon after seventy years (in 536 B.C.). However, God gave Ezekiel a new revelation that looked much further into the future, revealing how long it would be until the Jews would finally reestablish their nation in the last days. The prediction is found in Ezekiel 4: 3–6…Since the majority of the Jews refused to repent after the Babylonian captivity ended, the period of 360 years of further punishment declared by Ezekiel 4: 3–6 was to be multiplied by seven. This meant that the Jews would remain without an independent nation for another 2,520 biblical years, starting from 536 B.C. The period of punishment was to last 2,520 biblical years (of 360 days each), rather than 2,520 calendar years (of 365.25 days)….Ezekiel’s prophecy declared that the end of Israel’s punishment and her final restoration to the Promised Land would be accomplished in 2,520 biblical years of 360 days each, or 907,200 days. To convert this into our calendar year of 365.25 days we simply divide 907,200 days by 365.25 days, or 2,483.8 of our modern calendar years. So Israel’s worldwide captivity would end precisely 2,483.8 calendar years after the end of the Babylonian captivity (the spring of 536 B.C.). In these calculations we must keep in mind that the year 1 B.C. was immediately followed by the year A.D. 1. There was no year zero….The Babylonian captivity ended in the spring of 536 B.C., or 536.4 B.C. Subtract 536.4 from the duration of Israel’s captivity (see Ezekiel 4: 3–6, as discussed above), which is 2,483.8 calendar years. The result is A.D. 1947.4. Now adjust for the fact there was no year zero between 1 B.C. and A.D. 1, so the end of Israel’s captivity would occur, on our modern calendar, in the year 1948.4. On the afternoon of May 14, 1948, the Jews proclaimed the independence of the reborn State of Israel. As an old rabbi blew on the shofar, a ram’s horn, the Jewish people celebrated the end of their worldwide dispersion and captivity. At midnight, as May 15, 1948, began, Israel officially became an independent nation. This great day marked the first time since the days of Solomon that a united Israel took its place as a sovereign, independent state among the nations of the world. This was the fulfillment of prophecy of such remarkable precision that one is forced to marvel at the power of God to control all of humanity’s plans and their outcomes. God remains in full control of the events of humanity and the world. The universe is unfolding precisely as our Lord ordained millenniums ago.“ (Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature Of God: Conclusive Proof That Every Teaching, Every Command, Every Promise In The Bible Is True, 161-164 (Kindle Edition); WaterBrook Press @Books)

Another author has likewise calculated:

“360 x 7 =  2,520 prophetic years; 2,520 x 360 = 907,220 days 907,220 days on the modern calendar is 2,483 yrs & 285 days 2,483 yrs x 365.25 = 906915; 907200 – 906915 = 285 days August 3, 537 BC + 2,483 yrs = August 3, AD 1946 Add 1 year (no 0 Year) = AD 1947; Add 285 days = May 14, AD 1948” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Prophecies Revealed, 206 (Kindle Edition))

Isaiah the Prophet also foretold this return of the Jewish people to their land:

Isaiah 11:10-11-“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.” 11  It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.

The Prophet described the timeframe of when this return of the Jewish people would occur: during the time that the Root of Jesse wold stand as a banner for His people, and when the Gentiles would seek Him. The phrase “Root of Jesse” is a Jewish expression for the Messiah (i.e., Jesus Christ). Isaiah also specifies that these events would take place when the Gentiles would seek the Messiah (which we see happening in Acts 10, with the conversion of Cornelius and his household). We are told therefore that the Jews would return to their land during the Christian Age.

We see then throughout the references in Ezekiel to the Jews returning to their land that it is a a likely the Magog War would occur sometime after 1948 A.D.

Third, another powerful evidence that the Magog War would occur near the end of the Christian Age is seen in the identification of this person in Ezekiel known as “Gog.”

While we will examine the identity of this person in more detail in a future lesson, please notice here that the Jewish people have for centuries identified this person as the being Christian refer to as “the Antichrist.”

“First mentioned in Ezekiel 38–39, Gog is the “Chief Prince” of Magog. He will be involved in the eschatological wars with Israel at the end of time. He will be defeated by God, the divine warrior and defender of Israel, and his corpse buried in the Land of Israel….Mythically, in rabbinic writings, Gog and Magog are understood to be synonyms and are linked to the traumatic events around the coming of the Messiah (Sanh. 97a–b). Later sources identify the king of Gog as Armilus, a monstrous offspring of Satan. Eventually the two words become the archetypal term for a war of evil against God, and serve as the closest Jewish analogy to the Christian notion of Armageddon (A.Z. 3b; PdRK 79; Ed. 2: 10; Shab. 118a; S of S R. 8: 4).” (Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis, The Encyclopedia Of Jewish Myth, Magic, & Mysticism, 179-180 (Kindle Edition); Woodbury, Minnesota; Llewellyn Publications)

These factors powerfully establish that the Magog War will occur at the very end of the Christian Age before the Second Coming of Christ.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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