Remember how Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”? (Matt. 4:4) It is so easy for us to miss words and phrases in Scripture, and sometimes little words and phrases can make a big difference.
Having said that, I would also have to point out that God does not contradict Himself, and any true statement of God can stand alone. So in the past the Lord led me to some startling discoveries about the End Times, but now He is showing me some things I missed. Not that what I had found was wrong, but He is continuing to show more of what He put in His word thousands of years ago.
There is a mountain of evidence that places the Gog/Magog war during the closing days of the Church-Age, much of which I have already written about. This week, however, a small phrase lept out at me, which definitively erases any doubt about the place of this war, in relation to the Tribulation and the rapture.
There are depths to Scripture, that keep on growing deeper, and deeper. Even after reading a passage dozens of times, we can still be surprised by the depths we find in the Word of God.
Previously, I had noted that Zephaniah 2:1-2 definitely places the Gog/Magog war to a time before the Tribulation. Compare these passages;
“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.”
So we see here that Israel will be gathered together BEFORE the Tribulation period. It is the whole nation that will be gathered, and not merely a part of it.
Now compare that with Ezekiel 39:25 and remember that this verse takes place AFTER the Gog/Magog war, where the Russo/Iranian coalition makes their surprise attack on Israel.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
So, by comparing these two passages it is rather simple to see that the Gog/Magog war will occur before the Tribulation.
Now look at what it says just three verses later;
Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
So, the time immediately following the Gog/Magog war is is the point where there will be no more children of Israel scattered among the heathen nations. No more in the USA. No more in Canada, or Russia. No more in India, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. At this point all the Jews, and other Israelites, will be living in Israel, and NOW the Tribulation can start!
Many prophecy scholars tell us that nothing needs to occur before the rapture of the Church-age believers, but they are wrong; Not only the Psalm 83 war, but also the Gog/Magog war, must occur first, and these two wars are separate events!
Such “scholars” are either mistaken, or very sloppy in their exegesis! Either way, they are leading millions of Christians into error! To be fair, dispensationalists are closer to the truth than Amillennialists, Post-millennialists, and Preterists, but it really looks like they are content with part of the story and have stopped searching the Scriptures!
It’s almost as if they said “John Darby found something that is really true, so now we don’t need to look for anything else in Scripture”. The fact is that Darby did find things that are true, but he didn’t find everything.
There is another relevant passage, we need to look at;
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:12-13
This passage concerns the same event as Ezekiel 38-39; the beating off of Israel’s enemies from the Euphrates to the Nile. And it is the Lord Himself who beats off these enemies. This will not be the case at the end of the Psalm 83 war, where Israel will defeat the Arabs by themselves. This time they can’t win alone, but God will reveal His hand and they will be victorious over the massive coalition which attacks from Britain, to Russia, and all the way south to Iran and Turkey.
Just because God saves them from this invasion, it does not necessarily follow that He approves of their theology, however. They will take it as such, but that is a subject for another day.
The trumpet here is the same trumpet Paul referred to in I Corinthians 15:52;
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
This trumpet does double-duty. This trumpet signals the end of the Church-Age, and at the same time, the beginning of the final seven years of the age of Israel.
Think about it; Paul was not aware of the trumpet judgments of the book of Revelation. He was dead for some 20 years before John wrote that book, and what John wrote was a new revelation, which Jesus had reserved for him. Paul had no knowledge of those trumpets, but he did have knowledge of the Old Testament trumpets.
It was this Great Trumpet to which Paul was referring, and now we have the timing of the Gog/Magog war, and the rapture of the believers.
The biggest problem with this war is that many professing Christians will believe that they have been witness to Armageddon, when in fact, as we have just seen, this event is actually a Church-Age event. In fact many of these false Christians will be contributing to the return of Israel. They will tell them that “it is safe to return now because the Day of the Lord is over”!
The verifiable fact that this was a true miracle of God will also encourage them to return. This is the “hiss” which the Lord makes which calls the children of Israel home, and remember; a “hiss” is not a friendly sound.
I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. Zechariah 10:8
Please try to remember that the word “redeemed” does not necessarily mean “saved” but “purchased”. God purchased the whole world when He died on the cross, but only those who exercise faith in Him and His sacrifice are actually saved. Nevertheless the rest of humanity is the property of Jesus Christ, to do with what He pleases.
The last verse of Ezekiel 39 fits in exactly with what I am saying;
Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
God never violates human free will. He will pour out His spirit on this nation, but this does not mean He will save every last one of them, but only that now He will resume working with them as He did before the cross. He will make a special effort with this nation as opposed to when He abandoned them during the Church-Age. He will make a special effort with every Israelite, to win them to Jesus, but some of them will chose the Antichrist.
Some of them will receive Him, but many will not. The bible does not tell us how many of them will receive Jesus Christ, only that 1/3 of them will survive the Tribulation. It is a good bet that some of them will be so angry with God, that they will turn to the Antichrist. Others will be so angry with the Antichrist that they will pick up arms to fight him, when he sets up the abomination of desolation in the Temple, rather than turn to Jesus.
Jesus commanded Israel to flee, when they see the abomination of desolation (Matt. 25:15, Mark 13:14), and the 1/3 of the nation who have become believers will flee, but those who remember the Holocaust and say “Never Again”, will stay and fight. Those who trusted the Antichrist to keep his agreement will be incensed when he breaks it. Those who remember that they waited for 2,000 years to rebuild their temple will be predisposed to pick-up arms to fight the Beast, and this conflict will be so ferocious that this will trigger Armageddon!
And so the words of Paul will be fulfilled;
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. I Thessalonians 5:3