The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

war


TEXT: Ezekiel 38:1-13

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

Today, we are moving on to the next major phase of God’s dealings with the Gentiles in the end times. So far, we have looked at:

1. The Times of the Nations, in which we explored the present state of affairs in the world, the question of “Why do the heathen rage?”, and the current state of relations between Jews and Gentiles.

2. The Antichrist Spirit in the World Today, in which we dealt with Satan’s influence not only in the world, but in the church and how he is spreading the seeds that will lead to the rise of the antichrist in the end times.

3. The Antichrist Religion of the End Times, in which we looked at Revelation’s depiction of “Mystery Babylon” which will lead the world into false religion and false luxury during the Tribulation and will ultimately be destroyed.

Now we move into the geopolitical side of the events concerning the Gentile nations in the end times — particularly the wars of the nations. The Bible speaks of three major military conflicts surrounding the Tribulation period. We are going to begin looking at the first of these conflicts — an attack on Israel from enemies to her north. Some Bible scholars believe this attack will take place at the beginning of the Tribulation period; others say it will take place near the middle of the Tribulation period. Regarding the date of this battle, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state: “It seems best to place Ezekiel’s battle of Gog and Magog in the Tribulation period. Other internal markers indicate that it should be placed in the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period. The attack will come when Israel is at peace. When Israel’s covenant with the Antichrist is in effect at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week, she will be at peace. The battle will possibly occur just before the midpoint of the seven- year period.”

Whatever the case, the only way to understand this war is to understand who will be fighting in it. And this passage in Ezekiel is replete with proper names of nations that we are not familiar with. Before we get into that, however, allow me to provide some perspective on this passage from Dr. John MacArthur. He said:

In the last phase of Gentile world government, there is going to be a revival of the Roman empire. In Daniel’s image, the final phase of the great image was the legs and the feet of iron and clay being mixed together. They were symbolic of Rome. The ten toes, the ten kings, and the ten horns all signify a ten nation confederacy. There will be one government governing all of Europe.

However, during the tribulation, a great power is going to sweep over and encompass the holy land. In fact, the great world leader who runs the revived Roman Empire, is going to make a covenant with Israel. He’ll say, “I’ll protect you and I’ll take care of you.” Under his leadership, he brings a false world peace. However, it only lasts for three and a half years — for half of the tribulation.

[The antichrist’s] power is going to be challenged. From that time on, all hell breaks loose. And it stays that way until Jesus returns. From that moment on, the big war machines begin to roll. The next thing you know, the north comes down and you’ve got world war in the land of Israel.

God gives Ezekiel a prophecy regarding his end-time attack on the nation of Israel. He says, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Now these nations or people groups are not mentioned frequently in Scripture. They are not familiar to us like the Philistines or the Egyptians. On top of that, Ezekiel is using the terms of his day to relate to geopolitical realities that have yet to come about.

So, who are these nations and people whom Ezekiel is addressing in this prophecy?

Who is Gog? Gog is a proper name mentioned only once outside of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, it is mentioned only in the book of Revelation. Scholars believe it is a proper name or title referring to a person. This “Gog” is the “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal”; his land or home country is called “Magog.” In fact, Magog means “land of Gog.” It is the mountainous region between Cappadocia in Turkey and the northwestern region of present day Iran. This area is, of course, north of Israel.

Next, Ezekiel calls out the names “Meshech and Tubal.” These have popularly been identified as the Russian cities, Moscow and Tobolsk. This perspective is further bolstered by the Hebrew word, “Ro’sh”, which is translated as “chief” in the King James Version but is used as a proper name Rosh in other translations. Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck caution against the identification of these ancient names with modern-day Russia simply because they sound similar. However, they state that “three reasons suggest including the Soviet Union within Ezekiel’s prophecy: (1) Some of the countries named by Ezekiel were located in what is now Russia. (2) The armies are said to come “from the far north”. This probably includes the land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas, now part of the Soviet Union. (3) Ezekiel spoke of a coalition of several nations, many of whom are today aligned with or under the influence of the Soviet Union. These include Iran (which the Bible calls “Persia”), Sudan and northern Ethiopia, Libya, and Turkey. All these nations, possibly led by the Soviet Union, will unite to attack Israel.” Mark Hitchcock said, “Near the end of the Tribulation, Russia and her allies will descend on the nation of Israel.”

As we look at the headlines today, we can readily see how these events are shaping up. In response to the recent events in the Middle East, Joel C. Rosenburg wrote, “The stunning move by Russia and Iran to intensify their military alliance and to actually engage in combat operations in Syria, not far from the borders of Israel, has prompted renewed interest in these ancient prophecies [regarding Gog and Magog].” Libya has become overrun by Islamic State jihadists and other Muslim extremist groups. Sudan is allied with Iran, and an Iranian warship docked in a Sudanese port a few months ago. Rosenburg also stated that the current Turkish president is positioning his country “as an enemy of Israel and an ally of Putin.”

Whatever form this anti-Israel strike force takes, God makes plain what His opinion of it is. He says in verse 2, “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

Israel, today, is bristling with arms and weaponry. They are surrounded by hostile neighbors who continually make clear their hatred for the Jewish state and their desire to see her destroyed. However, in the end times the nation of Israel will be vulnerable after its agreement with the false messiah, the antichrist. Sensing Israel’s weakness, fueled by hatred, and perhaps inflamed with jealousy over the blessings bestowed on Israel, this vast northern confederacy will descend on the Jewish state intent on wiping her out once and for all. However, as He always has, God will step in and defend His people. He will use the attack from the north to demonstrate His power over the affairs of this world. Dark days will still be ahead for the Israelites in the end times, but their miraculous deliverance will serve to reassure them that there is still a God in Heaven who has not forsaken His promises to His chosen people.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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