The Gog Magog battle looms before us. This is the battle that Ezekiel prophesied in Ez 38-39. If you read Ezekiel 36-48, it is largely chronological. Book 36 begins with the New Covenant, (Ez 36:26-28). Then it skips ahead 1900 years where in the next two chapters he describes a horrendous battle of an evil alliance attacking Israel. It is such a surprise to Israel that they are caught off guard and almost succumb. At the last moment, God steps in–
“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:22-23).
Just in case we’re not sure that all will know that it is the LORD winning the battle, He repeats His promise in verse Ez 39:6-7- “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.”
And again in Ez 39:21-22- “And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.”
The rest of Ezekiel 39 is consumed with graphic descriptions of the carnage and the cleanup. The burials will take 7 months to complete, and the fuel from downed war materiel take 7 years to burn. That is one of the major reasons scholars think the Gog-Magog battle occurs at the outset of the Tribulation, or just prior, because the Tribulation period is 7 years. There has to be seven years left in which to burn the fuel. Also, the LORD makes Himself known to the Israelites and they renew their covenant with Him. They begin clamoring for their Temple, which we know is built at some point because 3 1/2 years later the antichrist stands in the Temple and calls himself God and stops the Jews’ sacrifices.
Ezekiel goes on in books 40-48 with glorious descriptions of the Millennium Kingdom.
In this battle, Persia (Iran) is one of the lead attackers, along with Russia. America is not listed in prophecy, but the US was raised up in might and we have used that might to cause a tipping of the balance in the Muslim world through ten years of invasions. These invasions are leading to the final set-up of the players and the circumstances that will be in place when the Gog-Magog battle begins.
That said, I found it interesting that recently a top aide of Russia’s President Putin said that he thinks Putin was sent by God at this moment in time to fulfill a pre-ordained prophetic destiny. Secondly, in March of this year, an inside documentary was made by the closest associates of Iran’s Ayatollah but smuggled out from the East. The documentary revealed that both the Ayatollah of Iran and President Ahmadinejad personally feel that they are specific players in the prophetic destiny of Iran. And finally, it has long been known that President George Bush felt strongly that his invasion of Iraq was an order from God that would directly lead to impacts on Israel. In a sense, they are all correct. Read the quotes:
“Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia by God to help his country during one of its most turbulent times, the Kremlin’s chief political strategist said on Friday in rare public remarks. “I honestly believe that Putin is a person who was sent to Russia by fate and by the Lord at a difficult time for Russia,” Vladislav Surkov, a staunch Putin supporter and one of Russia’s most powerful men, was quoted by Interfax news agency as telling state-run Chechen TV. “(Putin was) preordained by fate to preserve our peoples,” said Surkov, who is also the Kremlin’s first deputy chief of staff.”
“The purpose of the film is to make the case that Iran is prophetically destined to lead the war against Islam’s enemies, which is as a prelude to the appearance of the Hidden Imam, also called the Mahdi, who brings the final victory for Islam and reigns over the whole world. It uses current events to argue that “the final chapter has begun” and the Mahdi’s arrival is imminent. Most disturbingly, it teaches that Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah are the individuals prophesied to make this happen. President Ahmadinejad is an End Times character named Shoeib-Ebne Saleh, the film states. He is appointed as the commander-in-chief by Seyed Khorasani (Ayatollah Khamenei). The speaker in the film says that this individual will “move” 72 months [6 years] prior to the arrival of the Mahdi and will lead the recapturing of Jerusalem on “the threshold of the Coming.”
In Muslim end time theology, the Mahdi is strikingly similar to the Christian antichrist. So it makes sense that Iran’s leaders feel not only prophetically destined but the timing is also nearly a mirror match for the timing of the Gog-Magog battle.
“George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month. Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.” Mr Bush went on: “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East’. And, by God, I’m gonna do it.”
The LORD sets up kings and he takes down kings. (Dan 2:21). He uses all men for His purposes, whether they are saved or not. He uses people for His global purpose, and He uses people individually to prepare us. God uses negative circumstances for His outcomes. He doesn’t need to make a positive circumstance every time. There are many examples of this in the bible. God has been actively working in the lives of all people on the planet to prepare for the culmination of His promises to Israel and the end of the age. I believe we can see it in hindsight over the last ten years with the rise of Russia, Iran, and the invasions of the US into the Middle east. What do you think?
Note: Terry James has a good essay this week about one of the other major Gog-Magog players, and their drawing-in toward prophetic destiny: Turkey.