15. The three prophetic wars.

Numerous wars have been fought since Jesus spoke these words about the end of the age : “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen but the end (meaning the end of this earth and final judgement following the Millennial rule of Christ ) is still to come. Nations will rise against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms … All these are the beginning of the birth pains.” ( Mathew 24:6-8 ) However, the Prophets did specifically predict certain wars that will take place which will eventually usher in the Kingdom of God. These wars are collectively called the ‘prophetic wars’. ( Isn’t it strange that the Bible didn’t specifically predict the first and the second world wars nor does it predict the third world war but categorised them under ‘wars and rumours of wars’ and not under the ‘prophetic wars’ !)

The first impending prophetic war is the one which has come to be known as the ‘Ezekiel 38 war’. The word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog ( the Islamic nations of southern Russia that were once part of the Soviet Union? ), the prince of Rosh (‘Rosh’ in Hebrew means ‘head’ or ‘leader’ and therefore it has been translated as ‘chief prince’ in some translations but it could also be the proper name of a predominant ethnic group called ‘Rus’or ‘Rhos’ from which the name ‘Russia’ was derived), Meshech or Mosoch ( Legend has it that King Mosokh or Meshech, the son of Japheth founded the city of Moskva or Moscow. Josephus, the Jewish historian said that the people of his day known as the Moschevi and Thobelites were founded by Meshech and Tubal respectively [Antiquities I.6] Wilhelm Gesenius, the world class Hebrew scholar and lexicologist also identified Meshech as Moscow, the capital of modern Russia) and Tubal or ‘Tobal’ (William also identified Tobolsk, the second oldest settlement in Asiatic Russia and the historic capital of the Siberian region as the city founded by Tubal, the son of Japheth. The name of this patriarch is still preserved in the river Tobol and the City of Tobolsk in Russia is still a monument to him. His conclusion was that these people make up the modern Russian people) and prophecy against him and say: … I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army … Persia ( Iran), Cush ( upper Nile region south of Egypt which would include Sudan and Ethiopia?) and Put ( the region to the west of Egypt which would include Libya, Tunisia, Algeria ?) will be with them … also Gomer ( Turkey?) with all its troops and Beth Togarmah ( the region of Anatolia which is now part of modern day Turkey?) from the far north with all its troops – the many nations with you … you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from the nations to the mountain of Israel, which has long been desolate and now all of them live in safety … ‘ (Ezekial 38:1-8) It is interesting to note that the names of many prominent Arab and Islamic nations were not mentioned, probably because they would be the ones who would sign a peace treaty with Israel ie Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994 and recently UAE , Bahrain, North Sudan and Morocco signed the Abraham Accords in 2020. We can expect many more nations to follow suit in the coming years. However, some are suspicious of the Abraham Accords assuming that it could be the covenant the Antichrist will make with the nation of Israel but this fear has no rationale because that treaty wouldn’t happen until the Church is raptured and the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way for the Antichrist to be revealed. Furthermore, some assume that the war mentioned in Ezekial 38-39 is the ‘battle of Armageddon’ mentioned in Revelation 16: 14,16 but they are two different battles altogether because Ezekiel spoke about a coalition of nations from the north and south coming against Israel, who ‘will go up, advancing like a storm … will invade a land of unwalled villages … a peaceful and unsuspecting people … to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder’ ( Ezekiel 38: 9-13) whereas John wrote about the nations of the world being gathered from the east and the west against Israel for the second prophetic war : ‘The sixth Angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and it’s waters was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East … Then I saw … the spirits of demons who go out to kings of the whole world to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty … to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon … to make war against the rider on the horse and his army’. (Revelation 16:14,16, 19:19) Armageddon is located 60 miles north of Jerusalem on Mount Megiddo, facing the valley of Jezereel to its east and it has been the site of many military struggles in Israel’s history because of its strategic location. The plain of Megiddo ( 2 Chronicles 35:22) is about 200 square miles in area and some historians estimate that more wars have been fought here than any other locations in the world. It seems to be an appropriate setting for the final struggle between good and evil.

The context of the prophecy in Chapters 38,39 is the return of the people of God to the mountains of Israel as prophesied in Chapter 36 and that they shall be one nation in the land and no longer be divided into two kingdoms as prophesied in Chapter 37 and the measuring of the rebuilt temple as prophesied in Chapter 40. In between these two events is the war that would result in the total regathering of Israel and the construction of the temple.(Though the nation of Israel was established on the 14th of May 1948, only a fraction of the Jewish diaspora have been gathered from the nations and the temple is yet to be rebuilt. ) It is in this context, we need to read this prophecy : ‘When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord … I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains … so I will show my greatness and my holiness and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations … I will now bring Jacob back from captivity … I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind … I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ( Ezekiel 38:18- 39:29) There is however an ambiguity concerning the timing of the ‘Ezekiel 38 war’ because some believe it will happen before Rapture while many others believe it will happen after Rapture, at the start of the tribulation. There are also those who believe it will happen halfway into the tribulation and still others who believe it will happen towards the end of the tribulation, assuming it to be the ‘battle of Armageddon’ and ‘Gog’ to be the Antichrist. Apparently ‘Gog’ is the leader of the invasion and the Bible says he will be killed and will be buried in the valley of Hamon Gog towards the east of the Dead Sea whereas the Bible says that the Antichrist and the false prophet who will lead the ‘battle of Armageddon’ will be captured and will be thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. ( Rev 19:20-22). There is still a mention of ‘Gog’ again at the end of the thousand year rule of Christ, when Satan will be released from his prison and he will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. Here Gog is not referred to as a person but as a place and Satan who is leader of the hordes, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. (Rev 20:7-10) Some call it the ‘war of Gog and Magog’ and it is the last of the three prophetic wars.What is common to these three prophetic wars is that they all are against Israel and the camp of God and He fights to deliver His people.

The world is increasingly getting polarized and the stage is being set for these prophetic battles and the nations of the world are aligning themselves in keeping with these prophecies. The only thing that needs to happen before these events is the Rapture and it will come unexpectedly upon us. “Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life and the day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap … Be always on the watch and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may stand before the Son of Man’ ( Luke 21: 34-36) Amen.

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